You will need to rethink your ideas about Sichuan cuisine after dining at Deng G. Don’t get me wrong – fans of the super-spicy style of food from southwestern China’s Sichuan Province won’t be disappointed. But to expect every dish to leave your eyes watering and your taste buds tingling from a feisty dose of pepper and chilli would be a disservice to the skill and innovation of chef Deng Huadong.
On the day of our visit, our group was seated in the hush of one of the private dining rooms to enjoy a banquet-style feast. Starters of sliced pork with garlic and chilli, shredded chicken with spicy sesame dressing, smoked fish, and jellyfish marinated in vinegar were a pleasantly authentic introduction.
The mains were served family-style, allowing everyone to sample an array of food. They began with a seafood and bean soup, followed by braised sea cucumber. Among the highlights for me was a dish of plump, juicy Yu Xiang prawns, which were flavoursome without being overpowering, and crispy fish in spicy sauce. The mains were rounded out with braised conpoy and Chinese cabbage, and the renowned mapo tofu, which really put our group’s ability to handle the heat to the test!
The standout for me among the mains was the braised beef rib with mild red oil, a dish I don’t normally associate with Sichuan food. The perfectly cooked meat fell off the bone and was full of flavour, with the accompanying red oil a gently piquant reminder of the cuisine’s origin. The dish was the perfect representation of the way that chef Deng’s cuisine packs a punch, but in a sophisticated and nuanced way.
Deng G Chengdu Bistro & Baijiu Bar 2/F, 147 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
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