Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Bite of Sichuan

A Bite of Sichuan   is the sister restaurant of  A Bite of Hunan  which we enjoyed some months back in BGC.

This restaurant is located at the ground floor of the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Macapagal.

At first I was a bit confused. The sign outside says A Bite of  Sichuan . But when I entered what I thought was the resto,  the space appeared to be unfinished , bare and deserted. Turned out the venue  I was looking for was still a few steps away from the entrance

A combination of dark wood, red lantern, red, gold and white signage, the facade impressed.

Sprawling space, high ceiling,  raised wooden dais with red velvet curtains against wooden slats for divider to give a semblance of privacy or exclusivity to the party.

Function rooms of varying sizes on one side. We were ushered in to the bigger private room  for the event.

Can not help but notice the details ie the Chinese lamp above, the red mask - both against the grey and white brick

One of the function rooms. The grey and white brick was echoed here complimenting the mural in the center .

The art work on this door was quite arresting...

Another mask that adorned the gray and white brick

I loved how spacious and old-world the vibe was but then a sprinkling of  what looked like gaming machines made it more current.

What is Sichuan Cuisine

"Sichuan , Szechwan or Szechuan cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan province. It has bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the uique flavour  of Sichuan pepper " -Wikipedia

Per Mr. Sam  (Marketing) Hunan cuisine is purely  spicy but not numbing like szechuan. It is known for its  smoked meats, fish,  pork.

Mr. Sam further shares  that Hunan and Szechuan  are known to be more oily and more flavorful compared to the other Eight Great  Traditions of Chinese Cuisine.

Eight Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisine
  • Shandong  - fresh and salty with a lot of seafood dishes
  • Sichuan and Hunan - hot and spicy
  • Guangdong (Cantonese) Zheijiang, Jiangsu cuisines - seafood, sweet and light flavors
  • Anhi and Fujian - wild food from the mountains
Asked why they chose the Philippines from among other countries in the world  for their first food venture, Mr. Sam's answer was simple. It is because the owners  live in the Philippines   and like it here.

The Lunch Menu

 A total of 18 dishes were served to us last July 9. Here are some I took photos of and tasted...

Sliced Beef and Ox Tongue in Chili Sauce

Being no stranger to tongue ( I love lengua), I had no apprehensions tasting this dish. The heat or spice of the dish is something else altogether
Sichuan Spicy Frog

I thought those were chicken wings, Turned out  they were frogs' legs. Quite scrumptious body parts too . They were tender, succulent , flavorful with a bit of a kick .

Chinese Steamed Chicken

Think Hainanese Chicken. It  was also paired with ginger sauce with chopped spring onions or leeks for dip. This was the least spicy among all dishes served that day

Grouper with Pickle

Spicy Beef Jerky

Foodies  who love their food really hot will have a field day with this. I only took a little bite but it was enough to make my mouth feel on fire. Wish the restaurant have milk tea in their menu too to sort of give respite to the palate for the spicy cuisine.

Garlic Pork Roll

Fried Corn Kernels and Crab

The crab was amazing! The flesh in the claw and body of the crab were meaty , sweet and tasted of the sea.  Loved the salted egg flavor too.  The fried crustacean married well with the crunchy and saccharine corn kernels.

Chinese Yam with Blueberry Sauce

We were better prepared this time around for this ice-cream-like dish. Months ago at its sister restaurant A-Bite-Of-Hunan, we all thought this was  cold dessert ie bingsu or ice cream. Turned out it was an appetizer that looked like the popular dessert but tasted like our mashed kamote. No wonder it showed no signs of melting haha

Griddle Shrimps

Sweet with umami flavor and a bit of a kick, this was one delicious dish

Sweet and Juicy Pork Ribs
Although flavorful, it could still use a bit more time inside the oven. As it was, pork was a little tough.

Steamed Okra
Praise the high heavens there was okra. Needed a break from the rich , spicy tenor of the cuisine.

Special Fish Fillet in Hot Chili Oil
One of the dish I really liked and the spice was tolerable

Overall, it was an amazing food adventure akin to being transported to China.

The  wood-red-gold theme  of the restaurant sort of heightened the anticipation for the surprise to the palate that was to come.

Asked what the  inspiration for the interior was, Ms. Idna of Marketing replied

  " Cuz we want to make all Chinese guests feel like back home, when they miss their country, family or friends, they can come to A Bite of Sichuan, our dishes can remind them all good memories. In fact, its just traditional Chinese Style"

Just like an amuse bouche , the ambiance gave a clue as to what the Chef's gastronomic treatment of Sichuan cuisine would be. At least to me, I had an inkling the food will be traditional endemic to the region

If only for the joy  of  experiencing Sichuan China sans any plane ticket, A Bite of Sichuan,  is worth a visit.

Do check them out and let me know what you think.

A Bite of Sichuan is located at the ground floor of the Grand Phoenix Hotel along Macapagal Avenue in Pasay

A Bite of Sichuan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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