Home-grown brand Dian Xiao Er is a familiar name among Singaporean foodies, known for its succulent Herbal Roast Duck prepared fresh and roasted in the display kitchen daily.
Its brand name originates from the traditional way of calling waiter “Xiao Er”.
Therefore, its raw and rustic ambience reflects an ancient Chinese inn.
As a diner, you may feel like a traveller in a pit-stop (like one of those you watch in a Chinese period drama) ready to refill, refresh and recharge before setting off to continue your journey.
If you think they only serve up signature Herbal Roasted Ducks, there is actually an array of specialties like the Signature Wheatgrass Tofu with Seafood ($15.90), Sliced Garoupa in Assam Style ($20.90), Dong Po Braised Pork Belly ($16.90), Marmite Chicken ($13.90), Mongolian Spare Ribs ($15.90), Fish Maw Thick Soup with Seafood ($18.90) and many others.
If you have not been to Dian Xiao Er for a while, they have just revamped its menu. Here are 10 of the Dian Xiao Er’s signature selections and exciting repertoire of new menu offerings:
Duck Roasted with Angelica Herb ($16.90 for ¼, $31.90 for ½, $43.90 for ¾, $55.90 for whole)
Some background: this house specialty is made using only the finest quality Cherry Valley ducks.
Every duck is prepared fresh and roasted daily to create the most delectable duck meat, and the rich flavours come from marinating the duck for hours in spices and a myriad of herbs.
The marinated ducks are then roasted at optimal temperature to tenderise yet keep the meat succulent while cooking.
This results in the skin beautifully golden brown in appearance, with a crisp texture.
Some people say the magic is in its specially concocted herbal sauce. You can choose from Dang Gui (Angelica Herb), Shi Quan (Ten Wonder Herbs) and Pao Shen (Wild Ginseng).
I liked that Dang Gui sauce best, with mild-herbal and slight-sweetish tinge that is quite unique to Dian Xiao Er; while the Shi Quan had the stronger herbal and saltier savour.
Signature Wheatgrass Tofu with Seafood ($15.90 for S, $31.80 for L)
A unique rendition of a bean curd, this signature dish is a silky jade green-tinged homemade tofu infused with wheatgrass extract.
Obtained from freshly sprouted first leaves of the common wheat plant, this flavouring extract is loaded with nutrients.
Served with a topping of prawns, scallops, broccoli, and other veggies in a light, velvety sauce.
What I liked about the tofu was that the inside was soft and sauce quite healthy and homely-tasting.
Prawns with Chinese Celery Sauce ($19.90 for S, $29.80 for M, $39.80 for L)
Chinese celery sauce? These appetising prawns are flash-fried to the right texture, then tossed in a one-of-a-kind Chinese celery sauce.
Finely chopped celery are mixed with minced red bell peppers, and fresh onions and tossed into the sauce, before slathering onto the crisp-skinned prawns.
Even if you are not the biggest fan of celery, the fresh-earthy taste came across quite gently and not overly pronounced.
If you prefer something heartier, there is also a Nanyang-style inspired Prawns in Chilli Sauce ($19.90) which features juicy prawns atop a bed of luscious chilli gravy.
Stewed Pork Ribs with Yam & Shiitake Mushrooms ($18.90 for S, $28.30 for M, $37.80 for L)
This warm claypot dish has pork ribs in a thick ‘yammy’ gravy, so tender the meat easily slides off the bone.
You should find the chunks of pork ribs with a mild, almost sweet flavour, complemented with the aromatic and earthy Shiitake mushrooms and starchy and dry yam.
The yam’s distinct and unique flavour mixed with the sauce from the braised pork ribs delivers a comforting taste.
Crispy Otah Charcoal Dough Fritters ($6.90)
One of my new favourites, the delightfully crisp Chinese fried dough fritters aka youtiao may remind you of “Sotong Youtiao”, but made dramatic with the addition of charcoal to darken their colour.
Inside, a mildly spicy otah or fish paste fills up the cruller. This adds flavour and a bit of heat, with a good contrast between the crunchy exterior and soft fillings.
