Food Tasting at Xiao La Jiao [Sichuan Cuisine] @ 112 Katong Mall

Last Friday, we attended a food tasting session at Xiao La Jiao, a Chinese restaurant that serves Sichuan cuisine @ 112 Katong Mall and because it was our first time trying Sichuan cuisine and knowing how Sichuan dishes can be rather spicy, we were rather apprehensive about it. However, we were so wrong and frankly speaking, we had an enjoyable time dining with the rest of the Bloggers whom were there!

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Magdalene really entertained us and made us laugh so hard over dinner. Enjoyment level = All Time High.

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Funny Antics #1

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Funny Antics #2

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Funny Antics #3

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

So what is Sichuan cuisine or Sichuan food and what is so special about it?

Sichuan cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from the Sichuan province in southwestern China and Sichuan dishes are usually bold in flavours due to the pungency and spiciness resulting from the liberal use of garlic, chili peppers, and as well as the unique flavour of the Sichuan pepper.

Is it true that most Sichuan dishes are spicy?

Yes, Sichuan dishes are mostly spicy but a typical meal also includes non-spicy dishes to cool the palate.

Then what’s the big deal about dining at Xiao La Jiao and how is it different from other Chinese restaurants offering Sichuan food?

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Xiao La Jiao is currently CreativEATeries‘ one and only Chinese restaurant that serves Sichuan cuisine and we personally like it because of its extremely inviting ambience. Not only that, the Sichuan dishes at Xiao La Jiao are extremely authentic. To top it off, the chefs and the waiters are from Sichuan and you can be rest assured that you’re getting the finest Sichuan food that you can ever find in Singapore.

External Facade of Xiao La Jiao

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Here were the dishes that we had at Xiao La Jiao [arranged in the order of courses]

Appetisers:

Pig’s Ear Slices with Spicy Sauce

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

One word to describe this dish, Chewy! We kinda freaked out when we found out that we were going to eat pig’s ear slices and Magdalene was joking about how our food tasting session had turned into a X-Factor reality show. But jokes aside, if you’re the sort that often eats Kway Chap with pig organs, then eating pig’s ears shouldn’t be that of a problem.

Husband & Wife Beef Offal with Spicy Sauce

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

A rather unique beefy dish for the beef lovers.

Mains:

Camphor & Tea Smoked Duck

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

This is one of our favourite dishes. The smoked duck was really tender, flavourful, and has no weird “ducky” smell. There is a sweet sauce that goes along with the dish but we highly recommend that you eat without it so that you can really taste the authentic flavour of the dish. Also, if you’re an OCBC Cardmember, you get to enjoy 50% off the Camphor & Tea Smoked Duck [whether it is half duck or whole duck] with a minimum spend of $50. This exclusive promotion will only be valid till 30 April 2013.

Pork Strips in Sweet Bean Sauce

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The pork strips were nicely cut and were well-garnished with strips of onions. Eating the pork strips on its own can be rather sweet and hence, we recommend that you wrap the pork strips with the bean skin and eat it together.

Ge Le Shan ‘La Zi’ Chicken

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

This dish got us perspired rather badly and though we have a high tolerance for spiciness, we totally surrendered to it because we could literally feel our tongues numbed by the spiciness of the Sichuan pepper. In Sichuan, this dish is usually served as a snack that is eaten with beer; just like how in Singapore, we eat peanuts with beer.

Sichuan Fish Slices with Pickled Greens

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Personally, we felt that this dish has a rather local teochew taste to it and it is a dish that would probably be well-received by the locals. The fish slices tasted fresh and sweet and not only that, it is boneless; thus making the fish a rather pleasant experience to eat.

Sichuan Ma Po Tofu

From Xiao La Jiao 2013
From Xiao La Jiao 2013

This has got to be our most favourite dish of the night. The Ma Po Tofu was authentically done and we really like how it complements the rice. If we were served Sichuan Ma Po Tofu and Rice everyday, we probably won’t be sick of it and would enjoy eating it! We highly recommend you to try this dish if you’re Tofu lover.

Cabbage with Rich Broth

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The extraordinary thing about this dish is the rich broth that complements the cabbage. It is a rather healthy dish and is suitable for those whom prefers to have something light and refreshing but yet rich and flavourful at the same time.

Xiao Chi [Side Dishes]:

Sichuan Guo Tie

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

This dish would also be one our favourites for the evening because it is firm to the bite and the texture was just right. Eating this dish really reminded us of the Guo Tie that we had in Taipei, Taiwan and having tasted so many Guo Ties in Singapore, this has got to be the best that we have tried so far. We highly recommend you to try this dish if you like pan-fried dumplings.

Sichuan Wontons with Spicy Sauce

From Xiao La Jiao 2013
From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The wontons contain some minced pork and the spicy sauce goes pretty well with the wontons. Though the sauce might be a little spicy, you an drink it on its own and it tasted slightly similar as Sichuan’s Sour and Spicy Soup.

Rainbow Dumplings

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The Rainbow Dumplings are perhaps the stars of the evening. Each colour of the Rainbow Dumplings are different in taste and flavour, and they are made from pure and natural ingredients. So in other words, no artificial food colourings are used. You can either order an assortment of Rainbow Dumplings or request for a single-colour Rainbow Dumplings.

Soup:

Sichuan Waxed Pork Soup

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The soup was peppery in taste and it contains some cured pork strips. This dish is suitable for someone whom prefers to have something light and refreshing.

Desserts:

Sichuan Pumpkin Pancake

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The pancake was chewy, delightful, and authentic. We haven’t try anything like it before and we found it to be rather unique.

Mixed Sugar Guo Kui

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

This was perhaps our favourite dessert for the night. It is sweet, chewy, and has some sort of a local taste to it.

Food

Generally, the quality of the food were superb and the portions were just right. Because there are a variety of spicy and non-spicy dishes that are available, you need not worry about bringing your family and friends whom don’t take spicy food. If you’re the sort of person whom constantly seeks out new flavours, you got to try Xiao La Jiao because their Sichuan food are truly one of the finest and one of the more authentic ones.

Beverage

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

We tried 3 of the beverages and they are honey lemon, barley, and sour plum. All 3 of the beverages are homemade and personally, we liked all 3 and it is really up to your own individual preferences as to what you would like to have.

Price

Considering the average portions of the various Sichuan dishes that we had, we felt that the prices were reasonable and quite value for money. Also, it would be best if you dine in large groups and order their set meals because there would then be more dishes which you could try but yet pay a similar price per person.

Service

Service was average and it might be slightly difficult to get the attention of service staffs especially during peak hours.

Ambience

From Xiao La Jiao 2013
From Xiao La Jiao 2013

The dining ambience is cosy, clean, and welcoming. The interior decoration has an oriental feel and the distance between each tables were adequately spaced. Dining in small groups or large groups isn’t an issue as the tables can be separated or combined. There’s also a see-through glass panel which you can see the chefs at work in the kitchen.

Promotions

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Currently, the only promotion that Xiao La Jiao has is the one where OCBC Cardmembers can get 50% off the Camphor and Tea Smoked Duck [half duck or whole duck] with a minimum spend of $50. The promotion is valid till 30 April 2013. If you would like to be kept updated of any new promotions from Xiao La Jiao, do click the following link and like their Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/XiaoLaJiao.sg

We will definitely recommend Xiao La Jiao and we will be back to try their other dishes!

From Xiao La Jiao 2013

Last but not the least, we really want to thank CreativEATeries for having us over at Xiao La Jiao for the food tasting session and also to Isaac for taking the time to explain the various Sichuan dishes and hosting us for the evening.

From Xiao La Jiao 2013