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April 4, 2021

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Passionate pair share their passion for food

YAN Wai is a newly opened restaurant with passionate owners curating every single element, from the sleek open kitchen and chic dining space to the music mood playlists and carefully picked tableware.

The husband and wife team, with senior media and luxury brand marketing backgrounds, devotes their full time into this new “baby.”

They brought firstly their exquisite tastes and life experiences.

Both outdoor enthusiasts, outdoor aesthetic and lifestyle are discreetly reflected in this dining space.

The most prominent elements are outdoors folding chairs, titanium mugs from Japanese outdoor gear brand Snow Peak, aluminum mess tins from Swedish outdoor cookware brand Trangia, as well as dark-colored plates from Kupilka known for the beautiful-organic-yet -functional forms.

The overall ambience is urban chic mixed with a chilled attitude. With thoughtful details throughout the space, it is a place that is cozy, comfortable, happy with soul and welcoming to all.

The location is a bit hidden off Yanping Road.

But it is usually packed in the evening with those wanting to try out the “food made with love” and soak in the great ambience. Regarding the food, it doesn’t fall in any category such as Chinese, French or Italian. The team is trying to bring to the customers the good tastes they believe in, based on their creativity and compositions of the ingredients.

They source regional ingredients from around China: smoked sausages from the Buyi ethnic group in Guizhou Province; preserved plums from the Chaoshan area in Guangdong Province; 10-year Xinhui dried tangerine peel from Guangdong Province; black truffle from Shangri-La in Yunnan Province; and pine nuts from the Changbai mountain in the southeast of Jilin Province.

The menu mixes the East and West cultures. Tagliatelle with Guizhou smokey sausage is their creative version based on spaghetti Bolognese.

However, handmade tagliatelle is used instead of the spaghetti and the smoked sausage from Guizhou was the highlight ingredient to enhance the overall flavors.

Fresh prawn with Yanwai’s secret recipe was another favorite. Six pieces of seasonal fresh black tiger prawns are soaked inside the secret dressing made of Moutai baijiu with preserved plum from the Chaoshan area. I just couldn’t stop reaching out for another piece when I had this dish.

For the meat lovers, try out their slow-roasted pork rib with Xinhui tangerine peel. The iberico pork rib is roasted to perfection with fall-of-the-bone tenderness and the tangerine peel gives it an extra fragrance at the same time balancing the greasiness of the high-fat meat.

A glass of wine starts at 70 yuan (US$10.70) for Altaland Mendoza Malbec 2017 and 85 yuan for Skyline of Gobi Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2016. Try the most recognizable wine from Xinjiang to taste its special terroir.


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