Opened not too long ago, ChongQing House at Gouger Street is a great place for lovers of spicy food. This restaurant features a wide variety of spicy Szechuan Chinese dishes, though there are also a few non-spicy dishes. The place was popular with the locals, with a crowd of a decent size during the peak dinner hours.
Their Combination Dry Hot Pot is like a large scale version of the Fragrant Mix Pot from Master Jin Taste of China, featuring a wide variety of meat, seafood and vegetables all in one dish. Some of the more notable ingredients were beef tripe to add a chewy texture to the dish and cone-shaped pieces of fishcake with a delectable savoury filling. Other ingredients in the hot pot included fish, squid, prawn, cauliflower, broccoli, sausage, potato, meat, lotus root and bean curd. This dish can be ordered at three levels of spiciness - mild, medium and hot.
Combination Dry Hot Pot (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For something a bit milder, there is the Stir Fried Chicken with Red and Green Bullhorn Chillies. Though it had an ample amount of chilli slices, the spiciness was milder compared to their Braised Eggplants. There were also slices of spring onions for a bit of extra texture.
Stir Fried Chicken with Red and Green Bullhorn Chillies (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The Combination Dumplings is great for trying out the restaurant's signature dumplings, comprising three each of Squid Ink Calamari Dumplings, Three Meat Dumplings with Beetroot Dough, Fish and Chive Dumplings with Pumpkin Dough, and Pork and Cabbage Dumplings with Spinach Dough. As their names suggest, the skins of the dumplings included various ingredients to give them their eye-catching appearance. The fillings did not disappoint too, with the Squid and Fish Dumplings not having a fishy taste and the Three Meat, and Pork and Cabbage Dumplings being very juicy. Soy sauce and black vinegar were served with the dish for diners to mix into a dipping sauce.
Combination Dumplings (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Listed as one of the restaurant's seasonal specials, the eggplants in the Braised Eggplants with Pork Mince and Spicy Sauce still had a bit of firmness to them. The eggplants were complemented well by the pork mince. The spicy sauce gave the dish a delectable spicy flavour with the slices of chilli intensifying the spiciness. Those that want a milder taste can opt not to eat the chilli when consuming the dish.
Braised Eggplants with Pork Mince and Spicy Sauce (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
One of the restaurant's cold dishes, the portion size of the Thin Sliced Pork in Special Soy Sauce was quite generous. The slices of pork belly were not too chewy. While not mentioned in the menu's description, the sauce included some chilli but it should be suitable for most tastes. Hidden under the pork were ribbons of cucumber whose refreshing flavour was a good foil to the pork.
Thin Sliced Pork in Special Soy Sauce (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For a cold dish that is more filling, the Boiled Chicken Maryland in Sesame Sauce is a good choice. The slices of chicken Maryland were tender and there was a scattering of peanuts to add a bit of crunch to the dish. The sesame sauce gave the dish a nutty flavour with a hint of chilli to prevent it from tasting too bland. As with the Thin Sliced Pork in Special Soy Sauce, cucumber was hidden under the chicken but in chunks rather than ribbons.
Boiled Chicken Maryland in Sesame Sauce (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
When ordering their Deep Fried Green Beans, you can choose to order them made with pork mince or dry chillies. We opted for the pork mince option, which had enough pork mince to give the dish a meaty taste. The green beans still had a bite to them and the process of deep-frying them gave them a light charred flavour.
Deep Fried Green Beans with Pork Mince (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
To help cool your palette after the main dishes, you can choose from among a range of desserts. The ice jelly part of the Ice Jelly in Rose & Brown Sugar Syrup refers to the clear jelly layer that had a lovely soft texture. The brown sugar and rose syrup added a sweet taste that was not too strong and peanuts hidden at the bottom of the bowl added a bit of crunch. To best enjoy the dish, stir the ingredients to spread the syrup throughout the dish.
Ice Jelly in Rose & Brown Syrup (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
If you prefer a warm dessert, there is the Glutinous Rice Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce. We enjoyed the chewiness of the rice cakes, which had a bit of crust from being fried. The brown sugar sauce was a key part of making the dish delicious as its sweetness partnered wonderfully with the rice cakes.
Glutinous Rice Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Though the restaurant is fairly small, the décor gave it a formal feel with fishes notably being a key part of the decor. If you are looking for a good place to enjoy yummy Szechuan cuisine consider giving ChongQing House a visit.