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The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Grilled fish in a variety of (spicy) Sichuan sauces.

The must-orders (if any): Cod, Steamboat Bean Base.

Summary: Launching at the basement of Suntec City, the curiously school-themed Sichuan Kungfu Fish Singapore offers a fairly straightforward concept – choose from a variety of fish and seafood (“Special Cod by our Principal”, grilled sea bass, “Yellow Croaker by our Music Teacher”, Kungfu dory fish, West Bay white snapper etc) and then your choice of base (from the viciously sadistic Mala and the comfortably spicy Steamboat Bean Base to the salty Pickled Chinese Cabbage and very mild Tomato) with a choice from 3 different spice levels for the spicy options. There is also a modest selection of vegetables (e.g. enoki mushroom, fungus, garland chrysanthemum aka “tang oh”) and meats (e.g. luncheon meat, fishcake, clam, prawn) you can add to enhance the grilled fish experience, with other sides and skewers (sample dish names: “Grilled Prawn by Class Belle”, “Eggplant that Deserves a Beating”) you can order as well.

I managed to try both the Mala (mid-level spice) and the Steamboat Bean Base (mid-level spice) on two different occasions. Despite being nicely drinkable at first instance, the vicious Mala proved to be a grower and not a shower, with the heat exponentially leaping off the charts as the meal went on, likely causing its conquerers to drip with perspiration in manner of a Britney Spears music video.  I gnaw on chilli padi and eat Sichuan food on a regular basis, but the frequent backdoor volcanic projectiles that resulted the next day proved a formidable match, and on my next visit I went with a much more comfortably spicy and tofu-tastic Steamboat Bean Base, which played it like a salty soup with mala elements and caused zero distress to the backdoor the next day. (Whilst not taking away anything from the experience, the proceedings involved are fairly salt-forward, and may require intense hydration after.) A gripe I have (as with several other soup-based concepts) is that the top-ups never taste as good as the original base, and when I sought for an equally spicy top-up for my Steamboat Bean Base, the solution offered was chilli padi along with the basic soup, which made the proceedings fairly “fish soup with chilli padi”-esque.

Fish-wise, the cod I had with the Mala base was revelatory, being all soft and buttery and ridiculously fresh. The seabass I had with the Steamboat Bean Base was a much more affordable and minimally bony affair. I would avoid ordering the skewers in Sichuan sauce – the latter tastes like a peculiar romp between mala sauce and chocolate (?!).

Definitely worth a visit for the heat-seeking.

Cod in Mala Sauce - Skewers in Sichuan Sauce - Sichuan Kungfu Fish SingaporeSpecial Cod by our Principal ($66.90) in Mala Sauce.

Seabass in Steamboat Bean Based Sauce - Sichuan Kungfu Fish SingaporeGrilled Sea Bass ($35.90) in Steamboat Bean Base.

Skewers in Sichuan Sauce - Sichuan Kungfu Fish SingaporeAssortment of skewers in Sichuan sauce.


Grade: B3

Sichuan Kungfu Fish Singapore
3 Temasek Boulevard
#B1-132/171 Suntec City
Singapore 038983

Author

Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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