Saturday, July 1, 2023

Kuan Zhai Alley (宽窄巷子) @ Capital Square - Modern Authentic Sichuan Restaurant, Bringing Your Dining Experience To The Next Level


Kuan Zhai Alley (宽窄巷子) at Capital Square is an extraordinary addition to the culinary scene in Chinatown, Singapore. This modern authentic Sichuan restaurant showcases the bold and vibrant flavours of Sichuan cuisine and celebrates its rich cultural heritage. Upon entering, you are immediately transported to a refined Chinese dining experience with its lavish interior design that exudes elegance. The attention to detail extends to the meticulously plated dishes, each a work of art.

Arctic Bay Scallops with Mushrooms 4.2/5

One standout dish is the Arctic Bay Scallops with Mushrooms ($38). It takes a unique approach by shredding and deep-frying the scallops, which are then delicately dressed in chilli oil. The resulting texture is reminiscent of dried squid, creating a delightful sensory experience.

Auspicious Shrimp Cake 4/5

The Auspicious Shrimp Cake ($78) is made from fresh prawns formed into a paste and coated in a thin crust. These delectable cakes are deep-fried to a perfect golden hue. Accompanied by an orange-infused mayonnaise and a spiced chilli dipping sauce, every bite is a symphony of flavours that elevates the enjoyment.

Lychee Shrimp Balls 4.2/5

Another interesting creation is the Lychee Shrimp Balls ($26), which are playfully presented hanging on a tree for diners to pluck from. These shrimp balls are delightfully springy and infused with the delicate essence of lychee. Pair them with the accompanying orange-infused mayonnaise for a burst of contrasting flavours.

Spicy & Peppery Chicken 3.5/5

While the Spicy & Peppery Chicken ($58) aims to showcase the popular Kou Shui Ji (口水鸡) dish, the execution falls slightly short. The chicken leans towards the drier side, and both the spicy and peppery sauces lack the expected intensity. It's a dish that could benefit from bolder flavours to capture the essence of Sichuan cuisine truly.

Cabbage with Pork Belly 4.2/5

In contrast, the Cabbage with Pork Belly ($22) embodies simplicity at its finest. Stir-fried to a delightful crunch, the sweetness of the cabbage harmonises beautifully with the fragrant pork belly, resulting in a satisfying and comforting dish.

Braised Fish with Sour Cowpeas 4.5/5

One of the meal's highlights is the Braised Fish with Sour Cowpeas ($168). Served in a simmering pot, the fish is perfectly cooked to a moist and tender texture. The accompanying sauce strikes a delightful balance of sweetness, spiciness, and tanginess, creating an incredibly appetising combination.

Chinese Brush Pastry 2.8/5

For dessert, the Chinese Brush Pastry ($36) arrives in a captivating presentation resembling a traditional Chinese brush set. The edible pastry tip allows you to "write" with chocolate sauce as if practising Chinese calligraphy. While visually captivating, the dessert needs to improve in terms of flavour and live up to the overall dining experience.

Kuan Zhai Alley aims to elevate Sichuan cuisine into a fine dining realm, evident in its exquisite presentation and attention to detail. However, it's worth noting that the price point leans towards the higher end, which all diners might not easily embrace. Whether Singaporeans will fully embrace this fine dining approach to Sichuan cuisine remains to be seen. Still, it undeniably offers a unique and memorable culinary experience for those willing to indulge.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Kuan Zhai Alley (宽窄巷子)
Capital Square
23 Church Street
#01-02 to 08
Singapore 049481
Tel: +65 81008577
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer (DT Line), Raffles Place (EW, NS Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 3pm, 530pm - 10pm

1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk straight down Telok Ayer Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Raffles Place MRT station. Take Exit D. Walk to Church Street. Cross the street and walk towards Telok Ayer Street. Turn left onto Telok Ayer Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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