Chuan Xiang Xiao Chu – One of the Best Sichuan Hawker Stalls in Singapore
We have more and more Sichuan zi char hawkers in Singapore. Recently, a friend of mine, recommended Chuan Xiang Xiao Chu (川香小厨) in Toa Payoh, and I was impressed by what they had to offer.
This is one of the best Sichuan hawker stalls around but it doesn’t have a crazy queue stemming from it(yet). There is a big photo collage of all their Sichuan dishes, like a giant menu. The day-to-day cooking is done by the only chef/owner, Xiong Feng, who is a true blue Sichuanese.
I didn’t think I could love Sichuan boiled fish more than I already do until I tasted 老碗鱼 (literally translated as Old Bowl Fish, $20) at this hawker stall. Tender fish slices are poached mostly in boiling chilli oil, a large amount of chilli pepper, special Sichuan bean sauce, bean sprouts, napa cabbage and poured into a very big bowl.
Here, the body and flavor of what is typically a rather thin sauce is broadened with a thicker and less oily stock. The broth is intense and the heat set my mouth and lips tingling. It’s spicy and flavourful, but so addictive that I still drank as much of it as I could handle. If you prefer something more sourish, go for the Pickled Fish ($13.50).
I find mapo tofu in many zichar restaurants gentle, sweet, and strangely, boring. It’s quite disappointing because this dish from the Sichuan Province should be intoxicatingly spicy and fragrant.
At Chuan Xiang Xiao Chu, the chef seasons his Mapo Tofu ($5) with Sichuan staples, and it became a hit amongst diners. The tofu cubes were doused in a thick layer of fiery red oil and tingly Sichuan peppercorn. While the heat is not full-bore, it has an attractive savory depth and is one of the better mapo tofu around.
Another dish which we tried is the twice-cooked pork (回锅肉, $8.50). The pork slices are first boiled in water until nearly cooked, then stir-fried. It is best paired with steamed rice.
Even though we only tried three dishes for lunch, they were really enjoyable and I can’t wait to head back to try other dishes. Remember, if you would like a real Sichuan dining experience, please tell the boss to prepare the dishes in an authentic way.
Chuan Xiang Xiao Chu 川香小厨
Address: Blk, 22 Lor 7 Toa Payoh, Kim Keat Palm Market & Food Centre 01-51, Singapore 310022
Mobile: 9619 2941
Opening Hours: 11am to 9.30pm, closed on Fridays
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.