The Place Another Michelin related dining concept? Located adjacent to Forbidden Duck at Marina Bay Financial Centre, Qi – House of Sichuan hails from Hong Long and has been awarded One Michelin Star for three consecutive years since 2016 in Hong Kong. Helmed by Head Chef Wong Chun Fai, it is also the only Michelin starred Sichuan restaurant on the Michelin guide Hong Kong Macau.
The space of the 90-seater restaurant in Singapore takes on a contemporary oriental look in a casual dining setting.
The Food My first thought is whether the Singapore branch stays the same as Hong Kong, and it is comforting to learn that the cooking styles in Singapore remain consistent to Qi’s restaurants in Hong Kong. The theme of the dishes are contemporary Sichuan cuisine, prepared from spices imported from Sichuan, similar to Hong Kong. The Sichuan dishes here reflect the 7 flavours of Sichuan – spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, peppery and salty. You are able to request for less or more spiciness in your dishes, though it is really hard to gauge which is the most acceptable level for your palate if it is your first visit.
Some appetisers I had to start the meal are the Chilli Oil Wantons (S$12) and Bang Bang Chicken in Spicy Peanut Sauce (S$13). The former is very spicy, characterised by its very thin skin, and soaked with garlic and vinegar.
In comparison, the Bang Bang Chicken works better for me and is delicious with the peanut sauce instead of the usual sesame sauce.
For mains, I enjoyed the Sugar Glazed Ginger and Scallion Beef (S$25). Some diners may find this too sweet, but the crispy and tender beef is addictive and I think it will make a very good bar snack.
The Crispy Diced Chongqing Style Chicken with Cashews (S$38) is a familiar Sichuan dish for me, though this version is not at all spicy. I do not have a high tolerance for spiciness and this is not much different from a usual fried chicken.
Another meaty dish I tried is the Slow-Cooked Black Angus Beef Short Ribs with Mala Sauce (S$75), where the beef is marinated in black pepper and sea salt overnight. The beef was very tender, with a slight spice to entice the palate well.
Fancy a spicy Sichuan crab? The Chilli Fried Sri Lankan Crab (S$115) is fried with Sichuan spices, and does not taste as spicy as it looks. The price is fixed instead of the typical seasonal prices for crab, which is a good thing. That said, I do feel that the fresh crab meat is wasted by being fried this way.
Every Sichuan food lover should order the Braised Garoupa Fish Fillet in Chilli Oil Soup (S$40/small, S$50/large), prepared with loads of fried chilli pepper. This version is supposedly less oily than others, hence it is technically healthier and we were encouraged to drink the soup. I enjoyed the tender and fresh fish meat, though to stomach the soup is too much for me to bear. I do observe that some of my fellow diners who have no problems downing the soup.
To balance the meal, I also had the Vegetarian String Beans (S$18), which is just right in terms of the spiciness for me. A surprisingly enjoyable dish, despite its simple composition.
To conclude the meal, I had the crispy Red Bean Pancake (S$9). A good choice to end the meal with.
Rants The restaurant is quite dim at night, which may not go well with some diners. Even though the setting is quite casual, the prices of the dishes are relatively steep.
Will I Return Again? Expectations are high given the Michelin accolade of Qi. If you love Sichuan dishes, Qi only manages to hit the notes on a couple of mains during our dinner, and considering its steep pricing and accolades, we were slightly disappointed.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Qi – House of Sichuan
8A Marina Boulevard #02-01
Marina Bay Link Mall
11.30am to 3pm; 6pm to 10pm
Tel: +65 6634 8277
Ranted by The Ranter