Sunday, July 16, 2017

[Media Invite] Mi Si Hunan Cuisine Restaurant 密斯湘菜馆 @ 9 Mosque Street

Located at 9 Mosque Street, this Chinese restaurant that serves Hunan cuisine, is right next to Wink Hostel. Most of us would have been pretty well acquainted with Shanghai., Guangdong or Sze Chuan foods but Hunan cuisine seemed to be still quite rare in Singapore.

The restaurant was fairly relaxed when I arrived at about 7pm on a weekday. The shop is quite spacious and I suppose larger groups could enjoy a quiet meal in one of their private dining rooms. Not sure about the minimum spend required though.

What's Hunan cuisine characteristics? According to one of their staff, Hunan cuisine characteristics are  '酸' (sour) and '辣' (spicy). When further pried, she divulges that the spicy level had been toned down for local tastebuds. Aww...think we can't handle the heat? Well, most probably, I can't!

dining area
The kitchen is helmed by a native Hunan chef but the rest of the staff are from other places. For this invited tasting, we tried about 8 dishes of Mi Si Hunan Cuisine Specialty and local favourites.

The sizes of the dishes here are either medium or large. Bring along some friends or enjoy with family. We had lamb soup, spicy sweet potato noodles, house-specialty Hanging Fish Head (not as morbid as it sounded), stir-fried green peppers with sliced pork, cauliflower basket, spicy frog legs, pork ribs and hotplate beef. Eaten with a bowl of steamed rice, of course.


How about some beer to start? One could choose Tsingdao (青岛), Yanjing (燕京). The last I drank a Yanjing beer was way back in Beijing. This was slightly stronger than the one I had many years ago.


Let's take a look at the dishes. The hotplate beef was awesome! So flavourful and appetising. Spice level that'll give you the feels. Everything was deemed as 微辣 or mildly spicy. However, not all are equal. For example, the hotplate beef was definitely spicier than the Hunan style fried pork!

铁板孜然牛肉 (hotplate cumin beef) @ $18.80++
农家小炒肉 (Hunan style fried pork) @ $14.80++
It was also interesting to have carbs on carbs. Like the spicy sweet potato/tapioca noodles.Google translate says 红薯粉 is sweet potato but the menu wrote tapioca...Someone please enlighten me, thank you.

加了酸豆角的红薯粉 (tapioca/sweet potato noodles) @$15.80++
孜然排骨 (cumin pork ribs) @$18.80++

The pork ribs was of those dry-rub kind and since its ends were nicely wrapped with aluminium foil, one could pick it up without dirtying much the fingers. Paired well with the ice-cold beer. Meat, I like. Cumin, is a wonderful seasoning.

one for me
One dish that exceeded expectation was the cauliflower. Deceptively simple yet big in flavours. Was it just soy sauce, spring onions and chilies? It was so good! Texture was just right too. Soft but it doesn't crumble, yet not crunchy too.

大盆花菜 (cauliflower) @$10.80++
The house-specialty fish was served by hanging the pot with chunks of fish head in broth and simmered over a small flame. The official name is 第二代吊锅鱼头 but why wasn't it translated as second generation hanging pot fish head? Hmm. But I heard the staff said that the sauce/soup is from Chef's special recipe.

第二代吊锅鱼头 (fish head with special chopped chili in a pot) @$24.80++
The soup would bubble up and boil and the staff will turn off the fire in about 10 minutes after that. The soup was sourish, spicy and shioks. But oily too! Song fishhead is used for this dish.

spicy sourish fish head
Another dish that I've enjoyed was the fried frog with pickled vegetables. Super smooth, tender and sweet flesh. But looking at the price, I think the fish head would be more value for money. But the frog legs were good!

老枟酸菜跳跳蛙 (fried frog in pickled vegetables) @$31.80++

Lastly, the one dish that I didn't like was the lamb soup. The soup, I really disliked as the gamey smell and the flavour of the soup was just a no-go for me. The lamb meat was tender though.

lamb soup

All in all, Mi Si offers hearty food that's both spicy and sour. The heat from the spice was pretty bearable. It was just enough to give a mild jolt to the tongue and warmed the tummy. Quite shiok. If you could order just three dishes, here would be my recommendation; Hotplate Cumin Beef, Fish Head Pot and Cauliflower. Actually these three dishes are enough to feed a family of five.

Thank you to Mi Si and Hungrygowhere for the invite.


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