Hong Kong: Sijie Sichuan Restaurant (四姐川菜)

My love for Sichuan food blossomed during my business trip to Shanghai a few years back, where the client brought us to a really good Sichuan restaurant. Before that, I always turned my nose up to their food, which is usually covered with a mountain load of dried chilies and soaked in oil. Understandably, they don’t look very appetizing to me. However, when I first tried the boiled fish covered soaked in oil and chili (水煮鱼), I was hooked. It was as scarily spicy as it looked and so fragrant due to all the other spices added.

In Hong Kong, there are no lacking of Sichuan restaurants. So far, I have tried San Xi Lou (三希樓) and Man Jing Hong (滿江紅). Both were very good, although my colleagues had tummy upset from so much spicy stuff. I have seen a lot of good reviews of Sijie and I was dying to try it. Many say that this is one of the best (if not the best) Sichuan places in Hong Kong. First impression when we walked into the place was that it smells sooo good! That was a good sign. I must say I quite like it, though the main grouse may be that it is not spicy enough. I like their concept of having fixed prices (HKD 280) and dishes (depending on number of persons). Coincidentally, the restaurant’s location is in the same building as Uno Duo Trio. For appetizers, we got the spicy cold noodles and saliva chicken.  Despite the scary amount of dried chili paste on top, the cold noodles were not very spicy, and slightly tangy too. The saliva chicken wasn’t very good though, and slightly bland.

I really liked the boiled fish here! Although the spices are mild, the fish was oh-so-smooth. Also worth mentioning is the oodles of transparent flat noodles hidden below the fish. I love their chewy consistency and heard that the restaurant makes them. So perhaps, it wasn’t too smart for us to choose ‘ants climbing up tree’ as the next main course. This is actually made of vermicelli cooked with spicy minced meat. Again, this dish wasn’t spicy at all, although Sijie’s version of vermicelli is pretty good, and very similar to the flat noodles I mentioned earlier. However, I like the version from 滿江紅 better. There is a non-spicy veggie dish which Fat Man really likes. I have no idea what vegetable that is. Mystery aside, we enjoyed our dinner here, maybe we will tell the staff to make it more spicy next time. Reservations definitely recommended. We went on a week day and the place was full.

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