Friday, October 21, 2016


Kyirisan by Chef Tim Ma brings medium plates of French-Chinese fare to the ever-growing, up and coming, trendy Shaw neighborhood.  Featured in the Inaugural Michelin Guide's DC Bib Gourmand, we figured we better check out this joint quick!  Closest Metro is U Street or Shaw.

Keith had the Homemade Gin & Tonic that had a splash of citrus and rosemary while I enjoyed a glass of wine they offered on tap: Viognier, Michael Shaps, Languedoc Roussillon & VA.  They also had a couple different sakes on the menu, but I decided to pass and reserve that for an upcoming sushi dinner.

Our server, Blake, suggested we order 4 to 5 of the medium plates for the two of us to share.  Being the popular trend in restaurants, we were no stranger to the medium sized dishes, so I thought 5 might actually be too much for us.  Thus, I cautioned Keith that we should order a few savory at first and save room for dessert.  The plan turned out just as expected - we ordered 4 savory and 2 desserts total, and left quite full.

We started with Foraged Mushrooms served with a tomato concasse, basil puree, and chevre mousse.  This vegetarian dish was a sleeper on the menu, but a star of the night.  The mushrooms were so meaty and full of umami flavor that balanced with the delicate tomato.  I enjoyed it very much.

Keith tried a cold Offal Salad made with chopped tendon, chicken heart, and tripe tossed with vegetables in a chili tamarind dressing. The meat was chewy and not the best version he's had before, but he appreciated the spicy kick and Thai-like flavors.

For a more heartier dish, Keith at the Beef Short Ribs with Chinese BBQ sauce, cherry tomatoes, and crispy shallots.  The meat was tender and the sauce had a nice Asian sweetness.

I loved the Pan-Seared Scallops with coconut risotto and basil ice cream.  The dish was sweet and tropical, with perfectly cooked scallops.  The basil ice cream provided a cold contrast that I blended into the hot risotto, which added extra creaminess to the dish.  Scallions were already cooked into the rice, and it may have been a better distinction to add some raw on top to counter all the sweet layers.

Lastly, for dessert we ordered the Pandan Cheesecake with chocolate crust, chocolate glaze, pandan anglaise, Szechuan whip cream, and candied hazelnut.  The bright green coloring would fool anyone to thinking it might be mint flavored, but instead it was the sweet pandan leaf, which is also very green from the chlorophyll in the leaf juice.  The cheesecake itself was light and airy and complimented with the dark chocolate crust.

I also wanted to try the beautifully plated "Asian Pearl" comprised of a jasmine meringue clam shell with a saki jelly-filled lychee on top of a yuzu cake surrounded by coriander tapioca pearls and bits of strawberry.  This dessert reminded me of something Princess Ariel would eat.  We were not sure if the pink rock crystal specks were Pop Rocks or just rock candy; as mine did not fizzle on my tongue, but Keith thought there was a slight effervescence.  This dessert was so girly and a light fruity end to our great meal.

Overall, service was attentive and the plates were brought out in progressing courses, which we liked. Our server had a corny humor that I appreciated more than Keith did (i.e. when clearing our empty plates, he remarked: "Oh, it looks like you hated that dish; I am so sorry."). The only downside is that it was extremely hot inside.  It was the first real "cool Fall weather" evening this year, so I am not sure if they overcompensated by turning up the heat, or if was just resonant from the kitchen, but it was quite uncomfortable at times.

Total Rating: 4.05
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5

Kyirisan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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