Chong Qing Grilled Fish

January 23, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Chong Qing Grilled Fish
1 Liang Seah Street #01-05

18 Mosque Street

45 Geylang Lorong 27

2 Maju Avenue


https://www.cqgf.com.sg/


Grilled Grass Carp In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Lotus Root, White Radish, Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd (SGD $63.20)



Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan Charcoal Grilled Fish

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $27 / $35 per person.


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Named after the Chongqing region of Southwest China, Chong Qing Grilled Fish specialises in Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan cuisine, in particular, a charcoal grilled fish served in a spicy mala gravy, which is their signature dish. Founded in April 2010, Chong Qing Grilled Fish has become a popular late-night haunt for traditional Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan food.

Ambience at Chong Qing Grilled Fish is brightly lit and clean, though the sturdy dark wooden furniture is closely packed to maximise seating. As a result, the place is noisy and bustling, especially if guests start speaking really loudly. Ventilation is average, with only a faint smell of cooking that sticks to your clothing. There's minimal decor, the place isn't designed for aesthetics, and is rather functional in form. At least there's pretty paintings on the walls, of auspicious koi fish.

Service at Chong Qing Grilled Fish is pretty good. While staff mostly converse in Chinese Mandarin, at least they are friendly, courteous, and efficient. However, I have seen the senior staff conversing with non-Chinese diners / tourists in fluent English. The menu has English descriptions, and pointing at dishes works too. I note that staff are quick to seat diners and take orders, as well as clear empty / dirty tables or plates. Am actually rather surprised that the service is above average.

Food at Chong Qing Grilled Fish consists mainly of traditional Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan cuisine. The menu is small but with good variety, and the majority of food is naturally savoury, salty, and spicy. Portions are medium large, plated for sharing, and communal dining is highly encouraged. Prices are reasonable for individual dishes, but expensive for add-on options, budget about SGD $27 per person for a decent meal here.


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Chong Qing Grilled Fish Facade


Chong Qing Grilled Fish Menu


Chong Qing Grilled Fish Menu



They have a small variety of local China beers on the menu, like this Beer Tsingtao (SGD $7). This is an American style pale pilsner, brewed by Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd in Qingdao, Shandong, China. It has a straw golden colour, with aromas and tastes of rice, corn, metal, and grain. The body is light, thin, and carbonated, and has low bitterness and a hint of citrus sweetness.

Beer Tsingtao (SGD $7)



The Szechuan Mouth Watering Chicken (SGD $6.80) is a popular Sichuan appetizer, featuring chilled poached chicken in a spicy, oily gravy. This classic Chinese dish has tender, succulent chicken meat that is clean tasting, fresh, and sweet, while the gravy; fragrant with garlic, chili, and peppercorn; has a slow, lingering burn. Cool down with the chilled, crunchy slices of cucumber plated beneath! Highly recommended!

Szechuan Mouth Watering Chicken (SGD $6.80)


Szechuan Mouth Watering Chicken



The String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili (SGD $11) is incredibly tasty, due to its savoury, salty flavours of fragrant minced pork, garlic, and chili. The string beans are soft, but not limp, retaining a bright freshness in the center. Really nice when paired with white rice. Pretty good dish!

String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili (SGD $11)


String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili



The Jiaozi Pork Dumplings (SGD $8) is an off-menu item, usually only available if you order a hot-pot. However, staff will accomodate requests for ala-carte, provided it's not reserved for hot-pot diners. I like the clean, sweet, fresh tasting pork meat within the lightly steamed dumplings, and the skin has the right thickness. Ask for vinegar as a dipping sauce for more flavour!

Jiaozi Pork Dumplings (SGD $8)


Jiaozi Pork Dumplings


Jiaozi Pork Dumplings



The Golden Fried Mantou (SGD $3.80) I felt was below average, as it's not as soft as I like. While it has a crisp crust, the bun itself is rather oily, and I fail to see why it should be dipped into a mala gravy then eaten. Not to my liking, as it's much too oily.

Golden Fried Mantou (SGD $3.80)



The Grilled Seabass In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd (SGD $45.60) is the signature dish here. The fresh, meaty, seabass fish with sweet, succulent white meat has been charcoal grilled, making the skin savoury salty, with a hint of smoky flavour. It's then served in a oily, spicy mala gravy, along with your choice of optional add-on ingredients. I got this with enoki mushroom and frozen beancurd, which soaks up the gravy beautifully.

