Chong Qing Grilled Fish

Special shoutout to all spicy food lovers, especially those with a penchant for Sichuan cuisine. I’ve been to CQGF for about 6 – 7 times and I am proud to say that they do not disappoint.

You choose your fish right at the start: Sea Bass, Carp, Snapper, Patin Fish, and Marble Goby. We chose the sea bass.

Next up would be the soup bases:

Spicy Fragrant (一品香辣)

Fermented Black Bean (干香豆豉)

Fresh Chillies (辣爽鲜椒)

Hot & Sour (黄金酸辣)

Mushroom Herbs (十里菌香)

Pickled Cabbage (酸菜香烤)

Spicy Numbing (川味麻辣)

We chose the ‘Spicy Fragrant’ with ‘Mild Spice’.

So this beauty of a sea bass was grilled over a charcoal fire first before being submerged in a fiery broth. Tender, white flesh, along with its slightly charred skin gives a real smokiness. On top of this, you can choose your own side dishes to add INTO the broth e.g. luncheon meat, enoki mushrooms, pork belly, beancurd skin etc. it’s slightly pricey but it is value for money.

Sea Bass with the Spicy & Fragrant Broth (Low Spice)

Next up, the fried mantou with condensed milk as a dipping sauce. The fluffiness of the fried mantou paired with the sweetness of the condensed milk brings you to sugar paradise. However, for health purposes, eat this once every few months.

Fried Mantou with Condensed Milk

Spicy food fanatics would love a dish of 辣子鸡. Marinated chicken pieces are first deep fried and then stir-fried with Sichuan chilli peppers, peppercorns, garlic, and ginger. Wash it down (again) with a glass of ice-cold beer but beware of the aftermath though because it’ll hurt. It could be a little dry so having fluids/soup on hand will be better.

辣子鸡

Chong Qing Grilled Fish has three branches in Singapore: Chinatown, Bugis, and Serangoon. The one I went to is at Bugis, on Liang Seah Street. A note to those heading there: do go early to queue and make sure your friends come on time as they will allow the party to go in only when everyone is present. Would I recommend it? Definitely.

Address:

1 Liang Seah Street, #01-05/06 (Bugis)

18 Mosque Street, #01-01 (Chinatown)

2 Maju Ave (Serangoon)

Nearest MRT:

Bugis MRT (EW12/DT14)

Chinatown MRT (NE4/DT19)

Serangoon MRT (NE12/CC13)

Opening Hours:

12:00PM – 1:30AM (Mon – Sun) – Bugis branch

12:00PM – 1:30AM (Mon – Sun) – Chinatown branch

12:00PM – 2:00AM (Mon – Sun) – Serangoon branch

Chinatown Eats!

One thing I love about Chinatown is the sights, sounds, and of course the smell of good food! The best part of heading to People’s Park Complex Food Centre is that it’s really convenient as the entrance to the MRT Station is right next it! Once you’re out of the station, you’ll be able to see the food centre almost immediately. You are spoilt for choice once you’re in there but I’m proud to say that I’ve got my two favourite stalls (FOR NOW).

With a rich history of at least 60 years, Tian Jin Fong Kee has been operating since the late 1940s till this very day. One of their star dishes would be their dumplings. You can have it either boiled or fried, though I would very much prefer the latter, with an ice-cold beer. The dumplings are made by hand, from the dough to the filling.

When pan fried, these dumplings have a crisp exterior, and an interior that is so juicy. But be careful when you bite into it as the meat juices might squirt out! My way to eat it is to dip it in vinegar, drape some julienned ginger over the dumpling and the whole thing goes into your mouth. At $6 for 10 dumplings, it is a pretty good deal!

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On the other hand, if you’re quite adventurous and a lover of spicy food, you might want to try out Mala Xiangguo (麻辣香锅), also known as “spicy numbing stir-fry pot”. In one bowl, you get a plethora of ingredients which would include different types of meat, offal, and a whole lot of vegetables, cooked in a spicy broth. Your dish can be customized to your liking, namely: the spiciness level, and dry/soupy. You can also ask them to make it less numbing for your mouth if you wish.

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The soupy version as shown below. You might find it too oily, so you can always skim the oil off if you’re itching for some soup.

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The dry one is as good. However, as the sauce has reduced by quite a fair bit, the flavours tend to concentrate and it could become a little salty for our palates.

Some of my mandatory ingredients to go into this are: Napa cabbage, beef, pork, tripe, lotus roots, oyster mushrooms, kangkong (aka water spinach), and luncheon meat. I’ve got friends and colleagues that are big fans of processed meat, and yes, they have it! Sausages, luncheon meat, mock crab meat etc.

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Don’t really eat spicy food? Don’t worry, you can start off with the lowest level, and you can request for the dish not to be numb, which means they’ll lay off the Szechuan pepper corns. But it’s a dish that I would recommend to anyone coming here for the first time!

Address:
32 New Market Road
Singapore 050032

Nearest MRT:
Chinatown MRT Station (NE4/DT19)
Exit C