Yong Ping lane is a cool little space. A maze-like courtyard where you’ll find a number of eateries around every corner. One of these being Styx; a play on words to highlight the main style of cooking. The menu is a relatively novel concept where a large focus is on skewer-style cooking seen in many different countries rather than a single cuisine. In saying that it would be inaccurate to describe it as a fusion restaurant. There are no crossovers in flavours but rather a smorgasbord of skewers prepared in a variety of ways that stay true to their authentic form.
Step inside and one can only assume interior designer was given a fairly simple brief. Tropical foliage and lots of it. You’ve got banana plants holding banana plants standing against a banana plant wallpaper. Throw in a chandelier or two and voila!
Dishes of mention:
Sichuan tofu skewers with the Asian slaw – Sichuan pepper marinade garnished with peanuts was excellent! Unfortunately prepared with a premarinated/ smoked tofu that was a little overpowering
Chicken satay wrap – juicy chicken pieces laced with a flavourful Balinese satay sauce
I still remember as a child my favourite food at a market being the satay skewers. The best ones had a nice charring on the outside and juicy meat that had soaked up all the marinade. I think Styx have delivered well on that front. An enjoyable experience where staff were attentive and helpful without being overbearing.
Overall a simple but unique concept that brings together a number of street foods from around the work into one place. A great place for big groups including plenty of options for vegans and vegos.
Here’s the low-down on the latest action-
The Beef: On a stick, obvi…ously. Is it just me or are people who actually say “obvi” in real life quite obnoxious? Doesn’t matter, I probably won’t be that popular after this review anyway– this place has indeed gotten rave reviews and I’m about to tip the scales. Disclaimer: this review pertains only to their Wednesday night service. I can’t speak for their regular menu/normal hours.
To be fair, yes, I went hungry, having arrived later than planned. I went expecting to eat – and a lot it for my money’s worth. We started with a round of beers and the coleslaw. When we tried to order from the skewer selection, the owner/waiter graciously offered to bring a pair of everything – yes! However, after we had exhausted our date conversation, my attention turned to eagle-eyeing every dish that came out of the kitchen, only disappointingly to get served to other tables. Thirty minutes later, that initial hunger still had not dissipated and turned in unedited “hangry-ness”. I whined, whimpered, sulked, and threatened to leave my date. So we ordered the quinoa salad, and another round of beers.
Then the first Styx magically arrived, and we were instantly appeased – and shut our mouths. The chicken satay was flawless, perfectly seasoned and oh-so tender. After a few bites, our moods were lifted and we were playful enough to start skewer-fighting, me ready to assume my innocent “oops-didn’t-mean-to-poke-your-eye-out” look at any moment. Alas, we were immediately distracted by the next barrage of skewers. They arrived in mini-batches and were all good, and just that. The teriyaki chicken was a bit too unctuously sweet, the beef was not as tender as I hoped, the tuna unmemorable, the sausage typical, the butternut squash slightly undercooked…the unexpected standout was the seitan (fake meat made from wheat gluten…so evil!). Overall, it was still a good experience and we left satisfied despite the initial bumps.
The Gang: Big groups of friends and a few couples, a posh and cool crowd. The outside tables were shared by two other restaurants and some people were ordering from the other places as well so it’s like 3 menus in one.
The Motive: Great for skewer fighting and testing your patience with your date. Also, I would absolutely go back for the chicken satay and salads (5-stars on both the coleslaw and quinoa).
The Damage: 188RMB all-you-can-eat skewers Wednesday “deal” (limited to 10 types and does not include drinks, from 6-9pm). “Deal” is in “air quotes” here because in reality, we still spent around $800RMB for two (with additional orders of 2 beers each and the 2 salads to share).
The Down n’ Dirty: Pretty clean. Honestly, this is important because a clean bathroom is a sign of a well-managed restaurant, despite seeming short-staffed.