Review: Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant in Chinatown
In 2011, UNESCO declared Chengdu to be city of gastronomy in recognition of the sophistication of its cooking. Chengdu cuisine is known to encompass three broad categories: Sichuan, Hotpot and Snacks. Of these, Sichuan cuisine is notable for its bold and fiery flavours from liberal use of garlic, peppercorns and chilli.
My husband, on a couple of his business trips to Chengdu, had particularly enjoyed their Sichuan cuisine. So much so that he deigned to dine alone in the restaurant, ordering from the menu in words that seemed Greek to him!
One of the items he loved was the appetiser, Sichuan Jelly Noodles (川北凉粉 – $6.80). Made of mung bean flour, these firm translucent jelly strips were served in a nutty, sweet and piquant sauce. At the Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant in Singapore’s Chinatown, the noodles were firm to the bite and easy to pick up with chopsticks. We loved the bursts of flavours in every bite.
Other appetisers that we thoroughly enjoyed were Cucumbers in Garlic (蒜泥黄瓜 – $4.80) and Spicy Marinated Chicken (口水鸡 – $7.80).
For mains, we tried a Chengdu specialty, the Cumin-flavoured Pork Ribs (手抓排骨 – $15.80). Juicy and flavourful, these pork ribs must have been marinated in cumin, chilli and those tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Deliciously addictive!
For a change, we also ordered what looked to be a Cantonese specialty – the Special Roasted Chicken (吊烧鸡 – $14.80). To be honest, it looked rather sad in comparison with the colourful dishes on the table. Just brown with just a bit of sauce. However, it tasted far better than it looked – succulent and aromatic, with a hint of five-spice powder.
We rounded off the meal with a homely vegetable dish, Stir-fried Eggplant (锅仔茄条 – $13.80), which just hit the spot. Strips of eggplant wok-fried with a bit of soya sauce, garlic cloves and fresh chilli.
The restaurant was buzzing on a Friday evening. We had called around lunch time to book a table for four at 7pm that evening. We had to – it would be full at that time. By the time our dinner party of four arrived just after 7pm, we were given a table on the second floor of the shophouse. Overall, the food was good and reasonably priced. This dinner for four of us totalled just under $100.
Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant
80 – 82 Pagoda Street, Singapore 059239
Tel: 6222 6858
Opening Hours: 11am to 12am (Daily)
Nearest MRT: Chinatown MRT (on Northeast line)
Joh Ju is a PR professional specialising in B2B communications for clients in life sciences and hi-technology industries. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring Singapore for unique finds and good food that can be shared with her friends, family and the odd strays in the neighbourhood.
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