Two friends, from totally different circles, checked into Ba Shu Sichuan Restaurant at Bedok within a week of each other. They sang high praises of the Sichuan food. Being a fan of IBS, we visited it.
Let’s learn a little Chinese with Uncle RERG. Ba Shu 巴蜀 refers to the ancient states of Ba and Shu states during the Zhou dynasty, which was 2700 years ago! The Ba and Shu states correspond to the modern-day Chongqing and Sichuan. 演义 can mean “art performance,” but in this case, it means “historical romance,” as in 三国演义. See, you gain some knowledge AND know the best places to eat on RERG.
The menu is so long and confusing. We got the waitress to recommend dishes to us. It was quite funny because we said yes to all her recommendations. Challenge accepted, it was like a dare. If she kept recommending, we would keep saying yes.
In Mandarin, sliced beef and tripe 夫妻肺片 (small, $10) is transliterated as “husband wife lung pieces.” What it really is is a cold appetiser of braised beef and innards, drizzled with ma la chilli oil. It is fantastic, the numbing and spicy flavours come on strongly but we can still taste the savoury beef. Really shiok.
Everyone at my table named spare ribs with onion 红葱干香骨 (small, $18) as the best dish. It is something I would not usually order, had it not been for the waitress’s recommendation. The ribs are sweet with a slight earthy aftertaste of cumin. Small bite but powerful and moreish. This is a must order.
Another great dish, pickled fish 老坛酸菜鱼 (small, $22), is fresh and ample fish slices floating in a soup of pickled vegetables. We all loved it. The sourness is appetising without being off-putting. This is slightly spicy, adding to the thrill of it.
We were debating whether the beancurd (small, $14) is made in-house because it tastes differently from elsewhere. It’s eggy with a distinct soy flavour. (We found out later that our deduction was correct.) The brown sauce on the fried tofu is savoury and addictive.
The stir-fried cabbage with chilli 干锅包菜 (small, $12) is another dish that I normally wouldn’t order because cabbage is a cheap ingredient, and I’m cheap, I won’t pay $12 for it at a restaurant. The cabbage comes slightly raw on a pot with a fire. Besides dried chilli, there are very few slivers of pork buried in the mound. One of my friends liked this dish a lot, but I thought it was too simple.
The dish that we wouldn’t recommend, stir-fried beef 小炒黄牛肉 (small, $18), is full of red chilli and spring onion, but little beef. The problem with this dish is the beef doesn’t taste like beef. It is so unnaturally tender and smooth that it tastes more like pork.
We paid $128 for four persons but we over-ordered. The food is really good here, capturing the essence of Sichuan food, attested by the China customers surrounding us.
Ba Shu Sichuan Restaurant
Block 219, Bedok Central #01-122, Singapore 460219
tel: +65 6384 0115
11am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 10pm daily
You may be interested in…
–Mott 32, MBS: Outrageous Prices for Global Cantonese Food with Beijing and Sichuan Influences
-Yang Guo Fu 杨国福, Bugis: World’s Largest Mala Tang (Not MLXG) Chain with Over 6000 Outlets
–Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road: Newly Renovated With New Dishes
–Chuan Hung, Telok Ayer: Slurp-worthy Handmade Sichuan Mian Yang Rice Noodles With a History of 1700 Years
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.