Chinese,  Food

Where to have a SPICY MALA feast without burning a hole in your pocket?

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy Sichuan Mala dishes

The spicy Mala food trend hasn’t really dwindled huh? We Singaporeans love our local spicy food but nothing is quite like Sichuan Mala dishes.

The type of spiciness we are talking about is of a different level. The Sichuan Mala sauce, which is predominantly made with Sichuan peppercorn, leaves a tingly numbness in your mouth followed by this fiery sensation on your tongue. And strangely, it leaves you wanting more of it.

Everything Mala

And as to why more and more Singaporeans are eating Mala, it is not difficult to see why. We are open to getting our tastebuds excited. Same for me, I was up for anything which has Mala sauce in it. From Mala-flavoured potato chips, nuts, fish skin crackers to even ice cream? Yes, I’ve tasted Mala ice cream before. However, I’ve never enjoyed a tableful of Sichuan Mala dishes before. And when the opportunity came, my tastebuds were ‘hopping in delight’.

Are you excited to see what we had for our 8-course Mala dinner?

Our 8-course Spicy Mala Dinner

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy Sichuan Mala dishes

You must be thinking if we had our meal at a restaurant or some sort of an independent eatery right? Just to get things straight, we had our Mala feast at the Food Republic @ 313 Somerset from this stall called Ba Guo Grilled Fish. With that, you can expect these dishes to come at pocket-friendly prices.

And the chefs from Ba Guo Grilled Fish really did a great job in serving up authentic Sichuan Mala dishes that are of restaurant-standard. Portions are generous and if you are looking for a place to dine with your Mala-loving tribe, this would be it.

The Mala spice level

When you are ordering these dishes, you can choose your preferred level of spiciness. We went with a medium spice level for all of our dishes, which is a rather tolerable spice level for all. It was spicy enough to leave a slight numbing sensation on your tongue but not to the extent of choking or sweating.

Chicken Cubes in Chili Oil (口水鸡) (SGD 7.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy Sichuan Mala dishes chicken cubes in chili oil

We had a mixture of cold and warm dishes. The cold dishes are sometimes served as appetisers or as ‘welcoming’ dishes. The Chinese usually have cold dishes during the summer. And one of the cold dishes we tried is the Chicken cubes in chili oil. It was a very refreshing dish to have as our first dish as it whets the appetite.

Sliced Beef and Strips in Special Sauce (夫妻肺片) (SGD 8.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy Sichuan Mala dishes sliced beef

The sliced beef strips in special sauce is another cold dish. It features thinly-sliced beef which meat is very tender and flavourful.

Hot and Sour Crunchy Fungus ( 爽口木耳) (SGD 5.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic crunchy fungus dish

To neutralise the palate, you can also order the hot and sour crunchy fungus as a side dish. It is not as spicy as the rest of the other Mala dishes.

Braised Pork Cubes with Mushrooms (香菇红烧肉) (SGD 16.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy Sichuan Mala dishes braised pork cubes

The braised pork cubes is another flavourful meaty dish to have as part of your 8-course Mala meal. It is served with large chunks of vegetables and mushrooms which have also soaked up all the flavours from the chili oil.

Frogs with pickled vegetables and chili ( 泡椒牛蛙) (SGD 19.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic frogs pickled vegetables chili

To me, this is another non-spicy dish of theirs which comes with lean frog legs and chunks of cucumber.

Spicy Deep Fried Chicken Cubes (重庆辣子鸡) (SGD 13.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic spicy deep fried chicken cubes Spicy Sichuan Mala dish

If I were to bring my family or friends back to Ba Guo Grilled Fish again, I would definitely order the two following dishes – Spicy deep fried chicken cubes and spicy grilled fish. The spicy deep fried chicken cubes tasted like popcorn chicken and according to them, it goes really well with beer.

Crayfish in Garlic Flavour (蒜茸小龙虾) (SGD 22.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic crayfish garlic

You may also amped up your Mala feast with some seafood. It is another not-so spicy dish which is more palatable to most people.

Spicy Grilled Fish (麻辣烤鱼) (SGD 36.80)

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy Sichuan Mala grilled fish

Here comes the star of all Mala dishes! Ba Guo Grilled Fish’s signature is none other than their spicy grilled fish which comes in this piping hot tray. The fish is grilled before soaking in the sea of spicy Mala gravy and topped with dried chili.

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Spicy grilled fish

The fish is fresh and well-cooked. You can easily devour the fish with three to four other people.

What to do with all the Mala oil floating in your stomach?

Ba Guo Grilled Fish Food Republic Chinese tea

I have to admit that while the Mala dishes may be delicious, it can be rather oily. Thank goodness for Chinese tea! Drinking Chinese tea helps cleanse the palate and according to a health study, it helps reduce the greasiness sensation in our mouths.

The ‘Spicy hot’ Bill

In total, the 8 dishes cost SGD 132.40 which fed 8 of us. That works out to be $16.55 per pax. Even then, we could not finish all the dishes. I believe the 8 dishes we ordered can feed up to 10 people. How’s that for a Mala feast?

Do you love eating Mala?

Where do you like to eat Mala? Let us know in the comment box below!

A travel and lifestyle blogger based in Singapore.

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