Sichuan cuisine is known for its deep and bold flavours, particularly the abundance of spice and pungent flavours owing to its liberal use of chilli peppers and garlic.
Spicy food is known to trigger release of pleasant endorphins, as such it is no wonder Sichuan food has long been a hit with both Chinese and foreigners alike. The likes of Ma Po Dou Fu, La Zi Ji (Chongqing-style dry-fried chicken with chillis), Shui Zhu Yu (tender fish in hot broth and chilli oil), and Hui Guo Rou (double-cooked pork belly) are just a few items in a long list of all-time favourite dishes enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.
Lao Sichuan Restaurant, with 3 outlets under its belt, is one of the go-to places in Singapore if you are craving for some tongue-numbing, bold flavours that pack a fiery punch. The owner and executive chef Lai Wen Guang, formerly of Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant fame, has close to 30 years of experience both in China and in Singapore under his belt.
Did you know? Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching once patronised the restaurant, choosing to have a Father's Day meal here at Lao Sichuan Restaurant back in 2016!
We were invited for a food tasting session, and here we round down some of the must-order dishes when you come to Lao Sichuan Restaurant.
1. Spicy Deep-Fried Diced Chicken ($16.80 - Small, $32.80 - Large)
The definite must-order dish at Lao Sichuan - their Signature Chong Qing La Zi Ji, or spicy deep-fried diced chicken. Such is the popularity of this dish; you'll find it at almost every table on any given day.
Diced chicken is deep fried till golden brown and tossed in a potent mound of bright red dried chillis, Sichuan peppercorns, peanuts, and garlic slices. Each bite of the perfectly crisp diced chicken will give you a juicy explosion of flavours in your mouth. According to them, these diced chicken bits stay crispy for hours, even after they have been packed for takeaway.
The spice level ranges from mild to an intense hell fire-level blaze. Let the staff know your tolerance level and they will prepare a suitable level accordingly.
2. Water-Boiled Fish ($16.80 - Small, $36.80 - Large)
Shui Zhu Yu, loosely translated to "water-cooked fish", is made by poaching marinated fish slices, usually snakehead, catfish, or grass carp, in boiling broth. Generous quantities of the usual suspects - dried chillis and Sichuan peppercorns are tossed in for that all-too-familiar kick. Hot chilli oil is then drizzled over the broth.
3. Shredded Pork with Minced Garlic Chilli Sauce ($14.80)
This sweet, tangy, spicy, and savoury dish comprises of minced garlic chilli sauce made in-house, shredded pork, black fungus, and bamboo shoots. The latter two are indispensable ingredients which provide the dish with a crunchy texture.
Copious amounts of bean paste, pickled chilli peppers, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar gives this dish the four distinct flavours mentioned earlier for a taste known as "鱼香 (yu xiang)", or loosely translated to as "fish fragrance". Yu Xiang is a popular seasoning used in Chinese cuisine, and typically does not contain seafood.
4. Deep-fried Duck with Yam ($19.80)
Made by deep-frying duck meat in yam, this delectable dish was incredibly crispy on the outside, yet creamy and smooth on the inside. The yam helped to enhance the flavours of the duck meat, providing a sweet and earthy profile to contrast the savoury and meaty flavours of the duck meat. Must-try dish in our books.
5. Claypot Pork Stomach and Chicken Herbal Soup ($18.80)
Chinese believe in the restorative powers of a nourishing bowl of soup, and this Claypot Pork Stomach and Chicken Herbal Soup comes jam packed with goodies. Not only is the broth rich in collagen, dang gui (Angelica roots) and red dates are believed to help improve blood circulation and nourish your liver respectively.
6. Laoshan Premium Beer ($10.80)
If you have been to China, you would have seen this Laoshan beer in every nook and cranny of the country. Brewed by the Tsingtao brewery, the same company behind the similarly ubiquitous Tsingtao beer, Laoshan beer is a light and pale lager which uses spring water from Laoshan, a mountain along the coastline of Shandong.
It has a clean and crisp taste profile, something which complements the spiciness of Sichuan cuisine well.
Celebrating an occasion, or hosting some important guests and looking for a private room? Lao Sichuan has you covered with multiple VIP rooms to ensure you and your guests can enjoy yourselves in upmost comfort.
meREWARDS 1-for-1 Deals
Flash your meREWARDS app at any of Lao Sichuan's 3 outlets to enjoy 1-for-1 deals on their Signature Spicy Chicken, Black Pepper Beef, Stirred Fried Green Chili Pork (($26.80), 5-pc BBQ Skewers ($12), or Laoshan Bottled Beer ($10.80)!
Lao Sichuan (Link Hotel)
Address: Link Hotel, 50 Tiong Bahru Rd, Singapore 168733
Opening Hours: Daily 11am - 5am
Nearest MRT Station: Tiong Bahru Station
Lao Sichuan (Holland Village)
Address: 24A Holland Village, Singapore 277683
Opening Hours: Mon 5pm - 3am, Tue - Sun 11am - 3am
Nearest MRT Station: Holland Village Station
Lao Sichuan (Selegie Road)
Address: 9 Selegie Road, #01-31, Singapore 180009
Opening Hours: Daily 11am - 2am
Nearest MRT Station: Rochor Station
Looking for other supper spots serving Chinese food? Check out our review here of BBQ Box Prime at Clarke Quay, which is open on some days till as late as 4am!
This is an independent review brought to you by meREWARDS.