Sichuan House @ Spice Up Your Appetite

For hot and spicy food lovers, how much spicy is enough to satisfy your palette? Sometimes, to enjoy a decent degree of spicy food is not only for the level of spiciness intake but also could be able to taste the dish itself. Aside from the chilies and pepper, what could numb you but yet with a presentable palette and after taste when you opt for the fiery meals, it is not so straight forward anymore. In China’s Sichuan cuisine, spiciness can take on a full array of different styles and forms. Among these various spiciness “models”, the one in Chengdu is considered to involve the richest combination of aftertastes: hotness, numbness, fragrance, sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitternessSichuan House has it says. Sichuan House, the newly opened Sichuan restaurant in Central has specially invited Wu Hung Chu, former apprentice of the nationally recognised Sichuan cuisine master Peng Ziyu, to bring with him Chengdu’s spicy culture to Hong Kong.  Wu is skilled at selecting different kinds of Sichuan spices and foodstuff for cross-over culinary attempts, offering traditional-style Sichuan cuisine with westernized presentation who craves for spicy delicacies.

<Bashu Spicy Prawn> - Fiery Hot
Have your napkin and drinks ready, this dish is seriously hot. A new species of Sichuan pepper is ground into powder and then added to big prawns from Vietnam, which are finally fried with deep fried chopped garlic. The prawns offer pleasant freshness as well as an intense chilli flavour, and fans of very spicy food will most probably find this dish a test of their spiciness limits. Hence, the more you eat, the more your crave.

Even the nibbles are appetizing and prepared in Sichuan's routine. The <Eight-Treasure Tea> includes a tea-lid, a teacup and a tea-saucer, and is therefore also known as “three-cannon-set” in Chinese. This is a healthy tea which promotes digestion and benefits day-to-day human metabolism. Red dates, Chinese wolfberries, dried longans, rock sugar, chrysanthemums, chenpi and Chinese liquorice apart from jasmine tea leaves are the combination.

<Crispy Pork Jowls> - Mild
Fresh pork jowls are diced and deep fried until they become crispy. Premium Sichuan pepper, chilli powder and sugar are added in for a fusion of crispiness, sweetness and spiciness. A good snack to start with despite the texture of the meat is on the dry and tough.

<Mouth Watering Chicken> - Moderate

This is always the must-have dish to order when dine in any Sichuan restaurant. Fresh deboned chicken legs are fixed onto bamboo picks and then soaked in a unique, spicy oil consisting of 24 different spices, including “facing heaven” pepper from Guizhou and “two-twig” pepper from Sichuan. The tenderness of the chicken combined with this sensation of mouth-numbing spiciness will appeal to even those who do not generally relish hot dishes. Basic entry for spicy food lover.

<Pork Belly in Crushed Garlic and Coriander Herb> - Light
This dish is perfect for the interval, to clean the palette before the journey proceed, even for your company that can't take spicy food. Directly arriving in Hong Kong by air from Sichuan daily, coriander with a strong, mouth-watering fragrance is wrapped around with sliced fresh local pork and seasoned with the chef’s special garlic spicy sauce. Simply scrumptious.

<Iced Gastrodia Elata> - Non Spicy except you dip it with wasabi
This dish is rather a stranger to the local ad it is a precious source of Chinese medicine, Gastrodia elata is especially effective in combating symptoms like migraine. This heat-relieving cold dish, fresh Gastrodia elata is made into thick slices and put upon ice, which can then be enjoyed with the accompanying chilli soya sauce or wasabi according to personal preferences. Not really our cup of tea.

<Old Sichuan Translucent Beef Slices> - Mild
Love the name of it. Translucent or transparent. Fresh beef is frozen for over 8 hours before it is, with the chef’s astonishing cutting skills, made into slices so thin that they are permeable to light. These are then deep fried to achieve crispiness and cooked with such spices as new varieties of Sichuan pepper and tangerine peel. This dish can really test the skill of the chef for making it right.

<Neijiang Fried Sea Cucumber> - Mild
The presentation of this dish is rather uninviting, the alien look-a-like cucumber is buried with minced meat and trumpet mushroom. It does looks like the Alien will come back in love and ready to hunt for its prey. However, the sea cucumbers are first braised in premium broth for 6 days, and then “facing heaven” pepper, fresh “two-twig” pepper from Hunan, Yibin bean sprouts from Sichuan. Free from excessive oil and very appetizing, this dish is to be enjoyed after wrapping the sea cucumbers and other ingredients with lettuce.

<Pi Country Fish in Douban Sauce> - Mild

Sliced fresh Chinese perch is seasoned with renowned douban paste from Pi County, du garlic, pao pepper and little yellow ginger to create this dish. Giving the most exceptional flavour of soya beans, douban paste from Pi County represents the top-of-the-list choice for the Sichuan people. Unfortunately, this dish was rather cold when it comes to the table.

<Fish Fillets in Hot Chili Oil> - Moderate
Another classic signature must-order dish in Sichuan restaurant. Poached fish in chilli oil is definitely representative of Sichuan cuisine. For this Chengdu-style poached Chinese fish in chilli oil, an entire fresh Mandarin Fish is sliced and then cooked in a special chilli oil which is consistent with the practice in Chengdu, Sichuan. The sauce contains more than 20 spices transported all the way from Sichuan to Hong Kong by air (such as premium Sichuan green pepper which intensifies the mouth-numbing sensation), and takes over 4 hours for the cooking to finish. Other condiments and ingredients as starch sheets, stem lettuce and soy bean sprouts are also put in for creating this famous Sichuan delight that is enjoyed by adults and children alike. As always, the beauty for enjoying this dish somehow is the the fish but the other condiments and ingredients at the bottom of the dish which absorbed all flavours.

<Tea-flavoured Duck with Chicken Fillings> - Non Spicy
Very creative dish and very innovative presentation. Fresh chicken meat is blended to small pieces and then filled into a duck which has been slightly smoked with tea. The lovely scent of tieguanyin tea leaves of the dish means that you will definitely “love it at first taste”, as though you had all of a sudden gained considerable insight as to why people from Sichuan fancy tea so much.

<Candied Banana Fritters> - Non Spicy
Always enjoy watching the presentation. Fresh bananas are dipped into a batter made with flour and eggs before they are deep fried into long strips and then fried with sugar and sesame. Upon serving, the steaming hot bananas will be placed in iced water for rapid cooling such that the sugar on the outside becomes crispy while the bananas are still soft inside. With this unparalleled texture, the dish is among the most classic desserts that have ever been created.

Ambience: 3/5
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5

7/F, M88, 2 Wellington Street, 
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2521 6699

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