Qi House of Sichuan
Authentic, Michelin-starred Sichuan that won’t kill you in one sitting
This next import from Hong Kong comes with a Michelin stamp of approval. Wan Chai-born Qi—House of Sichuan is Hong Kong's first Sichuan Michelin-starred restaurant, and has been for three consecutive years. Unfortunately you can’t fly Stars over as easily, but Qi's thoughtfully spiced Sichuan dishes put the Singapore outpost in good running for one.
The hype: This next import from Hong Kong comes with a Michelin stamp of approval. Wan Chai-born Qi—House of Sichuan first earned its Michelin Star in 2016, and managed to maintain it for three consecutive years. Unfortunately you can’t fly Stars over as easily, though we’re more than happy to welcome Hong Kong’s only Sichuan, Michelin-starred restaurant.
The vibe: Located in the Marina Bay Financial Centre, the Singapore outpost is a cozy 90-seater that shares its space with fellow Chinese restaurant Forbidden Duck (both are owned by the same group). Think a classic Chinese restaurant set-up, but made modern with sleek black tableware, red trimmings, and bold artworks of Chinese opera performers glaring down at you.
The food: Qi’s approach is authenticity with a touch of the contemporary. All the spices are imported direct from Sichuan, but there’s a certain elegance in the execution that saves the food from being just one dimensionally spicy.
For appetizers, you can’t go wrong with either wontons—the Chili Oil Wontons ($12) deliver the spicy kick you’d expect from a traditional Sichuan-style wonton, but it’s the Bang Bang Wontons ($13) we much prefer; substituting peanut sauce for sesame sauce, the dish tastes like a comforting, unexpected mouth of peanut butter.
Dig amongst the chilies for fiery pieces of Iberico pork in the Chili Fried Iberico Pork Sichuan Style ($45), or order the Sugar Glazed Ginger and Scallion Beef ($25). The sugar glazing on the latter gives the beef a strong honeyed crunch—a surprising feat given that no batter is used. The Chili Fried Sri Lankan Crab ($115) is also tasty, with a marinade that’s closer to fried chicken than crab; it’s a nice change from our usual Singaporean styles.
Up till this point, the sour-tinged Sichuan spice is very much manageable for the average Singaporean palate. Enter the Braised Garoupa Fish Fillet in Chili Oil Soup ($40), a force to be reckoned with and our star recommendation. It’s a classic Sichuan dish—with soft grouper fish fillet, mushrooms, bean sprouts and sweet potato noodles swimming in a massive well of dried chili peppers. The spicy broth is actually chicken broth without the standard layer of chili oil, so you can drink without fear of death; though slurping the spice-soaked noodles will make your lips tingle.
The drinks: To deal with the spice, the restaurant notoriously serves milk at $5 for a glass—which is a pretty penny to pay, but we’ll admit it does taste very fresh. There’re also Chinese teas ($3 per person), wines and spirits; though it might be fun trying some of Qi’s innovative cocktails and mocktails—like the Red Dragon ($16) cocktail of vodka, orange, cranberry and yuzu honey, or the Sichuan Cooler ($7) that mixes lychee, yakult and sprite.
Why you’ll be back: Qi is a fresh new addition to the local Sichuan dining scene, plus makes a great alternative for when you’re feeling fancier than hawker mala. The relaxed vibe and sharing style portions make the restaurant versatile enough to host both colleagues and extended family gatherings. The only downside: You’ll have to wade through the sea of bankers and corporate types to get a table. Try coming by on a weekend or dinner instead.
|Address:||Qi House of Sichuan, #02-01 Marina Bay Link Mall, 8A Marina Blvd., Singapore, 018984 Singapore|
|Area:||Central, Marina Bay|
|Price Range:||$ - $$|
|Opening hours:||daily 11:30am-3pm, 6-10pm|
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