Monday, May 22, 2017

Chilli Fagara [Hong Kong] - Rare Sichuan Food that isn't the Typical Fare

  Sichuan Food around the Globe as mentioned previously,  suffers a similar fate to say ordering a Beijing Peking Duck or going to Yum Cha for Dim Sum.  What's promoted is often only what people perceive the cuisine is famous for and are then nit picked by the restaurant operators for selling,  whereas what really defines each regional cuisine are comprised of years of history and many more local dishes which define it's original cultural background.   Chilli Fagara was the recipient of Michelin 1 Star status for a number of years,  and nowadays in its new location it's got a Michelin Recommendation.  The food here however remains one of the more impressive Sichuanese in town,  along with Deng G. in Wanchai which cooks up the banquet elegant style in contrast.

Spicy Peanuts as Appetizer -
These are the more wetter types, sometimes they are fried..

Trio of Sichuan Appetizers at Chilli Fagara -
The small dishes are meant to emulate the separate Flavors inside a Hotpot 麻辣烫 Malatang, but here served in their separate tasting profiles as a starter...

Black Truffle Shredded Chicken Salad -
The only not overly Sichuanese starter we ordered,  since this modern salad starter was meant to have a cooling effect and won't numb our tongues from the 1st course.. 

Ginger Beef Glazed with Caramelized Garlic & Ginger-infused Sauce $168 薑煸蒜片牛肉
A homely Sichuan dish that tastes more like a sugary Beef Katsu with Ginger sauce, an addictive dish that is authentic but nowadays hardly found in Sichuan restaurants that only sell us the best selling Chili dishes.  This is based on the Head Chef's Mom's recipe from home in Sichuan,  who also happens to be the Consultant for the restaurant.  Addictively despite being sweetish, a must order ~ 9/10

Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐  (全名: 阿婆麻辣豆腐) HKD $108 -
'Po' means Grandmother in Chinese, so this is considered a passed down recipe.  The silken tofu are made locally but using a Japanese recipe, meaning they are thickly cubed, didn't fall apart yet remained supple soft.  The meat sauce was not overly fermented beans salty, with a good amount of toasty Sichuan Peppercorn numbness and it's quite hot by default.  Best Mapo Tofu I have tried in town so far...  ~  9.5/10

Vegetarian XO Sauce -
These are super spicy, surprisingly!

Fragrant Sole Fish - Cooked and Served with Jasmine Tea Leaves and Chili
HKD $208 竹網茶香龍利魚 
A dish worthy of coming to this Michelin Grade Restaurant alone, that showcases a mixture of Traditional and Modern Sichuanese dishes - and this fish recipe stands out from the more typical Chili Poached Fish which is also served here.  The tea aroma is encapsulating..  ~ 8.5/10

干扁肉鬆四季豆 Fried String Beans with Dry Chili, Pork Mince & Garlic - HKD $118
Another well done dish.  Not overly stringy nor dry, with right proportion of pork mince.  This went well together with the rice..  ~ 8.5/10

Chili Paste and Red Oil Dumplings - 紅油抄手
Very hot with the paste again,  but addictive and well wrapped.  On Par with the dumplings at Deng G.,  which over there has a sweeter sauce deliberately..  ~ 8.5/10

Toffee Banana with Pulled Sugar -
This is probably more synonymous with Beijing Cuisine but was a sweet crunchy ending to the numbing and spicy meal,  which is not typical of the toned down Sichuan restaurants in Hong Kong.  A job well done from that aspect.. (Except for Deng G,  which sells milder Sichuan food)

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Chili -
Just a reminder of the fiery food here, even the sweet ice cream ends on a spicy but rich chocolate note.  A concept which is popular nowadays in both Mexican and Sichuan restaurants - which remembering Chili Pepper were introduced into China by the Columbian exchange from Mexico in the 15th Century!

A Lovely Sichuan Restaurant -
Some customers have labelled it as selling Expat's style Sichuan food,  but I think it depends on what we order here.  It caters to different crowds on the menu,  and there are occasionally off-menu items which are more labour intensive and needs reservation.  Think it is time for us to organize another Group Dinner here soon..

Price: Around HKD $300 - $400 Per Person + 10%
(Dinner Organized by Chilli Fagara)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 to ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2 

Address: Ground Floor, 7 Old Bailey Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852  27966866

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