July 8, 2017

Madam Zhu’s Kitchen, Shanghai…an absolute gem

Across its many regions China encompasses so many different cuisines that lumping them all together under one banner is akin to talking about ‘European food’. Madam Zhu’s Kitchen specializes in Sichuan and Shanghainese cuisines.

Make sure you sample Specialty: No1. Madam Zhu’s Peking Duck. Immaculately carved at the table by gloved cooks, it is worth it. Both the meat and the skin were excellent. The pancakes were wonders—light, delicate, strong. If you’re looking for Sichuan Province’s famous ‘hot and numbing’ dishes, this is the place to come. The gritty fried shrimp balls with chilli and pepper really is lip-tinglingly good. True to Sichuanese form, red is present in this dish –  in lashings of sliced or whole chillies. It made my scalp sweat. Boom.

The food comes quickly, the food is excellent, and the food is not very expensive. It is a busy restaurant, yet it feels intimate. Right now Madam Zhu’s Kitchen is an absolute gem, a true collector’s piece. I just hope it stays that way. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 9, 2011

Chuan Jiang Hao Zi Steamboat Restaurant, Singapore…Hotpot? More like tongue-torching firepot.

This is a Szechuan Hot Pot place. Even though I don’t go ape crazy over heaps of chilli in my food, sometimes I have the hots for spicy food but the Mala soup is so fiery  spicy I needed a fire extinguisher by my side. Be warned: The searing spices in the oily-red broth will attach themselves to your lips and burrow deep underneath your tongue. Your whole mouth begins to buzz and grow curiously numb. You will sweat like never before. Your eyes will shine and your head will begin to grow light. You might just come away with your lips swollen like sausages, like it got hit by electric current. And the meal has barely begun.

The restaurant was loud and boisterous. The staff speak mostly Chinese so communicating is difficult if you are like me and do not speak Chinese.

Courage is measured in a man’s ability to eat the hot pot here repeatedly and vigorously. This is the true truth and I am still saying it as it is…

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