For Rachel’s birthday dinner (which yes, was in November), we decided to venture to Shaw to dine at Tim Ma’s fabulous Kyirisan in Shaw. We heard great buzz about it from some friends and early reviews, and couldn’t wait to check it out for ourselves.
Situated in the heart of Shaw and just blocks away from the 9:30 Club, a place where Rachel and I frequented shows since ’99 (now we’re really dating ourselves!), Kyirisan uniquely blends French and Chinese cuisine in a homey atmosphere with friendly service and standout dishes. The menu is arranged into three categories: In the Ground, Under the Water, and On the Ground.
We started the first category with the deep fried tofu. Placed in a shallow bowl of black pepper sauce, and topped with scallion and picked carrot, the half dozen cubes of tofu made for a nice introduction to what was ahead.
The raw sea bass, artfully arranged with sliced radishes and oranges and complemented with a fish sauce aioli, was simply delightful.
Our favorite dish of the night, however, was the pan-seared scallops with coconut risotto and basil ice cream. Yes, you read that correctly. All of these ingredients worked masterfully with one another as we were instructed by our server to wait for the ice cream to melt in order to enhance the flavor of the dish. Boy was he right. There’s a reason why this made our Best Dishes of 2016 list.
A closer runner-up would have been the Freebird Wings. Smothered with fermented chili paste, oyster sauce, and crème fraiche, it’s a messy but satisfying dish that definitely requires a few extra napkins.
As for dessert, just order the pandan cheesecake and thank us later. Adorned with a chocolate crust and glaze, a pandan anglaise, a dollop of Szechuan whip cream, and sprinkled with candied hazelnuts, it’s an incredibly unique dessert that rivals some of the city’s best.
We can’t forget to mention that we started the evening with some of the wonderful cocktails coming from the bar. Rachel ordered The Forbidden Fruit, a cocktail with spiced rum, cocchi rosa, apple shrub, cinnamon, and cranberry. She loved it so much she got it again as an after dinner drink at the bar. We were going to go elsewhere for a drink after dinner, but loved the drinks so much we decided to just stay at the bar and linger for a bit after our meal.
Kyirisan is a great addition to the District and Chef Tim Ma is doing some great things in his Shaw kitchen. We can’t recommend it enough.