The Place The latest addition to Raffles City basement, Riverside Grilled Fish (江边城外) is probably no stranger to foodies whom have visited its original restaurants in China. With 54 outlets across the country, the restaurant specialises in its grilled whole fish dishes using classic Chong Qing recipes. We checked out their Singapore outlet which spots an oriental interior décor with a huge seating capacity of up to 150 pax, located right beside Din Tai Fung at the basement of the mall. This is also the brand’s its first location outside China.
The Food One word to aptly summarise – spicy. The signature grilled fishes consist of Red Tilapia, Sea Bass, Black Pomfret, or Garoupa, where you get to choose from eight different types of sauces. Prices of the different fishes range from $36 to $42. The best part I feel is that you also get to choose from 18 different types of side dishes such as sausages, pork belly, tofu sheets and flat vermicelli to be cooked along with the whole grilled fish – at an additional cost of S$2.50 – S$4.50 per side dish.
We tried the Sea Bass and Garoupa with the Signature Fragrant Spicy Sauce and Unique Sauce. Other than the spiciness which struck my moderate spice level tolerance palate, there is no doubt about the freshness of the fishes, which I heard are locally sourced. You can’t customise the spiciness level of the sauces here as the brand wants to stay true to its authenticity, but be rest assured that you will be satisfied by the Signature Fragrant Spicy Sauce (香辣味) if spiciness is your calling. The main ingredients of this sauce includes dried chilli, diced spring onions, sesame, yellow beans and peanuts, made freshly in-house.
The adventurous sauce to go for here will be the Unique Sauce (怪味), a collision of sweet, sour and Ma La flavours, while the classic Ma La sauce is made with a combination of Ma La spices, dried chilli, pepper, onions and coriander. There are other non-spicy sauces like the Black Bean Sauce (豆豉味), a combination of black beans and coriander.
For side dishes, my top pick is the Pan-fried Rice Cake with Soya Powder (蛋煎糍粑 – S$6.80), which reminds me of our local Muah Chee. The rice cakes are pan-fried with eggs, hence the slightly crisp texture, then sprinkled with Soya powder. There is also the Pan-fried Shredded Pancake (手抓饼 – S$4.80), akin to our local Roti Prata.
Other notable side dishes include the Si Chuan Crispy Duck (川西遇香鸭 – S$12.80) and Si Chuan Flat Noodles (川北凉粉 – S$4.80). The duck is prepared over a three step process, by first marinating the duck in Juniper spice then steaming the duck till it is tender and finally deep frying it to give it the crisp skin. However, I found it too dry for my liking. As for the Si Chuan Flat Noodles, which has more than 90 years of history, the noodles are made with quality soy beans sourced directly from Sichuan. The red spicy sauce really did whet up my appetite.
If you are planning to bring your children along, Riverside Grilled Fish also offers a children’s bento set consisting of egg fried rice, sausages, and custard bun at S$6.80. This bento set (including utensils) comes free of charge for diners whose children are under five years old.
Rants If you cannot take spicy food well, this is definitely not a place for you. Although Rantee enjoyed his dinner here, despite sweating alittle (too much).
Will I Return Again? Come here with 2-3 more friends, order a grilled fish and a couple of the side dishes, and if you are a fan of spices, this will definitely be a very satisfying meal.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Riverside Grilled Fish 江边城外
Raffles City Shopping Centre, #B1-06/07
252 North Bridge Road
Tel: +65 6352 2035
Daily: 11am to 10 pm (Last order 9.30 pm)
Ranted by The Ranter