With the influx of foreign talents,I think that Singaporeans’ taste buds have evolved over the year as we are introduced to many other cuisines. One of the cuisines that I like a lot is the sichuan cuisine as I am a fan of the bold and distinct flavours. Big big yes to taste of hot, sour, savoury, and even tongue-numbing. Hence, I am rather excited to check out Chuan Hung, an one of a kind noodle house featuring Sichuan Mian Yang rice noodles.
Located in a side alley off Telok Ayer Street, Chuan Hung is just a stone throw away from Telok Ayer MRT exit B. It is also facing the side road (Cheang Hong Lim Place) that turns into the driveway of Prudential Tower. Furnished with warm lighting and light coloured wooden furnitures and bamboo, there are a total of 52 seatings with 22 of them being outdoor.
Although the menu at Chuan Hung is quite compact, there is something for everyone. There are 3 different broths available – the clear, the red and the Sichuan vine pepper soup. There is also a dry-tossed version if you order the Home Specialty Mashed Pea ones ($12.50).
If you are in the mood for something with a punch, the Signature Braised Beef ($13.50) in the red soup is one of the option. We like how soft and tender the braised beef are. While the red soup might look a bit intimidating, the spicy level is acceptable for me and my dinning partners. Though I though that it can be more spicy, the soup is well balanced and flavoursome.
Another option that we like is the Signature Braised Pig Intestines ($13.50) with red soup and rice noodles. I love pork intestines but it is not easy to find one that is thoroughly and properly cleaned. I gotta say that the ones at Chuan Hung are impressive, properly cleansed and soft upon each bite. Together with the silky rice noodles, they picked up the flavours of the soup really well.
For those who like the tongue-numbing sensation, the Vine Pepper broth made using with chicken bones, Sichuan vine peppers and chilli padi is a fiery one. You can either order it with Australian Ox Tongue ($14.50), King Prawns ($15.50) or Chicken Innards ($12.50). I like how the king prawns ones come with fresh and succulent king prawns and the numbing effect is gentle yet good enough to give you that extra punch. In fact, this is unanimously the hot fav among my dining partners.
If your tummy space allows, don’t forget to order the deep fried intestines ($5.50) from the small plates menu. It is so addictive that we had two of these. While the exterior is deep fried till crispy, the innard is moist and has a pleasingly chewy bite. As the intestines are braised for 4 hours before being deep fried, it has a lovely aroma from a rich liquid made using star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, Sichuan peppers and peppercorns. Though it might look similar to your regular braised intestines, it is different. It has a very subtle spiciness at the back of tongue. You can also ordered the braised ones ($5.50) as an add on.
Another hot favourite from the small plates is the Specialty ‘Liang Fen’ Cold Bean Jelly. The both the cold bean jelly and the a red sauce is made in house. But the making of the red sauce on top of the cold bean jelly is one laborious process. It comprises of 2 types of base sauces. The doubanjiang and fermented black beans to be fried until fragrant, and chopped finely while hot while separately, a sauce called dao kou jian made with a combination of different Sichuan peppers is fried til fragrant, and chopped while hot. Then the two sauces are mixed thoroughly and served on top of the cold bean jelly with some white sesame and sliced scallions. Hopefully, in the near future, the sauce is available for sale as I thought it tasted really good with noodles too.
Although there is no dessert on the menu, one can find the Specialty ‘Liang Gao’ ($3.50) which is nearest to a dessert if you ask me. the glutinous rice curd is made with rice is ground into a fine powder by hand, and mixed with a little alkaline powder (碱粉), soaked in cold water before boiling until it solidifes and served with black sugar syrup. Simple as it might look,, the texture of the liang gao is one of the most challenging item on the menu for the chef to get the texture and the flavour to be as authentic as how one can have it in Sichuan. Personally I thought it reminded me of Kee Chang, while my dining partner though it reminded them of chee cheong fan and soon kueh because of the black sugar syrup.
Overall, Chuan Hung is a fuss free noodle house that takes pride in the food that is being served to the table and I like the flavours of the vine pepper as well as the red soup base. Hence, this is definitely a place that I will bring more friends to share my love for food with. Do give it a try and see if you share the same sentiments. Oh yes, if you are looking for a place to have some cocktails, Chuan Hung is part of 51 Soho which serves really interesting and yummy cocktails. So this is a perfect place if you are looking for some pre-drink grub.