Kuan Zhai Alley has Sichuan cuisine in Telok Ayer
Subconsciously, I have been exposed to Sichuan cuisine more than I’ve realised. From the ma la xiang guo trend to a boom in Sichuan restaurants in Singapore, it’s obvious that many people appreciate Sichuan cuisine for its strong flavour profile. If you want to treat yourself to a whirlwind of Sichuanese flavours, you might want to visit Kuan Zhai Alley. The Telok Ayer restaurant specialises in premium Sichuan fusion food, so you can impress your friends when you tell them you know more than just mala.
Food at Kuan Zhai Alley
We started with one of their cold dishes, the Spicy Boneless Duck Webs ($38++) which boasts portions of duck feet, tossed with chopped leek and Sichuan dried peppers. I usually stay away from chicken feet as they look like a challenge to eat, but the ones served here were sliced into smaller pieces, which appeared less intimidating. I was also told that the bones had been removed for us, making it easier to eat. Each slice of duck was savoury and gelatinous, making it a tasty dish for adventurous eaters.
Next, we moved on to one of their signature dishes, Braised Fish with Sour Cowpea ($168++). This features a whole grouper fish, AKA shi ban yu, simmering in a vibrant orange gravy laced with red and green chilli slices. As soon as a staff member removed the lid, the peppery fragrance of the dish filled the air.
True enough, the sticky gravy was distinctly spicy and tangy—quite addictive when paired with white rice. Both my colleague and I also enjoyed the smooth fish meat. However, do be careful of the small bones found in the fish.
We also ordered a steamed dish, the Golden Chicken Tofu Pudding ($26++), one of their lighter dishes that helps cut through the heavy flavours of the Sichuan dishes we’ve had thus far. My colleague really liked the soft and fluffy egg tofu, with its light meaty flavour, along with the soup that helped to dull the spiciness from the previous dish.
Another classic we tried was their Charcoal Smoked Beef Ribs ($128++). I found the slices here extremely tender and flavourful. The dish was served with ground red pepper, great as a dip for those who can handle the heat. Dipping the meat into the peppers gave the beef a smoky kick that was even manageable for me, a self-professed spice noob.
Additionally, we also had their Greasyback Shrimps with Peppers ($58++). These weren’t completely deshelled, but I wasn’t hindered by them because the shrimps were so crispy that I could just skip that step and eat the shells too. Greasyback shrimps are known for their tender and flavourful flesh, which I could immediately tell upon eating them. The flesh was sweet and briny, elevated by the mala-esque marinade, with strong notes of Sichuan peppercorn.
We ended the meal with Mao Bi Su ($8++), one of their latest dessert creations. Turns out, each portion of the brush tip is a crispy pastry filled with various nuts, seeds, and fruits, similar to the filling of wu ren mooncakes. You can also choose to dip your brush into the ink dish filled with chocolate syrup that resembles black ink.
The sweetness of the chocolate paired well with the nutty and citrusy filling. I’d highly recommend this if you are looking for a novel dessert!
Ambience at Kuan Zhai Alley
Kuan Zhai Alley is located in the heart of the CBD area, just a convenient two-minute walk away from Telok Ayer MRT Station. We arrived at 2pm, and we didn’t encounter a crowd, but we’re told it’s usually pretty quiet here, making it a conducive space for gatherings or lunches with colleagues.
I liked that the space here reflects modern and traditional Chinese features, including a cocktail bar that’s not commonly seen in Chinese restaurants. You’ll also find decorations in each dish that echoes Chinese themes.
Kuan Zhai Alley offers a unique dining experience with their premium Sichuan fusion food and soothing ambience. I especially enjoyed the fish and beef dishes, which had shiok notes of spiciness, tanginess, and umaminess. If you’re a fan of Sichuan cuisine or want to try something new, this place is worth a visit.
They’ll also be having a Mothers’ Day promotion, where you get to score a free set of their Sweet Potato Osmanthus Rice Cake (U.P. from $16++) when you dine in, share photos taken on Instagram, and tag the restaurant at @kuanzhaialleysingapore.
Find out more about Kuan Zhai Alley!
Address: 23 Church Street, #01-02-#01-08, Capital Square, Singapore 049481
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 3pm, 5:30pm to 10pm
Tel: 8100 8577
Kuan Zhai Alley is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by John Lery Villanueva.
This post is brought to you by Kuan Zhai Alley.
Kuan Zhai Alley Review: Sichuan Fusion Restaurant With Legit Braised Fish And More In The CBD
– Dishes are flavourful and well-cooked
– Some elements of fusion food are interesting
– Comfortable dining experience
– Dishes are slightly expensive
Recommended dishes: Braised Fish with Sour Cowpea ($168++), Charcoal Smoked Beef Ribs ($128++), Greasyback Shrimps with Peppers ($58++)
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 3pm, 5:30pm to 10pm
Address: 23 Church Street, #01-02 – #01-08, Capital Square, Singapore 049481
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