Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Chong Qing Grilled Fish 重庆烤鱼

Location: Bugis, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Liang Seah Street branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Grilled Fish (what else...)

I was unaware of this Szechuanese restaurant until my friends brought me to try it out. Apparently Chong Qing Grilled Fish is quite famous and throngs of customers were waiting for a seat when we left. Fortunately for us, we arrived before dinner peak hour and managed to avoid the same fate as those diners.

Despite the fact that Chong Qing Grilled Fish occupies 2 shop floors, the interior is not too spacious, with seats arranged close to each other and conversations within earshot. Coupled with the fact that the grilled fish was served piping hot (no, really...), we felt like a steaming can of sardines, with the aroma of grilled fish to go with.

With a name of Chong Qing Grilled Fish, there wasn't any surprises that the main dish of choice was various Szechuanese based grill fish, coupled with a limited selection of other dishes to go with the spicy main offer. Although grilled fish took the main spot, the other list of dishes would help cater to a larger group and more varied tastes.

Our choice of dish - Golden Snapper 红曹 in Pickled Cabbage flavor hot pot (酸菜)

We first choose our fish, of which there were 3 to choose from - Sea Bass, Golden Snapper or Grass Carp. Then we picked our poison of choice - the taste of the hot pot. There were 6 choices of tastes and not all of them were spicy, or at least that was what the menu claimed. For each taste, we could choose the level of spiciness, ranging from low, medium to high. We chose Pickled Cabbage at low spiciness level, and some of us were still left sweating at the end of the meal. Finally we were allowed to choose 3 types of vegetables to be cooked together with the grilled fish and hot pot for a balanced diet.

My companions may be panting like dogs after less than a few scoops but I have to say that I enjoyed the way the pickled vegetable mix with the spicy gravy swirling in the metal pot. True to its Szechuanese root, the tingling numbness of my tongue was unmistakable, the sensation mixed with the irresistible picker taste. The amount of vegetables were quite generous as well, and since we chose the crunchy ones like carrots and radishes, it balanced out the soft flesh of the grilled fish. With the fish soaked in the spicy gravy, each scoop made me scream for more (and for water).

Limited seating capacity inside - more seats on the outside

Store front, with additional seats outside

Chong Qing Grilled Fish is truly worthy of the constant queue. I had only tried this one spicy taste and if I have a chance, I would love to try another one of their taste, maybe challenging myself to another level of spiciness if I dare. However my subsequent visit should be on a day when it is cooler, preferably raining outside as well, as this should be the best weather to enjoy a steaming pot of hot and spicy grilled fish.

Environment:          A charcoal grilled fish restaurant in Bugis
Suitable for:             for family or friends
Price:                           occasional (SGD10 - 20 per meal per pax)
Food score:              6.5/10
Food:                            4.0/5.0
Service:                        3.0/5.0
Value:                           3.5/5.0
Ambient:                      2.5/5.0

Operating hours:   12.00 p.m. - 1.30 a.m.
Directions:                Disembark at Bugis MRT Station

Website:                    Official homepage of Chong Qing Grilled Fish and Facebook page
Contact:                    +65 - 6333 9148 (phone) (Liang Seah Street branch)
Address:                    1 Liang Seah Street, #01-05/06 Liang Seah Place, Singapore 

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