I’d wanted to visit Ruyi for a while, and when I finally got the chance it coincidentally happened to be Valentine ’s Day and the place was packed.
We arrived late but there was still no table ready. The ambiance was nice, contemporary and really minimalistic fitted design and smelt like that Chinese dumpling vinegar which was quite nice.
While we were waiting a woman said she’s been waiting for over an hour for dessert. This was worrying, and foreshadowed things to come.
When we sat down we were shown menus. They were simple and elegant in design, and filled with contemporary spins on Asian classics.
After being handed the menus and deciding on what to order it took almost 30 minutes to get an order to the waiter. I ordered the pork and crab XLB (Xiao long bao), the wontons in chilli oil, the deep fried soft shell crab, scallops with golden rice and the wagyu beef with truffle paste.
After ordering we finally got an explanation for the long waits between service and food, they had 4 staff call in sick, both from the kitchen staff and the wait staff.
I ordered a white wine to match the scallops (which I asked to be the first dish out) and a red for the wagyu (ordered to be the last dish out).
First out was the XLB. They were ok, the flavour of the filling was good but it was lacking liquid. While tasty, they could have been better/I’ve had better.
The Chili wontons came out next and were amazing; the wonton skin was great as was the filling. The sauce was also divine, spicy, salty and slightly sweet. It was possibly one of the best chilli oil wontons I’ve had, so Juicy and flavoursome. The added flavour of the sauce soaked fried onion and garlic was amazing and gave an even bigger kick of chilli as you ate them.
After the wontons we were served croquettes, and having not ordered them we were confused and questioned the waiter as to their nature. Apparently the order went in wrong, and so the wrong scallop dish was ordered, these being the scallop and mango croquettes.
They were filled with Kewpie mayo, mango and 3 tiny pieces of scallop. They were ok, nothing overly inspired. We spoke to the waiter again to find out if it was possible to still get the original scallop dish we ordered and he said would get it started right away.
The next dish out, the deep fried Salt and pepper soft shell crab, was well cooked but severely over battered and under flavoured. The crab was very fresh though. It was served with Lemon sauce which was zesty and sweet with a good balance.
The second last dish was the Beef, and it was melt in mouth tender withs such a rich and creamy texture so you could tell it was definitely wagyu. That beef texture and richeness coupled with the big hit of smooth truffle flavour made it a great dish, just a shame it was only 6/7 pieces for $42.
Finally the first dish we asked for came, the scallops. They were cooked to perfection and had a sweet lingering flavour. They were covered with a sauce, which I wasn’t sure was necessary and somewhat brought the dish down.
My experience at Ruyi was ok, I wasn’t overly troubled by the waiting but I think it’s hard to not let service affect your dining experience to some extent, no matter how helpful and nice the staff are. The other issue was the food being slightly hit and miss, some being average while other dishes were fantastic.
I’ll be going back to Ruyi sometime in the near future to get those chilli dumplings again, and to possibly see what they can do when they aren’t short staffed.