When you’re in love with the restaurant industry and food as much as I am, you have a list of places you desperately want to try. I actually have this list on my phone-no joke. Sometimes you’re disappointed, sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised, and sometimes you’re blown away.
A week or so ago I met up with my old friend and colleague for our bi-weekly dinner date as we are trying to get together more, dine out more, and fall in love with the industry again. Well… I’ve always been in love with food, but sometimes when you work in the industry you can get side tracked on why you fell in love with it as with any industry or job.
We agreed on a place I’ve heard a lot about, in Shaw, called Kyirisan– Try saying that with a mouth full. Wasn’t even able to ever write it properly until writing this post. This Chinese/French fusion restaurant was opened by the same couple who opened Water and Wall in Arlington.The restaurant has a similar feel and décor to a lot of DC restaurants these days, but it definitely had a warmth about it. We got a drink at the bar. ””Whiskey and Weird” for her, and Rose on tap for me. Because…who says NO to Rose on tap?!!?
After sitting down and chatting, we finally made a decision on dinner with help from our server who graciously discussed the entire menu, the restaurant concept, and some of his favorite items. The menu is French-Chinese, but even more so, it’s just downright different and very creative.
After starting with the Raw Royal Seabass and Scallops, I was pretty pleased with our choices so far. The Raw Seabass had a variety of flavors and textures and was served with a brunoise, orange segments, radish, and a fish sauce aioli, which I’m pretty sure was the secret to making this dish pop. Fish sauce is not so pleasant on its own, but it can really bring a dish to the next level.The scallops were cooked perfectly with a coconut risotto, basil ice cream, and scallions. A lot of times you see vanilla being paired with scallops, but coconut was an interesting surprise, and the basil and scallions added so many layers. Even though this was sweeter than I usually like, I couldn’t stop scooping up spoonfuls of the decadent risotto and buttery pan seared scallops.We then were served complimentary bone marrow, which looked so beautiful, but neither of us were bone marrow fans and were already getting full with two more dishes on the way, so we had to pass.Our second two dishes were good, but not as good as the first two. We ordered the Duck Confit and the Buddha bowl.
The duck confit was the gorgeous arrangement of Sous Vide Duck Confit (sous vide to obtain the most perfectly cooked meat) , Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Apple Cider Gastrique, and topped with a burnt blood orange. As beautiful as this was, I wanted it to be better. Duck Confit is already very heavy and decadent and the apple cider gastrique just made the dish a little too sweet and way too heavy for me. We only ate a couple bites and had to box the rest.The Buddha Bowl was glass noodles, my favorite, with a bunch of vegetables, chilies, and peanuts. Again…good, not great. It was the first time I didn’t really enjoy eating the glass noodles. I think I prefer them cold in more of a Thai style dish with lime and fish sauce. Again, we had to box this one up.As we were finishing our 1 small bottle of sake, quite conservative for us but it was a school night, the server brought us over complimentary dessert. Not sure why we were getting treated so well, but I’ll take it!
For not being a big “sweets” person, the dessert was one of my favorite things I ate all night. Pandan Cheesecake with a chocolate crust and chocolate glaze, pandan anglaise, Szechuan whip cream, and candied hazelnut. This dessert was not only beautifully presented, but delicious.And to add to the fun, the dessert menu is also a guest book where people can write notes to the restaurant. It was a fun way to end the evening.Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Kyirisan, and thought the service was great, drinks were great, and atmosphere was fun, but something was lacking in the food department. And I feel if I’m going to pay an arm and a leg for dinner in DC, I want it to WOW me.
But I didn’t mind my leftovers for lunch…so that’s always a plus!