Grilled Seabass In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd (SGD $45.60)


Grilled Seabass In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd



The Grilled Grass Carp In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Lotus Root, White Radish, Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd (SGD $63.20) is slightly larger in size, but the fish also has more fine, small bones. Also charcoal grilled, the white flesh and skin of the grass carp fish is sweet, savoury, salty, succulent, and fresh. Personally, I prefer the seabass fish over this, because it's easier to eat.

Grilled Grass Carp In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Lotus Root, White Radish, Enoki Mushroom, Frozen Beancurd (SGD $63.20)



The savoury smoky Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin (SGD $18) has sliced mutton and onions, done the way the Chinese like it; semi-firm and slightly dry, with a chewy texture. The taste is not gamey at all, thanks to the liberal use of cumin and chili, the meat is savoury without being overly salty, and incredibly fragrant and mouth-watering in aroma. Felt this dish was pretty good!

Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin (SGD $18)


Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin



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Update Apr-2019: More than 3 years later, Chong Qing Grilled Fish is still going strong with a loyal following. Have returned several times since. They've maintained consistently delicious dishes with robust flavours, but also expanded their menu offerings.

Ambience at Chong Qing Grilled Fish remains understated functional, with its black, metal, and concrete touches. Their outlets are usually warmly lit, with modern functional furniture, and a faint grilling odour lingering in the air... I usually choose to sit outdoors as a result. Service at Chong Qing Grilled Fish remains attentive, with staff still conversing mainly in Chinese Mandarin. They display good product knowledge, and efficiency at cleaning up. Food at Chong Qing Grilled Fish remains focused on Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan cuisine, with the highlight being their mala peppercorn grilled fish. Their portions are large, sized for communal group dining. Prices have risen to keep pace with the market, budget about SGD $35 per person for a meal here.

Chong Qing Grilled Fish Facade
Chong Qing Grilled Fish Facade


Menu - Types Of Fish


Menu - Fish Cooking Styles & Sides


Menu - Beer


Menu - Staples


Menu - Vegetables & Beancurd


Menu - Meat


Menu - Seafood


Menu - Appetizers



The Beer Harbin (SGD $7.50) is brewed by their namesake Harbin Brewery, in Harbin, in the Heilongjiang province of China. It has a bright straw golden colour, with faint aromas of wheat, cereal, lemon zest, and bread. The body is thin, light, and crisp, with a high amount of carbonation, and tastes of biscuit, steel, grain, and corn. Refreshing, but weak and uninspired.

Beer Harbin
Beer Harbin (SGD $7.50)



The Beer Tsing Tao (SGD $9) is an American style pale pilsner, brewed by Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd in Qingdao, Shandong, China. It has a straw golden colour, with aromas and tastes of rice, corn, metal, and grain. The body is light, thin, and carbonated, and it has a low bitter grainy flavour with a faint hint of citrus sweetness.

Beer Tsing Tao
Beer Tsing Tao (SGD $9)



The most popular beer in the world in 2017, the Beer Snow (SGD $8) is also a forgettable, bland beverage. Rather like alcohol flavoured water, yet, 101 million hectoliters of this were sold worldwide in 2017, more than double that of its nearest competitor and runner-up.

Beer Snow
Beer Snow (SGD $8)



The Fragrant White Rice (SGD $1) has warm, fluffy steamed white rice, served in a bowl. I use it to soak up some of the excess oil from dishes.

Fragrant White Rice
Fragrant White Rice (SGD $1)



The Kou Shui Ji / Mouth Watering Chicken (SGD $6.80) or 口水鸡 is just as good as before. It features chilled poached kampong chicken in a spicy, oily gravy. This classic Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan dish has tender, succulent chicken meat that is clean tasting, fresh, and sweet savoury, while the gravy; fragrant with chopped garlic, chili, sesame seeds, and peppercorn; has a slow, lingering burn. Cool down with the chilled crunchy slices of juicy vegetal sweet cucumber plated beneath. Highly recommended!

Kou Shui Ji
Kou Shui Ji / Mouth Watering Chicken (SGD $6.80)


Mouth Watering Chicken
Kou Shui Ji / Mouth Watering Chicken



The Shuang Kou Mu Er / Black Wood Ear Fungus Salad (SGD $4.80) or 爽口木耳 has bouncy slippery crunchy pieces of black fungus / wood ear fungus, crisp white onions, and parsley in a gravy of black vinegar, chopped garlic, coriander, and chili. The vegetables lend a deep vegetal earthy sweet woody flavour to the sharp sour bitter tangy notes of the vinaigrette. The garlic herbal spice taste is especially strong. Served chilled, this is a refreshing appetizer.

