New Sichuan restaurant review: Chuan Palace, Mongkok, Hong Kong
Delicious new upscale Sichuan spot in Mongkok
I really, really love Sichuan food. The numbing pepper is just so fragrant and delicious. It’s worth all the aesthetic issues (runny nose, red face, sweating, etc.). My favourite Sichuan food places in Hong Kong so far are probably Sijie and Qi. However, they aren’t perfect in my opinion … some dishes are done exceptionally well (shoutouts to the poached fish and cold noodles at Sijie and the crispy beef at Qi) while many others are just OK. So I was intrigued by the announcement of a new Sichuan restaurant in Mongkok. What would it add to our Sichuan dining scene?
Chuan Palace is located in the MOKO shopping mall but looks like a classic Chinese dining room with a trendy decor twist. I visited on a weeknight the second week it was open and the place was packed. After a few bites, I could see why the restaurant was doing so well.
The kitchen is run by Chef Lee Chi Kwong who has over 20 years of experience creating authentic Sichuan dishes. He previously worked at San Xi Lou and Golden Valley. While we didn’t sample much dim sum, the restaurant has recruited Chef Chan Sai Fai formerly the Executive Chef of dim sum at Wing Lei Palace in Wynn Palace Macau to head this up.
What stands out to me about Chuan Palace is how elegantly they execute more ... unusual dishes.
I very rarely eat blood or innards but the deep-fried duck blood ($108) and sauteed pig intestines ($188) were too delicious to just eat one piece.
As for the classics, the Sichuan-style poached chicken ($268 for half, $388 for whole) was good, though I’d say the Sichuan-style poached ox tongue ($348) was even better … so tender!
There’s been a chilled pork belly dish on most Sichan menus I’ve seen but Chuan Palace takes their version to the next level by a) using tender meat from the back of the pig instead and, most importantly, b) smothering it in an extremely fragrant mashed garlic paste (using Shandong garlic and Sichuan salad oil). This one is delicate in texture but powerful in flavour. Definitely one for major garlic lovers. (Feb 2021 update: this is still the best version I've tried in Hong Kong!)
They also had some interesting non-spicy dishes that I haven’t seen elsewhere. The pork belly with salted egg yolk stuffing ($118) is an absolute must order.
And the deep-fried honeydew milk ($178) is a nice custardy treat.
We ended our meal with some traditional tofu pudding (sorry, I don’t remember the price of this one) which was an excellent choice to cool down our tongues after a flavour-packed meal.
I’d love to visit Chuan Palace again. The quality of food is great and the prices are very reasonable. Congrats to the team on this new opening!
L5 501, 193 Prince Edward Rd W, Mong Kok, 2339 1900