Last weekend I was given an interesting tip off about the opening of a new ChongQing style restaurant at Sunnybank plaza. Aptly named Chongqing Street food, it specialised in spicy foods. Having previously been a part of the Sichuan province, you can already guess that the cuisine is based on the same spicy, mouth numbing, peppery flavours. I was keen to try it out, especially as they had an opening special of 90% off on the first day. So with the promise of a heavily discounted meal, I stood in line for TWO HOURS to get some lunch.
One of the reasons why it took so long to get in was without a doubt the fact that the restaurant was quite small and only fit around 10 or 15 tables. After being ushered into the restaurant, we were not given a seat yet, but rather took the time to choose our skewers for lunch and order at the counter.
Other than skewers, the menu consisted of a selection of noodles, cold dishes, dumplings and sides. Unfortunately almost all of these were sold out on opening day, and our order was literally "one of everything that is left".
Without a doubt though, the main attraction of the meal was the skewers. Apparently quite a few of them had already sold out, but we still had and adequate variety to make our pick from, including the standard tofu and fishballs, in addition to mushrooms, chicken wings and even offals.
Bubble tea was also available, but we didnt think that mixing milky based drinks with chilli and oil would be a smart move.
Without much deliberation, we ended up getting 60 skewers between the three of us.
After putting our order in and leaving the skewers at the counter, we were, of course given a number, and a little bin for us to dispose of our skewers when finished.
Our sides were the first to arrive, and served as appetisers.
The crushed cucumber was really well received, it was served chilled with some garlic sauce. The cucumbers were really well crushed, so they were able to absorb the sauce quite well, making it quite a tasty dish.
Next we have the peanuts which were well seasoned, but had a soft and powdery texture. I would have much preferred the standard roasted crunchy texture instead. We had some difficulty finishing this dish.
Lastly we had a dish of black fungus, which was also chilled and quite crunchy. It too was well received.
Our main event arrived quite quickly to much fanfare. Not having tried skewers boiled in chilli before, we observed that other patrons didnt eat their skewers individually as you would in a barbecue, but rather unskewered them all into the chilli sauce, and we followed suit. Having settled with less spicy as our spice level, the dish we received was already pushing the boundaries of my spice tolerance (i.e. dont go for medium or more unless you know for sure what you're doing). As for the skewers, I found them to be a really good deal with the discount, but at the regular price of $0.80 a skewer, I would have difficulty buying a skewer which is essentially one fish ball cut into two, or half a chicken wing. The things we had though were generally quite well cooked, my favourite being the intestines which were chewy and soaked up all the chilli sauce.
The only two noodle dishes that were still available that day were the Chongqing noodles and the bean noodles (which were essentially Chongqing noodles with beans on top). I quite enjoyed the texture of the noodles, they were quite tender without being overly soft. Again our soup was ordered with less spice but really pushed on my limits and left a numbing spicy taste in my mouth, typical of Sichuan cuisine. Whilst I quite enjoyed the dishes and learned a lot about Chongqing cuisine, this is definitely not a meal I could repeat on a regular basis.
Value: 9/10 (due to the opening special)