After Cousin C found out that A has started to not hate duck, he suggested that we try the roasted herbal duck at Dian Xiao Er, which has a few locations but we tried the VivoCity one for lunch on Saturday.
The herbal roast duck is definitely their signature dish; so signature, in fact, that they have 3 different versions of it – roast duck with angelica root, roast duck with ten wonder herb, and roast duck with wild ginseng. Each is supposed to have different health benefits; we decided on the ten wonder herb one that allegedly improved blood circulation…
I must say the duck was really good – the skin was crispy and not fatty at all, and the breast meat portions were wonderfully tender and just gamey enough but not too ‘ducky’, to quote A. Being the good wife that I am, I let A have most of the breast meat, and I had the bonier sections that were a bit more tough but still very fragrant.
We ordered the Xiao Er Tofu, which turned out to be a bit like pipa tofu – tofu mixed with seafood paste then deep fried. While the crispy outside bits were quite good, generally this was a bit insipid and bland. The stir fried string beans with XO sauce fared better. I’ve had better versions of this dish before, but at least here they used the slimmer string beans, which I really like because they have a nicer texture without the squeakiness you get when you bite into regular string beans.
All in all, the duck was worth coming here for, but the rest of the food was fairly ordinary. I can’t see this place being anywhere near A’s top dining options in Vivo though, so I don’t foresee a repeat visit any time in the near future.
The duck was great, but not as spectacular as I hoped. I think I prefer La Petite Cuisine’s Duck Confit. The rest of the dishes were only so-so.
Overall, I don’t see anything else really special enough to make me want to come back.
Dian Xiao Er
Mon – Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 9:30pm (last orders)
Weekends & Pub hols: 11:30am - 3:00pm, 5:30pm - 9:30pm (last orders)