3 must-try dishes at Singapore's very own Qi - House of Sichuan
Bring on the heat
The thought of Sichuan food probably brings to mind an onslaught of chilli heat and its numbing invasion of your cavities. We can’t blame you, when all that is within sight is usually a monochromatic sea of red.
Here to deliver a different sort of experience is the arrival of Hong Kong's famed Qi - House of Sichuan restaurant, which is sending waves throughout the gastronomical scene in Singapore. Helmed by head chef Wong Chun Fai, this one Michelin-starred Hong Kong restaurant is here to articulate the true complexity of Sichuan dishes — spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, peppery, and salty — with its contemporary interpretation of this history-rich cuisine. More than just a palate-crippling rush of heat, expect a symphony of complementing flavours in these noteworthy dishes. Below, our list of must-tries.
1. Slow-cooked black angus beef short ribs with mala sauce
Possibly our favourite of the lot, this dish nails the art of balancing spicy mala with the dish’s other natural flavours. Bringing the famed sauce to life are the sea salt and black pepper marinated black angus short ribs that have been stewed and grilled to a golden perfection. As a whole, this dish deviates from the usual aggression of mala dishes — its mala flavour permeates the black angus beef to become one with its milky tenderness, allowing the meat’s natural sweetness to take centre stage while asserting its presence to a reasonable and gratifying degree. There is no numbing sensation that renders the rest of the flavours an obscure figment of imagination; every component comes through to give a bold richness substantiated with more than just a piercing fieriness. Neither is the same without the either, and we couldn’t have asked for a better synchronisation of the deep and sharp.
2. Sugar glazed ginger and scallion beef
The perfect evidence to our claim, this second beef curation is one of the best-selling dishes at Qi, despite the absence of any “ma” (numbness) or “la” (spiciness). A crisp sugar-glaze gives a refreshing sweetness and textural vibrancy to the beef's tender insides, lending volumes to the simplicity of the sweet and savoury sauce. What we appreciate most about this dish? The intimate union of all contrasting elements, taste and texture alike.
3. Braised garoupa fish fillet in chilli oil soup
Finally, a dish as we know Sichuan cuisine to be — brimming with dried chilli peppers, garlic, basil together with a braised garoupa fish fillet, brace yourself for a sobering charge of spiciness. The sweet potato noodles are deceiving facades of comfort, while the chilli oil soup percolates each and every strand through and through. Call us sadistic, but downing this dish is a pleasurable pain we’ll gladly return to any day.
Other commendable dishes include the chilli oil wontons, chilli-fried Sri Lankan crab and vegetarian string beans. Chilli may remain as an indisputable feature of the Sichuan renditions here, but rest assured the conscious delivery of all 'seven flavours of Sichuan' will do more than just reasonable justice to this often-understated cuisine.
8A Marina Boulevard, #02-01 Marina Bay Link Mall
Opening hours:11.30am - 3pm, 6pm -10pm