Located on Tagore Lane is Xian Seafood Village, this seafood zi char is less than a year old. The entire coffee shop operates in the afternoon selling a variety of food, including herbal soups and lunch sets catered to the office and industrial crowd. By night, Xian Seafood Village is transformed into a full fledged seafood eatery.
Xian Seafood Village prides itself in serving fresh seafood, as showcased with their numerous fish tanks of live sea animals. The owners have had experience in the fishing industry as well as F&B, hence they Really know their stuff in regards to fresh seafood.
Yes an Alaskan Crab can cost $350 Nett, but hey! At least the price is right there on the tank, unlike some unscrupulous zi chars that rip off tourists when they list the price for such premium seafood by per 100g, only to scare the customer after they have consumed the food that the crab was a whopping x.x KG.
Ample parking is available, just bring your coupons!
(1) Tasty Lady’s Finger $10.00 (sml)
The lady’s finger was indeed tasty. Do not let this simple dish fool you, some might wonder, why is such a simple dish showcased?! Because it’s really tasty! The texture of the lady’s finger is just right, chewy, soft and yet oozing with veggie juicy goodness. Instead of ordering your typical fried kang kong, try this instead!
(2) Flower Crab Trio Seafood Bee Hoon $25.00 (med)
At a seafood zi char eatery, a special must order is their crab bee hoon. Few are able to execute this right. Flower crabs are usually chosen as it is able to bring a level of sweetness to the dish. However, the beehoon and the broth here didn’t quite pick up the tinge of sweetness or flavour from the flower crab that I had expected. Xian Seafood Village is indeed generous with their ingredients in this dish of seafood bee hoon. I would say this is more than enough for 4 pax.
(3) Specialty Braised Meat $15.00 (sml)
Instead of sweet and sour pork, get this! A delicious meaty dish served with a layer of fats, aka the three layered meat. The pork was tender and you could taste the positive end results from the braising process.
(4) La La Steamed Egg $15.00 (sml)
La La in steamed egg. The steamed egg was milky and custardy like served with a nice gravy, the egg itself almost melts in your mouth.
(5) Hong Kong Style Steamed Shark Lips $35.00 onwards (sml) About 600gm
So, this is a very interesting dish, labelled as Shark Lips, but the owner shared that this is actually lips of a Sturgeon. Which after some research shows that it is a label for some 27 species of fresh water fish. That may or may not be endangered. This really begs the question, since everyone is so afraid of eating sharks, thinking it’s not environmentally friendly, how much “better” is it for the environment, if we eat another type of fish as a delicacy? But in all honesty, sturgeons do look alot like sharks.
My only comment about this is that, it is chewy, almost like a mochi + sea cucumber hybrid texture. I feel that this is quite an acquired taste, not to my personal liking.
(6) Fragrant Garlic Pork $10.00 (sml)
The sliced pork all curled up nicely when fried and I half expected a crispy, crunchy texture. But alas, it was not. It was rather tough but it carried an aromatic fragrance that was pretty appetizing.
(7) Salted Egg Lobster $15.00 (per pc) About 800-900gm *highly recommended*
Probably my favourite dish of the entire food tasting! This lobster was fresh, easy to push the meat off the shell with just a fork and spoon. The salted egg taste though, was on the milder side. The taste of butter and milk was more defined than the salted egg itself, despite being able to see the grainy salted egg texture all over the lobster shell.
(8) Bbq Sturgeon Shark $16.00 (big)
I seriously mistook this for a stingray. It was a chewier sort of meat in comparison to your typical sambal stingray. It was spicy for me as I’m a weak sauce when it comes to chilli spices. But the rest felt that it wasn’t spicy at all.
(9) Cheese Baked Seafood Platter $138 onwards
– Lobster (600g-700g) , Jumbo Crab, Prawns, Fan shell scallops & LaLa.
A feast fit for a king. This dish definitely showcases Xian Seafood Village’s capability to serve up a wide range of fresh seafood in a newer style of cooking catered to the younger palate. The crab here was very fresh and it absorbed the cheese sauce rather well. The cheese sauce is thick and gooey! But it was again, more buttery and milky than it was cheesey. It wasn’t gerlat at all, while digging into this dish.
(10) Crab Prawn Fan-shell Scallops Congee $50.00 (sml)
This congee is served with a variety of fresh seafood. The broth itself was very flavourful brimming with all the seafood juices. This congee took in the flavours of the seafood a lot better than the bee hoon, and hence majority agreed that the congee tasted alot better than the bee hoon.
I just couldn’t get enough of this congee, even after spoonfuls of this congee, I didn’t feel thirsty, or find myself reaching for my teh ping, so probably this is fully naturally flavoured?!
(11) Soft shell crabs $25.00 ($5.00/pc) *highly recommended*
I am SO COMING BACK FOR MORE OF THIS! Crispy, freshly fried soft shell crabs that just go CRUNCH CRUNCH! in your pre-molar and molars! The batter isn’t too thick such that you find it dripping in oil.
You can actually taste the crab meat that is beneath the fried soft shell crab. This is probably what I would think is their stand-out signature dish, quite unseen anywhere and this is where other seafood zi char have yet to offer.
(12) Thai Style Tofu with Prawn $10.00 (sml)
Say hello to some re-purposed Tofu. Filled with prawns, these tofu are covered in a layer of deep fried golden brown crisp layers to unveal tofu wrapping up a crunch prawn, served in a thai style sauce.
Overall : Amidst the hype about cafes and ice cream dessert spots, Zi Char is something that never dies out. While the influx of online novelty cheese creations, Xian Seafood Village manages to tie it with their fresh seafood offerings. The location is okay to get to via private transport, it’s airy and well-cooled. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful as well. Definitely try their fried soft-shell crab!
XIAN Seafood Village
81 Tagore Lane
Tag.A Unit 01-10
Tel: 8575 5158 / 9859 8485
Opens daily 11am – 11pm