Southeast Asian cuisine with Chinese flavor
A year and a half after the opening of the Cantonese restaurant Sense 8 in Xintiandi, another concept eatery was launched a few months ago.
Chinoiserie extravagance, Oriental glamor, old-school charm with European elegance and contemporary flair are all integrated into this two-floor red house named “Lion.”
“Lion” is inspired by the lion dance that has become a representative symbol of Chinese across the world, especially in Southeast Asia. It also indicates that the place offers exotic southern Chinese food.
The red pillars, beams and Teochew-style golden woodcarving is a tribute to the old Chinese houses in Southeast Asia while the European-style chandelier in the center shows there’s more to just sumptuous-looking Chinese decor. Neon-light installation by Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans graces the entrance and photo prints of Red Beauty series by famous photographer Chen Man give off an edgy feeling. In dim light, one dines in a mysterious and romantic atmosphere and embarks on a pleasant culinary journey.
The menu features some of the staple diets of the Chinese community in Singapore and Malaysia. Malaysian executive chef Sam Zhang knows how to combine the original flavors with delicate presentations. He even gives a twist to the rather classic dim sum selection.
If you go there during lunch time, try the several dim sum on offer such as the curry shrimp dumpling with Lan flower (blue butterfly pea flower). It’s an unusual shrimp dumpling in a blue color that blends local spices from Malaysia, thus giving the customers a refreshing taste.
Other dishes worth trying include baked stingray with licorice sauce and lime, deep-fried prawns with Singapore oatmeal, stir-fried crab with black pepper sauce.
The stingray, common to Malaysian cuisine, is marinated for two hours before baking with home-made Kam Heong sauce (a spice blend), suitable for those who prefer stronger tastes. Stir-fried crab with black pepper sauce is also a popular dish because of its delicious Sri Lankan crab meat.
The cocktails are inspired by the alluring aromas of Southeast Asian spices that are mixed with ice and spirits for the city’s pleasure-seeking tipplers. Try the signature cocktail Nanyang Church — mixed with lime leaf and lemongrass-infused vodka, basil leaf and fresh pineapple juice.
Enjoy the exotic Chinese food here with some of the crafted cocktails in a relaxed, sexy vibe with adornments from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Opening hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-midnight
Address: Bldg 2, 3, Xintiandi South Block, No. 123 Xingye Rd
Average price: 300 yuan (US$44.7)