Shuang Kou Mu Er
Shuang Kou Mu Er / Black Wood Ear Fungus Salad (SGD $4.80)


Black Wood Ear Fungus Salad
Shuang Kou Mu Er / Black Wood Ear Fungus Salad



Ordered the Grilled Sea Bass Fish In Spicy Fragrant Broth (SGD $32 / $38) or Kao Lu Yu Xiang La / 烤鲈鱼香辣. The large sea bass fish is fresh and meaty, with few bones. It has a clean, sweet savoury flavour to the fish meat, while the fish skin has a slight smoky aroma, and picks up the gravy well. Served in an oily, spicy mala peppercorn gravy, whose level of spicy heat can be customised to your preference. You can also choose to add-on several other side dishes, to give your meal more depth and breath. Over several visits, I've realised freshness of the fish can sometimes be inconsistent, but the mala peppercorn gravy and vegetable aromatics (parsley, spring onions) typically mask this sufficiently, coming off as above average in taste.

Kao Lu Yu Xiang La / 烤鲈鱼辣香
Grilled Sea Bass Fish In Spicy Fragrant Broth (SGD $32 / $38)


Grilled Sea Bass Fish In Spicy Fragrant Broth
Grilled Sea Bass Fish In Spicy Fragrant Broth


Grilled Sea Bass Fish In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Hand Made Noodles, Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce Leaf, Pork Luncheon Meat, Silken Tofu Beancurd


Grilled Sea Bass Fish In Spicy Fragrant Broth, With Hand Made Noodles, Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce Leaf, Pork Luncheon Meat, Silken Tofu Beancurd



There's a wide variety of add-on side dishes that you can choose to dunk into the spicy gravy. Those I've tried include crunchy Chinese Cabbage (SGD $3.80), crisp Lettuce Leaf (SGD $4.80), wobbly soft Silken Tofu Beancurd (SGD $3.80), tender Pork Luncheon Meat (SGD $4.80), and chewy Hand Made Noodles (SGD $5.80). Don't add on too many side dishes, as price escalates quickly and value goes down. Instead, stick to 4 or less add-on side dishes per meal, and if you must, order some of their other dishes. Personally, I usually order at most 2 add-on side dishes.

Chinese Cabbage
Add-On Sides - Chinese Cabbage (SGD $3.80)


Lettuce Leaf
Add-On Sides - Lettuce Leaf (SGD $4.80)


Silken Tofu Beancurd
Add-On Sides - Silken Tofu Beancurd (SGD $3.80)


Pork Luncheon Meat
Add-On Sides - Pork Luncheon Meat (SGD $4.80)


Hand Made Noodles
Add-On Sides - Hand Made Noodles (SGD $5.80)



Since I last tried the Gan Bian Si Ji Dou / String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili (SGD $12) or 干煸四季豆 over 3 years ago, the quality of this dish has improved. The string beans have a bright, juicy crunch to texture, with good vegetal sweet earthy flavour, enhanced by the salty savoury minced pork and spicy notes of the dried chili. It's also less oily than before. Pairs well with White Rice.

干煸四季豆
Gan Bian Si Ji Dou / String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili (SGD $12)


String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili
Gan Bian Si Ji Dou / String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili


Gan Bian Si Ji Dou
Gan Bian Si Ji Dou / String Beans With Minced Pork And Dried Chili



The Fan Qie Chao Dan / Stir-Fried Tomato Scrambled Eggs (SGD $9) or 番茄炒蛋, is a popular dish in China, because it's quick and easy to prepare, delicious, and affordable even for students. Features eggs, scrambled in a bowl, then stir-fried with sugar, salt, and tomatoes. This has soft, juicy textures, with delicate vegetal eggy sweet savoury flavours. Highly recommended!

番茄炒蛋
Fan Qie Chao Dan / Stir-Fried Tomato Scrambled Eggs (SGD $9)


Stir-Fried Tomato Scrambled Eggs
Fan Qie Chao Dan / Stir-Fried Tomato Scrambled Eggs


Fan Qie Chao Dan
Fan Qie Chao Dan / Stir-Fried Tomato Scrambled Eggs



The Shuang Kou Xiang Yu / Wok Fried Fragrant Yam Sticks (SGD $9.90) or 爽口香芋 has thinly sliced yam / taro sticks, coated in a sugar syrup, stir-fried with coriander, garlic, and fresh green and red chilies. It has crunchy firm textures that yield with a bite, and delicate earthy sweet savoury flavour. Despite the use of chili, this isn't spicy at all. Nice, I like it.

