Chinese/French Soul Mates
Kyirisan is Chef Tim Ma's first DC restaurant, and I'm so thankful it has arrived! The modern restaurant, both in decor and cuisine, is inviting and exciting with a small, well-crafted menu designed to please the masses. The fusion of Chinese and French cuisine is exotic and unique, and is something I'm hoping to see more of if it's executed this masterfully.
As I walk in, the enthusiastic and welcoming hostess greets me and I meet my friend at the bar. The bartender wastes no time in helping me select a beverage and surprises us both with a shot of habañero vodka. It is terrifyingly hot, but you should try it just to prove you're not a pussy (hey peer pressure!). Here's how I spent the evening:
First up was the Deep Fried Tofu with black pepper sauce, scallion and pickled carrot. I have a deep obsession with the simplicity of tofu, soy sauce and thinly shaved scallions since my trip to Japan in 2014, and this dish had the memories flooding in. What impressed me most was how light and crispy the tofu was, despite being placed in the black pepper sauce, which was insanely delicious and so peppery. I always think of soy sauce as salty, but this sauce was packed with a peppery punch and I am obsessed with it. A light, fresh, addicting starter that for me, is a must.
Next up were the Pan-Seared Scallops with coconut risotto, basil Ice Cream, and scallion... OH MY GOD, THIS DISH IS TO DIE FOR. The creamy coconut risotto with the bright basil ice cream teeters on the edge of sweet and savory, but married with the scallions and velvety scallops, it is absolutely a match made in dining heaven. We scraped every last grain of rice from this dish and I was very tempted to lick the bowl.
When I see a whole fried fish on a menu, there's a 99% chance I'm going to order it. The Whole Fried Fish with mushroom and pecan stuffing, and cilantro stem thai chili paste was no exception. Although a tad too crisp for my taste, the pecan stuffing and herby, spicy chili paste made for a fun flavor combination that was different in each bite. Don't forget to fish those eyeballs out!
I'm not typically one for dessert, but I'm sure glad I was persuaded to order The Cheesecake with chocolate crust, chocolate glaze, pandan anglaise, Szechuan whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts. What you can't see is that the cheesecake itself, en-robed in a thin chocolate ganache, is GREEN! Mimicking the tropical plant, a chocolate pandan leaf is place on top for garnish, and the Szechan ice cream provides a hint of numbing heat. Perfection.
As we start wrapping up the evening, we're presented with a glass of champagne and some beautiful macarons to take home in honor of the restaurant's first birthday! We also get to leave our mark on the restaurant by signing their guest book! I love this tradition, and we obviously drew cats and our portrayal of the scallop dish. It was a masterpiece, I'm sure.
I left feeling like I received VIP treatment and an all-star menu, and with that I recommend checking it out for yourself! Thanks for a lovely evening, Kyirisan!
Three Hangry Stars for Kyirisan!
1924 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001