Si Wei Yan: affordable, classic Sichuan food
For fans of Sichuan cuisine, there are many options.
One of the latest to open - Si Wei Yan (from the owners of the popular Chinatown eatery Si Wei Mao Cai) - is also one of the best around.
Given the decor and location, the food here is surprisingly inexpensive. This is a blessing for those who are on a budget but want to live a little.
The owners - all from Chengdu - made sure the recipes remain authentic, while adding dishes that may not be typical finds. The result is a well-rounded menu of classics (the fish with chilli is a must) and new items (like the oat soup).
I love the food here, to the point that I ignored my burning lips and paid for my indulgence with a rumbling stomach and whatever else that followed.
Be adventurous. You'll be in for a delicious time.
Although my tongue was numbed by this, the beef tongue slices with ginger ($16) was such a thrill to eat. Unlike the slow burn of the usual Sichuan dishes, this one hits you immediately. Eat this with the sliced ginger for added heat.
The Si Wei Signature BBQ pork ribs ($48) is a must-order. It is as delicious as it is aromatic. The slab of super tender rib is covered with chillies and nuts. It looks dry but the meat is juicy.
If you need a non-spicy dish, the eggplant topped with homemade green chilli ($11) is your option. The specially imported green chilli tastes more like preserved turnip.
I'm not a fan of frog's legs but I like the stir fried frog in chilli soup ($32) because of that layer of addictive ma la chillies. The dish is a visual treat - the reds are glorious - and it is as spicy as it looks.
Another non-spicy and vegetarian option is the stir fried king oyster mushroom ($18). It's a simple but effective dish, perfect for when your tongue is begging for mercy.
WHAT Si Wei Yan
WHERE 1 Club Street
WHEN Monday to Saturday 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10pm