It’s safe to say that with the unceasing influx of mala hawker stalls opening around the island, the Sichuan obsession is still going strong. For a break from your usual massive bowls of stir-fry mala though, take your penchant for spicy, sour flavors to a Michelin-starred import from Hong Kong.
Located at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, Qi—House of Sichuan is just a month old since it first landed on our spice-loving shores. And there’s more than meets the eye; Qi is currently the only Sichuan Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong, and has steadfastly maintained its One Michelin Star for three consecutive years. The Singapore outpost is a cozy 90-seater that first opened on May 3—so now you don’t have to fly all the way to Wan Chai for a taste of the restaurant’s lauded contemporary approach to Sichuan cuisine.
On the menu are classic appetizers like Chili Oil Wontons ($12) and Bang Bang Chicken in Spicy Peanut Sauce ($13)—silky Sichuan-style wontons in aromatic roasted chili oil sauce and vinegar, and Qi’s version of the fan favorite dish that substitutes peanut sauce for the usual sesame sauce, respectively. The mains keep the heat coming with Slow-Cooked Black Angus Beef Short Ribs with Mala Sauce ($75) and a deadly Braised Garoupa Fish Fillet in Chili Oil Soup ($40-$50). At those prices, somehow we think we’d be contented with an entire meal just popping the crunchy Bang Bang Chicken.
To maintain a level of authenticity, all the spices used at Qi are imported from Sichuan—a necessity Head Chef Wong Chun Fai of the Hong Kong original swears by. “The secret (to great Sichuan cuisine) is using traditional chili and peppers imported from Sichuan, as well as ginger and garlic, to bring out the authentic, sophisticated flavors of the cuisine,” he said. The restaurant also utilizes the same cooking style as the Qi in Hong Kong. If you can stomach a little midday spice, a Marina Bay lunch beckons.
Qi—House of Sichuan is open daily (11:30am-3pm, 6-10pm) at #02-01, Marina Bay Link Mall.