It’s not difficult to see why Sichuan cuisine is so popular with us Singaporeans — we’re practically making a mala or chilli oil version of everything, and it always seems to work. Fellow Sichuan cuisine connoisseurs, you’d know that we tend to find these foods in more informal dining settings (kopitiams, coffee shops, and the like). Well, if you’ve always wanted to try an upscale version, here’s your sign to head over to Kuan Zhai Alley.
Located in the heart of the CBD, this luxurious and modern restaurant serves up authentic Sichuan cuisine — and it’s way more aesthetic than you’d think. Patrons can expect to be greeted with a grand entrance featuring various water features, and even a projected waterfall.
While the establishment has ample seating, there are also private rooms with different themes featuring key Chinese elements like bamboo and pandas.
You can’t dine here without trying their signature dish, Braised Fish With Sour Cowpea (S$168). I’m not exaggerating when I say that I smelt the aroma of the still-bubbling gravy before I set eyes on the dish — it was just that fragrant. The fish itself was fresh and tender, and the sour and spicy gravy that coated every inch of it definitely packed a punch.
We’ve all heard of la zi ji, but what about Spicy Snowflake Beef (S$88)? These bite-sized beef cubes definitely intimidated me (as someone with a lower spice tolerance), but it was actually pretty palatable. Plus, I enjoyed that the generous chunks of beef came perfectly medium-rare.
NGL, these Golden Shrimp Balls (from S$58) were my favourite dish — I’m talking large, succulent deep-fried prawns doused in a mayonnaise-like sauce, topped with crunchy potato strips. Talk about luxurious!
Other items in their extensive menu include Spicy Boneless Duck Webs (S$38), Charcoal Smoked Beef Ribs (S$128), Cordyceps Flower Chicken Soup (S$16), and so much more.
If you’re been on the hunt for an absolute showstopper, look no further than Kuan Zhai’s edible paint brushes (宽窄毛笔酥, S$8/brush). This set takes dining theatrics to a whole new level with these brushes that look insanely real — instead of actual brushes, though, these are actually pastries.
Dip the edible bit into the “ink” basin (psst… it’s actually chocolate!) and create some fun masterpieces before biting into the almost-too-pretty-to-eat dessert — it’ll definitely be an unforgettable dining experience. The flaky pastries even come in different flavours like sesame, avocado and more.
While the dishes tend to be on the pricier side, it’s a great place for special occasions (or even to treat yo’self).
Ready for a gastronomic adventure?
Kuan Zhai Alley
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📍 23 Church Street #01-08, 049481 Singapore
🕒 11am–3pm, 5.30pm–11pm (Daily)
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Photos by Kylynn Seng