I was recently lucky enough to visit Wollishofen’s newest foodie addition, and was not disappointed. Yan Ruyi is run by a Chinese couple (the Yans) who have decades of experience in the world of gastronomy, and this is evident from the delicacies they’re delivering in their new home. They used to own and run Yan in Schwammendingen, but have since upped sticks and relocated to the other side of the lake (lucky for the silver-coasters).
Yan Ruyi is located in an old building with plenty of character. The high ceilings make the room bright and airy, with the lighting delivering a cozy warmth. There are touches of oriental design, which draw everything together, and remind you that you are very close to some excellent Chinese (and Japanese) food.
Although the Yans are also known for creating delicious sushi and Japanese dishes, my husband and I focused more on the Chinese elements of the menu, needing a bit of hot food after the baltic temperatures outside. I was delighted to see that there was an entire page of specials, so made my life easier by choosing from those. Mrs Yan was also a great help in pointing us in the right direction, advising us that they do not adapt their dishes to the European palate, but stick to traditional Cantonese recipes, and pointing my husband in the direction of the beef with broccoli and sa ca (which she informed us is a very typical Chinese spice blend).
Having mentioned Mrs. Yan… She is warm, chatty, informative and the perfect maitre d’. She is open and keen to help, without being overbearing. Her staff are also wonderful!
As for the food… Ahhhh, the dimsum. I ordered a selection of Ruyi dimsum and each morsel was juicier and more flavoursome than the last. The dough had the perfect chewy quality, without being cloying and the dipping sauce was balanced elegantly between salty and sweet. As I write this, I’m dreaming about biting into another one. They were brought to the table in their bamboo steamer (very instagrammable) and were the perfect temperature (there’s nothing worse than biting into a hot dumpling and scarring the roof of your mouth).
The other highlight was the crispy peking duck with homemade pancakes. In theory, I love duck, but there are so many times I’ve ordered it and it’s arrived rubbery, dry and about as crispy as an old biscuit. This was something else. The duck was cooked through but moist and tender, there was a nice layer of fat and the skin was properly crackly and crispy. It was perfect. The homemade pancakes were soft and flavoursome, the sauce was rich and sweet and the veggies that got wrapped up with the whole lot, were crisp and fresh. It could well be the best peking duck I’ve ever encountered.
Overall, the Yans are doing a lot right. They have created a wonderful, neighbourhood restaurant with a great atmosphere. The prices are reasonable (approximately 25 CHF per main course) with
plenty of choice. They also have some interesting special menus, such as a ‘karte a la discretion’ (where you can try a selection of items from the menu) for 39.90CHF and a special New Year’s tasting menu (you can book tables on their website).