Last week we had team dinner at a Sichuan Restaurant in Causeway Bay, behind Times Square. It is called Sijie Sichuan Restaurant and is on 3 Yiu Wa Street, which is in the building next to FILMe shop. We picked it because we wanted to eat Szechuan food, heard good things about it (for example on The Dim Sum Diaries and on Hungry HK) and it is close to our office on Hennessy Road.
It’s a Szechuan Restaurant and while it is called a private kitchen, it is almost a normal restaurant (it has a sign, a menu, fixed prices, a telephone number etc.) except that you have to book in advance and pay in cash.
When you arrive, you receive a menu (in Chinese and English) and can select a number of dishes. The prices are fixed, so you pay 280 HKD per person (without beer or soft drinks – if you want wine, you have to bring your own) and can choose a number of dishes. We were eight people, so we were recommended to choose five starters and seven main courses.
On the menu are a mix of spicy dishes and non-spicy ones, so you don’t have to be chili lovers to enjoy this place. We were a group of Westerners and Chinese, including a girl from Szechuan, so she knew what to order – and more importantly she could let us know if the dishes tasted similar to the ones she ate at home.
For starters, we selected a mix of vegetables and meat dishes as starters: green cucumbers with garlic. celery with chili, traditional cold noodles, pork belly in hot chili oil (this was the best starter) and chicken in spicy sauce. All appetisers arrived pretty quickly, they were already prepared.
The portion size was pretty big and the dishes tasted fresh – but they were not spicy enough. This was disappointing, I had hoped the chili noodles would give me a kick – but apart from the pork belly in chili oil most of the dishes were turned down, when it came to their heat level. Still, they were tasty and flavoursome.
The mains arrived shortly after, we had a mix of non-spicy dishes including potatoes sliced thinly and fried with minced meat and little spice dishes, such as gung pao chicken, beef with dried chilies, eggplants with sweet soy sauce. Of course, we also ordered spicy dishes, including the famous poached fish in hot chili oil.
The fish was the best dish of the evening – there was lots of meat, a great hot spice level (with some numbing Szechuan pepper included) and a good overall taste. I really liked this dish.
Most of the other dishes were ok, they were quiet rich and oily, but not that spicy – the potato dish was greasy, the eggplants too sweat and the dried green beans were a little too salty. But overall it was good quality of food and huge portion sizes – we ended up with three food containers to take home!
Our Szechuan girl confirmed that the dishes were traditional, but she said they had been adapted to Hong Kong taste buds – less spicy and some ingredients changed or added. Quite surprisingly, looking around us, there were not many Hong Kongers at the private kitchen. Most of the tables (about 10 tables in total) included Westerners and Asian people, only a few Hong Kongers seemed to be dining here.
Will I go there again? Probably not. This private kitchen offers good quality food, large portion sizes and the service is friendly – but there are cheaper and more authentic Szechuan restaurants in Hong Kong. It was nice to experience it, but next time I’ll visit another Szechuan restaurant.
Sijie Sichuan Restaurant
10/F, Bartlock Centre
3 Yiu Wa Street
Tel. 2802 2250