Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant in Singapore Chinatown 老成都川菜馆

We were in Singapore's Chinatown for a preview of Chinatown Crossings, a memorable promenade theatre performance which I will write about soon 😄 Before the 2.5 hour show which involves walking the streets of Chinatown, eat first lah.... 😄 We popped into Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant 老成都川菜馆 at Pagoda Street. Having tried it in China, I have always been curious about Sichuan food in Singapore, so this was an opportune time to try it.

Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant is about 20 paces from Exit A of Chinatown MRT station, so it is extremely accessible.

Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant is at the row of beautiful heritage shophouses along Singapore Chinatown's Pagoda Street.

Inside Old Chengdu, it was compact and cosy. I like and feel comfortable in such down-to-earth settings (in the core of the tourist belt).

Chef Tang 唐师傅 hails from Chengdu in Sichuan where he worked for 20 years before coming to Singapore. Chef Tang has been working in kitchens since he was a teen and is in Singapore for 10 years.

The weathered menu (a good sign) had over 100 dishes. Two of us, so we just picked three dishes plus plain white rice and plum juice.

I zeroed in on the 盐水鸭 Salted Duck as I just came back from 7 days in Jiangsu where we had salted duck every day. Salted duck is to southern China what chicken rice is to Singapore. Jiangsu salted duck is a memorable dish to me and nowadays I have a craving for it.

Oh... it was so good.

The meat was tender (not soft) and saturated with savoury sweet juices. It actually was the best salted duck that I have ever tasted so far. Oftentimes, salted ducks are flat salty but at Old Chengdu they are well balanced, mildly savoury sweet. Disclosure: I haven't tasted that many salted ducks (maybe just 20 times over the years). Chef Tang told me that his salted ducks are made with birds from Malaysia, so they are fresh.

At S$26.80++ for half a bird, I can afford to come here when my salted duck craving aches until it needs proper fixing 😂

Another dish I like from my China trips is eels which is a common dish over there. This is Old Chengdu's 霸王鳝鱼 Freshwater Eels in Special Sauce (price S$23.80++).

The freshwater eels are from Malaysia which ain't as tenderly soft nor as sweet as those I ate in China. The spices are from Sichuan and Chef Tang blends them really well, so they are aromatic as well as spicy. We asked for medium spicy which was just moderately numbing hot.

There's mung bean noodles under that fiery looking spicy mala stock. The glass noodles picked up the spicy stock well to make delicious slurpy, slightly numbing spicy-savoury-sweet strands.

回锅土豆 Double Cooked Potatoes S$7.80++

Boiled potato wedges were boiled and then sauteed in a robustly savoury spicy sauce till the outside was well browned. I prefer these over French fries or baked potatoes. I will order these potatoes next every time I come here.

👉 From just the small sampling, I like the food here at Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant and shall be back with more eating troops to taste more dishes from the menu. Prices are at a premium as expected at the core of the tourist belt but it is within reasonable range in my opinion.

I would love to try their 麻辣香锅 mala spicy pot, a dish which I recently took a fancy for. I also need to come here once in a while to get my salted duck craving properly fixed 😋

Old Chengdu also sells braised duck, pork etc in chilled vacuum packs. There's so much more to discover at Old Chengdu.

Restaurant name: Old Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine 老成都川菜馆 
Address: 80 Pagoda St, Singapore
GPS1°17'01.8"N 103°50'37.4"E | 1.283830, 103.843715
Nearest MRT: Chinatown (use Exit A)
Tel: 6222 6858
Hours: 11:00am - 1:30am

Non Halal

Date visited:

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