A Shanghai sensation makes a splash with its new Hong Kong branch, bringing an abundance of chillies and spices
Located on the second floor of a commercial building, the entrance of the restaurant is a narrow door with no meet-and-greet station. The upside is that there is a direct view of the semi-open kitchen, where chefs stand by the hot stove wok-tossing dishes to order. The space, filled with warm lighting and tasteful furnishing, was designed by PP Studio Design. The dining space, including the establishments’ three private rooms, all themed around bamboo. As the main dining room can be a little dim, we suggest sitting near the private rooms, where lighting is adequate.
There are more than just fiery chillies and numbing spices in Sichuan cuisine. Known to stay true with the philosophy of “one dish, one style, hundred dishes with a hundred tastes”, Deng G, the Hong Kong branch of Shanghai’s esteemed Sichuan restaurant, is introducing a more diverse face of Sichuan cuisine.
We started with ox tongue and triple medley, where offal is thinly sliced and drenched in a chilli-based dressing. The heat is pronounced but didn’t stay long on the palate, unlike chicken in red and green pepper, where chopped green chillies are mounted on neatly cut chicken. It was the sauce, made with juice from pickled chillies and green Sichuan peppercorn oil that gave the lingering heat, warming us for our next courses.
Pan-fried yellow croaker was crispy on both sides, and camphor smoked duck is tender with pleasantly smoky notes to both its skin and flesh. The house signature braised sliced Mandarin fish in red chilli soup was unlike any we had before. Here at Deng G, the chilli oil and broth resemble a thin sauce, while butterflied slices of mandarin fish sat atop a bed of cucumber ribbons and chewy potato noodles, absorbing the vibrant spicy broth.
Dry sautéed string beans came highly recommended but we opted for a dry pot stir-fried sliced cabbage, where wedges of thick cabbage were tossed with a mix of chilies, garlic and soy sauce, warmed up at the table. If you fancy carbs, minced pork noodles are good for sharing, or enjoy the Chengdu style pork dumplings, where the dumplings are served in a complex sweet and sour sauce.
Deng G’s contemporary approach to Sichuan cuisine is shown through a vast collection of Baijiu (Chinese fermented grain spirits) rather than red and white wines. Grain spirits come in 100ml carafes or in whole bottle form. Baijiu novices can get in the game with a small selection of baijiu cocktails, where the grain spirit replace traditional liquor in classic cocktails.
Service staff at Deng G are friendly and passionate about Sichuan cuisine, with stories to share while offering descriptions and explanations on the specifics of each dish. Sound portion control suggestions are offered but the staff needs considerable effort to help with wine or cocktail pairings.
A full complete dinner for two sums up to a little over HK$1,100. The variety of dishes are well-executed with a diverse spectrum of flavours to be tasted, breaking down the myth that Sichuan cuisine must be fiery and numbing. Deng G will sure be high on our list the next time a Sichuan cuisine craving kicks in.
|Accept Credit Card||Yes|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|