7/F, M88, 2 Wellington St, Central
+852 2521 6699
Those who love Sichuan cuisine live by one motto: the spicier, the better. From the initial tingle on the tongue to the strange numbing sensation and the long, slow burn in the pit of your stomach, consuming ‘ma la’ food from China’s Sichuan province is as much about the sensory experience as it is about flavour. While some restaurants show restraint to cater to a mass audience, Sichuan House is doing it differently, adhering to the tradition of serving each of its dishes mouth-numbingly hot – with a simple warning: eat if you dare.
Patrons should be prepared for a shock to the system, but that doesn’t mean the food rests on the laurels of spice alone. Any good Sichuan cook knows that the satisfaction comes from the layers of complex flavours and aftertastes – nuances that are well understood by Sichuan House’s culinary team.
A former apprentice of the nationally recognised Sichuan cuisine master, Peng Ziyu, Chef Wu Hung Chu has come onboard as restaurant consultant to impart his knowledge of traditional spices and techniques. Meanwhile, Head Chef Yu Hing Ling delivers the day-to-day execution with more than 28 years of culinary experience behind him. Both are well versed in nailing the blend of spicy, sweet, salty, sour and bitter that is crucial to the cuisine.
While Sichuan House adheres closely to traditional methods and flavours, it delivers its dishes with a clean and contemporary presentation. The commitment to the regional cuisine can also be seen in the use of spices that are flown in directly from Sichuan.
From the snacks, hit the ground running with the beef tripe, beef tongue and beef shank in chilli sauce – a three-hit wonder that’s off the richter on the spice scale. The Mouth Watering Chicken, served sitting in a pool of bright red chilli oil, is another tongue tingler, while the pork jowls are tender and crisp under a coating of dried chilli.
At this point, it may be wise to cool off with the iced black fungus or the honey-glazed crispy eel before diving back into the red zone. It’s no-holds-barred when it comes to the mains: try the poached sliced Angus beef in chilli broth accompanied by mung bean noodles and bean sprouts, the premium red pepper dry-rubbed prawns and the signature Poached Mandarin Fish Slices in a fierce chilli broth that resembles a restless volcano.
Even the more innocuous-sounding dishes on the menu could be secretly hiding a firebreathing battalion. Even so, you can find respite in dishes such as the stir-fried pea noodles with preserved vegetables, chilled chicken with green onion and peppercorn oil and the braised pork belly in a clay pot.
Whether you’re dipping your toes in the water or preparing for battle, you should look towards the drinks list for a cooling oasis, curated with quality wines, beers and cocktails from around the world.
One way or another, you’re sure to make it through to the other side, stomach sated and satisfied, and high off the adrenaline rush of having tackled the fiery meal like a true Sichuan native.