It’s safe to say that the average Singaporean loves spice.
The culinary tradition is founded on seven different flavour profiles: spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, flowery (from the peppercorns), and salty. This beautiful dovetail of ingredients, techniques and flavours come together in perfect harmony and distinguishes itself from other regional cuisines in the rest of China.
Sichuan cuisine has gained much traction in Singapore, especially with the easy to order mala xiang guo. Yet, the multi-faceted cuisine is a lot more than a bowl of spicy, stir-fried ingredients. The tingly, flowery Sichuan peppercorn lays the foundation, all whilst being tempered and balanced by the six other flavours.
If you find yourself drawn to the fiery plates despite the heat, you’ve found the right place. Here, read on for the best Sichuan restaurants in town that deliver straight to your doorstep.
Chef/partner Pang Kok Keong has dreamed up a menu of mouth-watering dishes in Sichuan Alley that you don’t want to miss. Think starchy noodle strands coated with a seasoning sauce made with Sichuanese peppercorn oil, chilli oil, sesame paste and sesame oil, in the Signature Dan Dan Noodle, topped with juicy minced pork, preserved Sichuanese sprouts and Chinese mushrooms. Need some sides with your mains? We recommended the Funky Pork Liver and the Fried Crispy Pig Intestines.
Qi – House of Sichuan
If Qi – House of Sichuan sounds all too familiar to you, then you’ll know that it’s the Singaporean outpost of the original Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong. Apart from the vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup, the slippery Chili Oil Wontons and Mapo Tofu are also perennial favourites amongst regulars here.
Birds of a Feather
Sichuan cuisine can be elevated, and Birds of a Feather proves just that. Here, you’ll find fusion dishes that harmonise the classic Sichuan flavours with dishes all over the world. The Hot and Sour Chazuke, for instance, marries the refreshing Japanese dish with the iconic hot and sour soup, while the Spicy Oriental Bolognese is perfect for lovers of the Italian noodle.
You’ll probably need a glass (or five) of milk when you’re digging into the dishes from Chengdu. Thankfully for us, no one’s going to judge us for sweating off the heat at home. Popular dishes include the Spicy Chili Chicken, but if you’re up for a bit of challenge, the Spicy Grilled Frog Skewer is a traditional street food you won’t want to miss. Need something soupy to go with your rice? The Fish with Green Pepper Soup sees a fresh, tender sea bass simmered in green pepper soup and topped off with fresh Sichuan pepper.
Si Chuan Dou Hua
Before the wave of Sichuan cuisine took hold in Singapore, Si Chuan Dou Hua had already won the hearts of many with their rendition of the regional cuisine. The Boiled sliced fish with Sichuan pepper sauce is a must-order, while the Bean Curd in Spiced Meat Sauce sees a beautiful bed of homemade bean curd that’s topped with an addictive dressing, great with a bowl of warm rice.
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore.