Kou Shui Ji 口水鸡 @ S$8
Mouth Watering/Salivating Chicken
In our quest to try as many Sichuan
restaurants as possible in Singapore, my Sichuan buddies
and I first visited Chuan Wang Fu
at Teck Chye Terrace about a year back. This has become one of my favorite Sichuan restaurants in Singapore and I found myself visiting it on an almost weekly basis in the first 6 months or so. I am still a regular every 3 weeks or so (had to reduce my chili intake due to my lifelong gastric problem).
Kou Shui Ji (Mouthwatering Chicken) is a starter of chilled chunks of poached chicken marinated in a spicy Sichuan peppercorn and chili sauce. The Kou Shui Ji served here was warm and the flesh was bordering on the dry side. TTC felt that the chicken must have been microwaved before serving. How strange, why would they need to microwave a cold dish? The Sichuan peppercorn and chili sauce was not as tongue-numbing as we would have liked it but had a pretty strong flavour of peanuts, which seemed to be more consistent with the flavour of Bang Bang Chicken instead. SH, who loves nuts more than I do, loved the gravy very much and ate most of the dish.
Hot & Sour Soup 四川酸辣汤 @ S$8
During one of our more recent visits, SH and I decided to try the Hot & Sour Soup. It looked a little different from the ones served in most Chinese restaurants. I guess it’s because that there wasn’t as many strips of Black Fungus, Bamboo Shoots, Chinese Mushroom and Tofu in the soup nor was there a noticeable dollop of Chili Oil as the restaurant version. I added a little chili oil to my bowl as I like it a little spicier. Considering the portion here serves about 8 people (a bowl each), this was a pretty good deal especially since it tasted really good. At first glance, the soup looked unimpressive. The first spoonful didn’t sting with the acidity of vinegar nor did it burn or numb with the spiciness of Chili and Sichuan Peppercorns. However, as I continued to drink it, I came to appreciate the balance of peppery spiciness, the delicate tang of vinegar and the savouriness of the stock. This is worth a try for no frills, home-style Hot & Sour Soup!
Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 @ S$10
The Mapo Tofu here is cooked with minced pork that had been fried beforehand. The dish was topped with Ground Sichuan Peppercorns, Dried Chili Flakes and Chopped Spring Onions. This is a slight variation from the Mapo Tofu that I’ve had at other Sichuan restaurants as they’re usually served with only chopped Spring Onions.
The tofu cubes were soft and flavoured with a spicy bean sauce and as we had stirred in the ground Sichuan Peppercorns, there was just a tinge of tongue-numbingness to this dish. It was excellent eaten with warm steamed rice. By far the best Mapo Tofu I’ve had in Singapore for a while. This is a MUST-TRY!
Chong Qing La Zi Ji 重庆辣子鸡 @ S$16
Spicy Deep-Fried Chicken
The deep-fried chicken bits were dry and didn’t have enough Sichuan Peppercorns or at least a strong enough varietal to induce a strong tongue-numbing and lip-swelling sensation that is characteristic of Sichuan cuisine
. In all, though it was a fairly decent interpretation, it will be far better if the chicken pieces were crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Kung Po Chicken 宫保鸡丁 @ S$12
The Kung Po Chicken fared better as the chicken pieces were succulent and coated with the savoury, slightly spicy and tangy sauce. The Roasted Peanuts added a fragrant crunch to the dish. Definitely worth a try if you are not into a tongue-numbing experience.
Gan Bian Si Ji Dou 干煸四季豆 @ S$10
String Beans Fried with Preserved Mustard Greens
The Gan Bian Si Ji Dou here is delicious as the black bits of Preserved Mustard Green (aka Sichuan Ya Cai) add a salty flavour that is a perfect accompaniment to steamed rice. The beans are sometimes nicely seared on the outside giving it a nice crispy texture and other times, they are softer though thankfully they are not mushy.
Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树 @ S$8
Stewed Mung Bean Vermicelli with Minced Pork in Spicy Bean Sauce
Ma Yi Shang Shu (literally translated: Ants Climbing up a Tree) is one of my favourite dishes served in many Sichuan restaurants (though I have been told that it is not a traditional Sichuan dish). It is next to impossible to find a place in Singapore that serves it. This is the 3rd place I’ve found so far that served the dish.
The reason for the intriguing name for this dish is because when one picks up some of the vermicelli with a pair of chopsticks, the minced pork that clings to the mung bean threads resemble ants climbing up a tree.
Unfortunately, the version served here didn’t hit any high notes with all of us as the flavour was not rich enough nor was the dish spicy enough.
Shui Zhu Yu 水煮鱼片 @ S$14
This is our all time favourite dish at Chuan Wang Fu. The Shui Zhu Yu (loosely translated to mean “water cooked fish”) looks intimidating with the copious amount of Dried Chili Flakes, Ground Sichuan Peppercorns, Chili Oil and Chopped Garlic on its surface. However, fear not for the burn factor here is not as insane as those that we have tried at some other Sichuan restaurants. The food in this restaurant is suitable for beginner Sichuan food aficionados.
We love having Mung Bean Vermicelli in our Shui Zhu Yu so we were disheartened when we realised that there was none in the standard pot. Since then our order is to replace the vegetables in this dish with Mung Bean Vermicelli. The reason for the swap is because the Mung Bean Vermicelli absorbs the flavours of the stock far more efficiently than vegetables or fish. This dish is excellent with Mung Bean Vermicelli instead and made up for the disappointment with the Ma Yi Shang Shu. The spices were well-balanced whilst the fish was consistently fresh and tender. This is definitely a MUST-TRY!
Hui Guo Rou 重庆回锅肉 @ S$12
Yet another dish with an interesting name, Hui Guo Rou loosely translates to mean Pork Returning to the Pot. However, it is essentially a dish of Pork Belly that had been boiled first, then sliced thinly and seared in a hot wok with Spicy Bean Sauce and Leek. The Hui Guo Rou here is perfectly executed with crisp surfaces and juicy interiors. As the Spicy Bean Sauce can get quite salty, this dish should be eaten with steamed rice. This is a MUST-TRY as its the best I’ve had so far in Singapore.
Chuan Wang Fu Spicy Hotpot
9 Teck Chye Terrace
Junction of Boundary Road and Upper Serangoon Road
Tel: +65 6445-5867 / 9298-9745
369 Sembawang Road
#01-03/04 Sembawang Cottage
Tel: +65 6445-5867 / 9298-9745