Lotus Roots, Sweet Pea, Water Chestnut with Macadamia Nuts and Gingko ($14.90 for S, $22.30 for M, $29.80 for L)
A mix of vegetables and nuts, this colourful stir-fry combines the mild taste and pleasantly sweet flavour of lotus root with crunchy sweet peas and water chestnuts.
Macadamia nuts, prized for their sweet, buttery flavour, make this dish extra special.
I find this a good balance if the rest of the other dishes are heavier.
Crispy Frog Leg in Soya Sauce ($18.90 for S, $28.30 for M, $37.80 for L)
Enjoy these crispy frog legs as an appetiser, with fresh skinned frog legs marinated in soya sauce.
The meat’s mild, neutral taste takes on the umami flavour of soya sauce.
With seasoning and a light coating of corn starch, the frog legs get a crunchy exterior once deep-fried. Inside, its texture is reminiscent of a more fibrous chicken?
The dish is also served with a ‘net’ of deep-fried golden julienned ginger strips.
Roasted Char Siew ($9.90 for 10pcs, $17.90 for 20pcs)
Add some classic Cantonese-style Chinese BBQ pork into your meal with an order of Roasted Char Siew.
Each piece is perfectly caramelized on the outside with a layer of char, exuding a smoky aroma. The lean pork remains moist and tender, and I learned you can request for a fatter cut if preferred and available.
Limited quantities available daily.
Ten Wonder Shredded Duck Porridge ($9.90)
Served in a claypot, this thick rice porridge is made with delicious shredded slivers of roasted duck as main meat.
Boosted with Ten Wonder Herbs (the same used for the duck), this congee includes revitalising ingredients such as condonopsis root, foxglove root, licorice root, and seven other invigorating herbs.
Snow Fungus with Peach Resin ($5.90)
Cap off your meal with a refreshingly light dessert made with Snow Fungus and Peach Resin.
Even for dessert, you can make a healthier choice, as peach resin is known to be collagen-rich and packed with nutrients. Snow Fungus, aka shirokikurage, is a type of jelly fungus prized for its immune boosting properties.
A sweet meal-ended that perfectly balances taste, health and beauty. Available in both hot and cold versions.
Dian Xiao Er outlets:
Bedok Mall: 311 New Upper Changi Road, #01-73/74, Bedok Mall, Singapore 467360
Hillion Mall: 17 Petir Road, #01-08, Hillion Mall, Singapore 678278
JEM: 50 Jurong Gateway Road, #03-08, Jem, Singapore 608549
Jewel Changi Airport: 78 Airport Boulevard, #B2-229, Jewel Changi Airport Singapore 819666
Junction 8: 9 Bishan Place, #B1-07, Junction 8 Singapore 579837
Jurong Point: 63 Jurong West Central 3, #B1-57/58/59, Jurong Point, Singapore 648331
Lot One: 21 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, #B1-32/33, Lot One, Singapore 689812
Marina Square: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-200, Marina Square, Singapore 039594
Northpoint City: 930 Yishun Avenue 2, #02-06, Northpoint City, North Wing Singapore 769098
Serangoon NEX: 23 Serangoon Central, #02-09/10, NEX, Singapore 556083
Tampines One: 10 Tampines Central 1, #04-15, Tampines 1 Singapore 529536
VivoCity: 1 HarbourFront Walk, #02-138/9, VivoCity Singapore 098585
Waterway Point: 83 Punggol Central, #01-30, Waterway Point, Singapore 828761
Opening Hours: All outlets (except Jewel):
11:30am – 3pm Last order 2:30pm, 4.30pm – 9:30pm Last order 9pm (Mon – Fri)
11am – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Jewel: 11:30am – 9:30pm Last order 9pm (Mon – Thurs), 11:30pm – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Fri), 11am – 10pm Last order 9:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Dian Xiao Er is offering islandwide delivery at $5.90 (with min $40 spent, Even PH/PH surcharge applies): https://dianxiaoer.oddle.me/en_SG/
*This entry is brought to you in partnership with Dian Xiao Er.