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Comfortably Numb

Comfortably Numb

By HK Magazine (updated on 20 May 2016)

Craving something with a little more kick? We go in search of the reddest, hottest, most tongue-numbing Sichuan restaurants in town.

Hot Tou Trot

There’s no option but to embrace the heat at Tou Yuen Delicacies (桃源美食). This low-key gem is tucked away on the top floor of a food center in Shek Tong Tsui: it’s hard to miss thanks to the bright yellow signage. As for the signatures, try the succulent, super-hot marinated “saliva chicken” and chili broth ($68), which can easily feed a group of four. Pair it with some fried tofu, chili-laced veggies and chilled Tsingtaos.

Address: 9 Yat Fu Lane, Shek Tong Tsui
Tel: +852 2855 0809
Mask Your Tears
Mask Your Tears

It’s hard to miss the traditional Chinese opera masks dramatically hanging from the ceiling at Mask of Si Chuen & Beijing, which is known for its bold décor and bolder flavors. Signature dishes include simmered beef with chili broth and shrimp with ginger chili sauce, which is served on a sizzling platter. Or go all out and order the steamed fish head with pickled chili—but be warned, the light, sour and spicy broth has a kick. Vegetarians are taken care of with a dedicated menu, but the veggie dishes are just as chili-loaded.

Address: Shop 33, G/F, Tsim Sha Tsui East Station
Tel: +852 2311 9233
Private Spices

First garnering popularity as a private kitchen, Sijie Sichuan Restaurant has now opened its own restaurant. It’s traded in its cozy surroundings, but the warm hospitality is a permanent fixture. Ideal for those new to Sichuan cuisine, the menu offers a solid mix of standard spicy dishes—think pork belly or poached fish swimming in chili oil—as well as easier options, such as Sichuan prawns, beans and minced pork.

Address: 10/F, Bartlock Centre, 3 Yiu Wa St., Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2802 2250
House of Dancing Chilies

Check out Sichuan House for a range of spicy Chengdu specialties, like crispy pork jowls, beef and pig’s tongues in chili sauce and homemade crispy eel. Need a break from the heat? Try the iced black fungus or marinated beef slices for a quiet respite. A go-to is the Pi County fish in doubanjiang—a soy-based paste that’s both spicy and salty. Bashu spicy prawns, the hottest dish on the menu, are not for the faint-hearted—consider yourself warned.

Address: 7/F, M88, 2 Wellington St., Central
Tel: +852 2521 6699
Yun Numb Nom
Yun Numb Nom

Around for almost 20 years, Yun Yan has perfected the art of balancing those Sichuan flavors. The must-tries include the sliced beef appetizers, as well as the tossed chilled noodles with pork in spicy garlic soy sauce. The house-made eight-flavor tofu is creative and delicious—choose your dipping sauce or just pour them all on at once. Cool down after dinner with drunken chili chocolate ice cream or one of the flavored tofu smoothies.

Address: Shop 1001B, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2375 0800
Okqi Doqi

Qi - House of Sichuan takes its name from “qi,” (呇) a shining star: The star in turn recalls star anise, one of the most common ingredients in Sichuan cuisine. We can’t get enough of the chili oil wontons and the signature scallion ginger beef, which is a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Vegetarians have a range of options here, with “bang bang” veggie wontons and mapo tofu up for grabs. Douse the fire with a Roselle flower iced tea: instant relief.

Address: 2/F, J Senses, 60 Johnston Rd., Wan Chai
Tel: +852 2527 7117
Me & Yu

Yu offers no-frills dining with all the classic Sichuan recipes. The menu here is overflowing with chili-drenched concoctions, including mouthwatering chicken, sour and spicy glass noodles and fragrant spicy bean jelly noodles, which are served cold. Soothe your suffering with a chilled soy milk after your meal.

Address: 4 Yiu Wa St., Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2838 8198
Fagara ‘Bout It
Fagara ‘Bout It

Chilli Fagara’s burnished red walls and dark wood furniture echo the flavors of the food. The menu is a treat for chili addicts, with delicious gingery fried beef, pork slices to dip in chili and garlic sauces, and baby squid that swims amidst a sea of chilies. The specially constructed menu is meant to be eaten in a particular order to first numb the palate, and then blast it with flavors.

Address: G/F, 7 Old Bailey St., Central
Tel: +852 2796 6866
Cool Tricks

Can’t handle the heat? These cooling strategies should ease your weakling taste buds.

Drink milk.
Dairy products contain a binding agent known as casein which disassociates capsaicin (the alkaloid oil in chilies that’s responsible for the burning sensation) from nerve receptors. Science!

Suck on sugar.
Eating a cube of sugar or a spoonful of honey will help, because sugar absorbs capsaicin and helps to neutralize the heat.

Put down that water.
Capsaicin is not water-soluble, so drinking water will only prolong the burn.

Do shots.
Take a swig of cold, hard liquor—anything with more than 5 percent alcohol. That means, copious chilled vodka is going to be more effective than beer. You’re welcome!

Information in this article is subject to changes without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.

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