爽口香芋
Shuang Kou Xiang Yu / Wok Fried Fragrant Yam Sticks (SGD $9.90)


Wok Fried Fragrant Yam Sticks
Shuang Kou Xiang Yu / Wok Fried Fragrant Yam Sticks


Shuang Kou Xiang Yu
Shuang Kou Xiang Yu / Wok Fried Fragrant Yam Sticks



Loved the Shou Si Bao Cai / Hand Shredded Cabbage (SGD $11) or 手撕包菜, with its deep salty savoury vegetal sweet flavours. This features hand pulled crunchy Chinese cabbage, wok tossed along with tender pork belly slices, garlic, and dried chili. Actually tasty enough to eat on its own, or paired with white rice.

手撕包菜
Shou Si Bao Cai / Hand Shredded Cabbage (SGD $11)


Hand Shredded Cabbage
Shou Si Bao Cai / Hand Shredded Cabbage


Shou Si Bao Cai
Shou Si Bao Cai / Hand Shredded Cabbage



The Gu Lu Rou / Sweet And Sour Pork (SGD $13) or 咕噜肉 has tender chewy pieces of pork cubes, stir-fried with juicy cucumber, crunchy bell peppers / capsicum, and crisp red onions, in a sticky sweet and sour sauce / gravy. The sauce is rich, lending bold sweet sour flavour to the sweet savoury taste of the pork cubes, and the vegetal sweet notes of the vegetables. Lovely in presentation and delicious on the palate, so well executed. Worth ordering!

咕噜肉
Gu Lu Rou / Sweet And Sour Pork (SGD $13)


Sweet And Sour Pork
Gu Lu Rou / Sweet And Sour Pork


Gu Lu Rou
Gu Lu Rou / Sweet And Sour Pork



The La Zi Ji / Spicy Chicken Cubes (SGD $16) or 辣子雞, translates to 'Spicy Chicken That Causes Death', and is an iconic Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan dish. Features marinated then deep-fried chicken cubes, which are then stir-fried with dried Sichuan / Szechuan chili peppers, spicy bean paste, dried peppercorn, garlic, ginger, roasted peanuts, white sesame seeds, and chili oil. It has chewy, crunchy textures, with intense spicy savoury salty flavours, and a sharp lingering burn. I like that the version here isn't overwhelming. Pairs well with beer. Good!

辣子雞
La Zi Ji / Spicy Chicken Cubes (SGD $16)


Spicy Chicken Cubes
La Zi Ji / Spicy Chicken Cubes


La Zi Ji
La Zi Ji / Spicy Chicken Cubes



The Feng Wei Tiao Tiao Wa / Pickled Chili Bull Frog (SGD $18) or 风味跳跳蛙 features 4 bull frogs, which is said to be highly nutritious in protein. The bull frogs are simmered along with young bamboo shoots till succulent and tender, in a sour spicy gravy of pickled red chili, pickled green chili, white vinegar, Shaoxing Chinese rice wine, sugar, salt, ginger, and garlic, then garnished with crunchy roasted peanuts and parsley. Fragrant and appetizing, though the bull frog doesn't absorb the gravy well.

风味跳跳蛙
Feng Wei Tiao Tiao Wa / Pickled Chili Bull Frog (SGD $18)


Pickled Chili Bull Frog
Feng Wei Tiao Tiao Wa / Pickled Chili Bull Frog


Feng Wei Tiao Tiao Wa
Feng Wei Tiao Tiao Wa / Pickled Chili Bull Frog



The Hui Guo Rou / Twice Cooked Pork (SGD $13) or 回锅肉 is a traditional Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan dish, where the pork is cooked twice. The thinly sliced pork belly meat is first simmered in a broth of water, Chinese Shaoxing rice wine, and ginger, then stir-fried with garlic chives, sweet black beans, dark soy sauce, and fresh green and red chilies. It has tender crunchy oily textures, with decent savoury salty spicy flavour. Not overwhelming, but more oily as a dish compared to other items on the menu.

回锅肉
Hui Guo Rou / Twice Cooked Pork (SGD $13)


Twice Cooked Pork
Hui Guo Rou / Twice Cooked Pork


Hui Guo Rou
Hui Guo Rou / Twice Cooked Pork



The Zi Ran Yang Rou / Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin (SGD $16) or 孜然羊肉 seems improved from the last time I had it. This time, the mutton pieces were nicely tender and moist with a slight chew, contrasted by the light crunch of the white onions, and the soft red and green chili peppers. Spiced with cumin powder, this has a bold meaty savoury salty spice flavour, with a light lingering burn. Good!

孜然羊肉
Zi Ran Yang Rou / Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin (SGD $16)


Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin
Zi Ran Yang Rou / Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin


Zi Ran Yang Rou
Zi Ran Yang Rou / Hot Plate Mutton With Cumin



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