Liang Seah Street in Bugis is a treasure trove of affordable and authentic eats from all across China. Be it Chongqing grilled fish, chuan chuan (Chinese skewers), hotpot, or shaved ice — you name it, you can find it!
If you’ve ever found yourself craving a comforting dish like mala tang, but with the rich and concentrated flavour of mala xiang guo, Alley Malatang 老街称盘麻辣烫 is one of the newest entrants to the bustling food-filled street that is a must-visit.
The nostalgia-themed eatery is decked out with old movie posters, bamboo furniture, and decorative window fixtures that’ll transport you to the winding alleys of Chengdu, Sichuan, where the best (and most hidden) mala tang spots can often be found.
Alley Malatang is the first in Singapore to serve “weighing pan mala tang” (称盘麻辣烫) — dry-style traditional Sichuan mala tang served on an enamel plate, which resembles the weighing pan of a traditional weighing scale.
Take your pick from a selection of over 50 ingredients, which are categorised according to the following four colours: Red 红碟 (S$1), White Flower 白花碟 (S$1.60), White 白碟 (S$2.20), and Yellow 黄碟 (S$2.80)
These include a varied selection of meats and seafood like Premium Beef (精品牛肉), Spicy Pork Ribs (麻辣排骨), Black Tripe (黑毛肚), and Squid (鱿鱼须), alongside staples like Fried Beancurd Skin (炸腐竹), Lotus Root Slices (莲藕片), King Oyster Mushroom (杏鲍菇), and QQ Noodles.
The fun part? You’ll get to “shop” for ingredients with adorable rattan baskets and concoct the mala tang of your wildest dreams.
Unlike the typical mala xiang guo or Northern Chinese (Dongbei-style) mala tang, you do not need to pay an extra charge for the soup base.
Unlike Dongbei-style mala tang, which is mostly made of a rich and fragrant bone broth and milk soup base, the Sichuan-style mala tang served here is packed with peppercorns, chilli, and a butter soup base, yielding a spicy, numbing, and less-soupy broth that is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Add in extra chilli (to achieve your desired spice level), garlic, spring onion, and the eatery’s special spicy dipping powder, and you’re all set!
Mala tang aside, you can also find other popular Sichuan dishes like Braised Pork Intestines Mixian 红烧肥肠米线 (S$4.80), Sichuan Hot & Sour Noodles 四川酸辣粉 (S$4.80), and Spicy Pork Dumplings in Chilli Vinaigrette 红油抄手 (S$3).
After all that spice, you’ll definitely want to cool off with refreshing desserts like Sichuan Ice Jelly (四川冰粉), Baked Snow Pear (冰火烤梨), and silky Beancurd (豆花).
The next time you want to enjoy mala tang without having to get through an entire bowl of soup, Alley Malatang is the place to be!
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