New Executive Chinese Chef Lai Chi Sum brings his style to a rejuvenated
Yàn, elevating its sphere of gastronomic enjoyment.
Executive Chinese Chef Lai Chi Sum
Since opening in 2015, Yàn has more than lived up to its given meaning, ‘宴’, by being a
veritable ‘feast’ of conviviality and authentic exceptional flavours. Now with new Master Chef, Lai Chi Sum, at the helm, this elegant bastion of fine Cantonese cooking is set for rejuvenation, and a subtle expansion of its culinary ideals.
Trained in the best traditions of Cantonese cuisine and with almost two decades of Executive Chef experience at an established Chinese restaurant group in Singapore, Chef Lai brings his own distinctive sensibilities to Yàn.
Chef Lai cooks from the heart, and seeks to evoke heartwarming emotions through his food in finely executed ‘home-style’ meals, also known as ‘私房菜’ or ‘private dining style’. His dedication to quality derives from provenance, and insistence that good cooking requires time and focus; values gained from his humble beginnings in Hong Kong — which he now brings to the table at Yàn.
While the menu has expanded, all-time favourites still remain, including the Signature Crispy Roast Suckling Pig served in 3 ways, Peking Roast Duck, Steamed Thousand Layer Beancurd and seafood delicacies such as abalones, lobsters, clams, crabs, and sea cucumbers.
New selection of dishes in the menu showcases the ‘私房菜’ or ‘private dining style’ cuisine of Chef Lai’s highlights
Shark Cartilage Broth with homemade wanton
The crispy skin is served with homemade crêpe & traditional garnishes. The diced duck meat is then stir-fried with diced vegetables, and served in lettuce cups.
Peking Duck crispy skin is served with homemade crêpe & traditional garnishes
Signature Crispy Roast Suckling Pig
Undoubtedly Yàn’s signature classic, with the first course being the crispy skin served with housemade flat pancakes and condiments. The second course consists of choice cuts of the shoulder and the last takes the tender flesh which is then oven baked with lemongrass.
Baked Crab shell with crab meat and onion
Fresh Flower Crabmeat is cooked with onion, bechamel sauce and superior stock, then filled into the empty crab shell, topped with breadcrumbs, and baked for five minutes at high heat. This dish was born in Hong Kong when the economy was booming from overseas investments and business. To attract these high-spending diners, premium Cantonese restaurants introduced dishes with western influences; Chef Lai learned this dish in Hong Kong in the early 80s.
House special baked pork ribs with black olives
A flavourful dish that is a new Yàn signature originating from Chef Lai’s experiences in Hong Kong, it is inspired by the old Guang Zhou farmers who cooked what they harvested. Among this is fruit which the farmers preserve and cook with their meats — olive became a common staple ingredient that appears inmany traditional Cantonese dishes like steamed fish with olive.
Steamed Kampong chicken with ginger spring onion
A soulful and simple dish that will warm the hearts of diners. Free-range local chicken is
steamed, then fried and topped with a flavourful sauté of scallion, spring onion, ginger and salt. Pairs perfectly with a bowl of steamed rice.
Steamed thousand layer tofu
Braised Mee Po with fresh mushroom and XO sauce
Chilled Peach resin with diced honey dew
There is nothing more comforting than good food served with sincerity and heart. The choice of seating reflects this sense of largesse: flexible private dining rooms, cosy booth seats, larger tables, even the entire restaurant, can be put at the service of any size of group. Suitable for formal corporate lunch, convivial dinner, wedding or private event.
Yàn is located on the 5th floor of the National Gallery Singapore, an iconic venue steeped in historical and artistic significance. The restaurant’s elegant interiors alludes to its surrounding –which contains the largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art in the world — through traditional Chinese motifs,modern décor and handpicked art pieces.
Guests are greeted by a grand lighting feature designed by Italian designer Diego Bassetti and architect Andrea Panzieri, resembling a giant Chinese scroll with fine nickel chains cascading down. The interior is awash in a light palette of woods and dove grey with accents of vibrant colour; the use of oak wood, in particular, lending a warm finish that ties back to the idea of a modern and intimate Chinese dining room.
Silk weaving, one of China’s oldest art forms, inspires the brightly coloured space dividers in the dining hall, where delicate strings in red, fuchsia and purple interweave. Booth seats are placed in between the screens in carefully considered symmetrical spatial arrangements – an auspicious nod to the Chinese belief that happiness and luck are multipliedwhen in pairs.
The inner section of the dining hall is anchored by a ceiling feature adorned with more than 400 hand-blown glass pieces. Catering to bigger groups of diners, this space can be separated from the main dining hall by timber-stripped sliding doors, thereby demarcating and creating a private zone.
This flexibility makes it ideal for Yàn to cater to small intimate gatherings as well as large groups and events such as weddings.
The main dining hall seats up to 80, with the entire restaurant having a maximum capacity of 154. There are three private rooms, of which two can be combined to form a larger hall. Each private dining room features warm oak timber strips, an original feature art piece, and curved corners for an embracing spatial feel. Inspired by its Mandarin homonym which refers to swallows (yàn zi or 燕子), a symbol of grace and beauty, two private dining room walls are lined with an art installation of a flight of swallows.
#05-02 National Gallery Singapore
1 St Andrew’s Road,
Call (65) 6384 5585
Book online via CHOPE
Lunch: 11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner: 6:00pm to 10:30pm
2,700 square feet
Up to 150
3 private rooms
Available at the National Gallery Singapore