Numbing peppercorns and burning heat, we’re addicted to Szechuan cuisine. Hit these restaurants in Singapore for your Mala fix!
We love our spicy food, from sambal to proper Indian cuisine but there’s something about the Szechuan, or Sichuan spice that is just so addictive. Perhaps it’s because there’s seven aspects of flavour in its dishes – spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, peppery, and also salty. This numbingly spicy cuisine is definitely not for the faint-hearted but hotheads everywhere will always put themselves through the heavenly torture… again and again.
Qi – House of Sichuan
We just checked out this Hot New Table and there’s a reason why Qi was awarded the Michelin star in Hong Kong. Sticking true to the traditional palate, you’ll find a great range of dishes, from dumplings to grilled short ribs in mala sauce that really pack in the heat. Best part is that you can request for how spicy you want your dishes to be. While classic dishes look intimidating with all the chilli, there are non-spicy and kid-friendly options too like the sugar glazed ginger and scallion beef. Drowning from heat? Ask for a glass of milk at Qi.
Qi – House of Sichuan, 8A Marina Boulevard, #02-01, Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore 018984
Get a serious hit of heat at Chengdu and oh, bring along extra tissues. Don’t underestimate anything – seemingly mild green pickled beef comes back to haunt a few seconds later. This authentic Sichuan place went OTT with the sweet and spicy grilled frog skewers – it’s served on a opera singing straw boat with dry ice smoke for effect. Apart from the usual suspects – hot pot and spicy chicken – we were breathing fire long after biting into the chili beef served on a crunchy fried honeycomb corn pastry. Did we go for seconds? You betcha
Chengdu, 74 Amoy Street, Singapore 069893
Birds of a Feather
Looking for a more updated take on this spicy as heck cuisine? Birds of a Feather serves up Western cuisine with a touch of Sichuan. And by ‘a touch’ we mean generous sprinkling of peppercorns and splashings of Sichuan red oil (made in-house!) on almost all the dishes. If you like innovative dishes, you’ll enjoy their take of smelly tofu. The peculiarly named Bird’s Not Stinky Tofu is actually Japanese abura-age pockets stuffed with a blend of silken tofu and Vieux Lille, a ripe cheese (where the ‘stinky’ comes from) and served on a bed of soy beans and pickled beets. Go straight for the hot ones like the Sweating Mussel (blue mussels in a spicy-sour broth) and Red Birdie Noodles (Hiyamugi noodles in red oil sauce and brined poached chicken).
Birds of a Feather, 115 Amoy Street #01-01, Singapore 069935
Si Wei Mao Cai
One of the OGs of Szechuan cuisine in Singapore, Si Wei Mao Cai serves up authentic dishes brimming with peppercorns and heaps of dried chilli. Service is non-existent, but hey, this is often a good sign that the food is legit. Signature dishes include the boiled fish fillet in hot Szechuan pepper sauce, Miao Jia eggplant and fried diced chicken with dried chilli. There’s no dumbing down when it comes to spiciness here so step inside and dine only if you can handle the heat.
Si Wei Mao Cai, 33 Mosque St, Singapore 059511
Need a Halal fix of Szechuan food? Le Fuse offers plenty of options, including fusion-Malay dishes. Curious about how Soto Sichuan or Beef Dendeng Sichuan might taste like? It’s on the menu, along with some other more traditional fare like Chong Qing Noodles, the popular fried diced chicken with dried chilli and of course, Mala Tang, a spicy soup with meat and vegetables.
Le Fuse, 22 Lim Tua Tow Rd, Singapore 547772
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