The fiery Qi – The House of Sichuan, awarded One Michelin Star for three consecutive years in Hong Kong since 2016, has opened a new branch in Singpaore at the Marina Bay Financial Centre. Originally from Wan Chai, the chic restaurant has won rave reviews for its sexy, contemporary approach to Sichuan cuisine.
Currently the only Sichuan Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong, Qi was opened in 2013 and helmed by Head Chef Wong Chun Fai who is now in Singapore to ensure a smooth launch and to maintain the culinary standards. The menu in the Singapore branch is kept the same as that in Hong Kong, with the only variation being the use of locally sourced ingredients like fish and poultry. The spice level, seasonings and recipes used are kept consistent.
Spicy Sichuan dishes are not for everyone, but those who enjoy it swears by it. The spiciness is different from that of the regular chili spiciness that just burns your tongue – instead, authentic Sichuan dishes should reflect the “seven flavours of Sichuan” – spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, peppery and salty. Instead of just feeling hot throughout, it should be a sensory assault on your taste buds from all angles. You will feel a tingling numbness from the pepper, burning sensation from the chili, yet experience notes of bitter, sweet and savoury at the same time too.
I sampled the following dishes during a media tasting and was very satisfied with what I tried:
I like that the spiciness of the dishes are not one dimensional and do not leave you sticking your tongue out for water. Everyone can make super spicy dishes – just add more chili – but it takes skills to balance the spiciness to ensure that all the other sweet, bitter and savoury notes come into play too.
This is the beauty of all the dishes I sampled at Qi. They are all spicy dishes, but the spicy notes are different and they taste different.
The standout dish for me was the Chili Oil Wontons – Sichuan-style wontons enveloped in thin and silky wonton skin, coated in an intense, spicy and aromatic sauce of roasted chili oil, garlic and vinegar, the Slow-Cooked Black Angus Beef Short Ribs with Mala spice – tantalisingly tender Black Angus short ribs marinated in black pepper and sea salt overnight and stewed for 2 to 3 hours; and the Braised Garoupa Fish Fillet in Chilli Oil Soup. The latter is a mainstay of Sichuan cuisine and Qi’s version is less oily than traditional ones, making it healthier and drinkable.
“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, sophiscated flavours of the cuisine,” shared Chef Fai. At Qi, spices are specially imported from Sichuan and the restaurant is committed to the same cooking style as Qi’s restaurants in Hong Kong to bring authentic Sichuan dining to Singapore epicureans.
The 90-seater Qi is now open and is open daily. More details are available here.
Location: Marina Bay Financial Centre, Ground Plaza, #02-01
Tel: +65 6634 8277
Email: [email protected]