Located on level four of Holiday Inn Atrium along Outram Road, Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant offers authentic Chinese cuisine that is perfect for a business lunch or an intimate dinner with the family. While I have stayed at the Holiday Inn Atrium a couple of times, I have never visited Xin Cuisine because it is hidden away from public sight and more importantly, I'm always drawn to the food at Zion Road Food Centre instead.
Before I looked at the menu, I was given a tea menu but was not told that each teapot is only sufficient for one. Since the serving size is only for one, it is a good idea for you to order a couple of different ones to try out. I particularly like my Huang Jin Gui tea which is a premium variant of oolong tea. The flowery characteristics of this tea were distinctive and definitely set the palate right for flavours to come.
The Xin's Roasted Pork had moisture locked in and the crispy skin broke into a satisfying crunch with every bite. I personally prefer Imperial Treasure's Roasted Pork for a more balanced flavour profile but this is a close second behind. I would definitely recommend this dish if you decide to visit Xin Cuisine.
The soup of the day was Ginko Nut and Pig's Stomach Soup. While non-Chinese customers may not necessarily stomach this dish (pun intended), I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this flavourful broth. Firstly, I did not expect the soup to contain traces of sweetness. Beneath the peppery broth lies a nutty and sweet flavour introduced by the use of water chestnuts. The restaurant also claims that no MSG has been used in this soup so all flavours are natural.
This is perhaps my favourite dish in Xin Cuisine so far - Xin's Roasted Duck with Tea Leaves. Having tasted many roasted ducks before in my life, it is not easy to find one that truly impresses me. The smoky flavours combined with a crispy skin and a well-balanced sauce really brings this dish to another level. That being said, I did feel that the meat was slightly dry and could have been cooked through lesser. I guess smoking the duck and ensuring that the skin remains crispy requires a high level of culinary skills.
This was perhaps the most ordinary dish I have tasted during my dinner at Xin Cuisine. The scallops and shrimps did not seem to have any flavours left after being drenched in the sauce. Although it was savoury and flavourful, the natural and delicate profile of the seafood were destroyed completely by the sauce. The Chinese always believe that good quality seafood should always be cooked in a way such that the natural flavours are portrayed instead - this is why we do not believe in frying a good fish!
The Prawn Sheng Mian is another dish that I would recommend at Xin Cuisine. Drenched in a thick sauce made from a superior broth, this dish showcases a good balance of natural and induced flavours. The deep fried Sheng Mian noodles have a good texture and slight crunch despite soaking up the tasty sauce. The huge prawn has been de-veined (thankfully!) through a butterfly cut and is cooked to a great doneness.
The last and final dish of a Chinese dinner is always dessert. The Mango Pomelo has a generous serving of fresh mangoes that were unfortunately a little too sour for my liking. The paste was however delicious with the right level of sweetness that would have otherwise been augmented by the taste of fresh mangoes should they be riper. So the next time you stay at the Holiday Inn Atrium, give the dishes I have recommended a try!
This was an invited food-tasting session.