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Restaurant review: Chuan Yue Ren Jian in Tsim Sha Tsui – spicy Sichuan

Ambience: quiet. On the night of our visit there was only one other table of diners in the main area, while a larger group sat in a private room.

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Pros: the food is authentically spicy, but if you have delicate taste buds, you can order some of the dishes with less heat.

Cons: Sichuan chicken casserole (HK$168 for half) had a good mix of spices, but it somehow lacked the complexity of other versions we’ve tried.

Restaurant review: Sijie Sichuan Restaurant, Wan Chai

Recommended dishes: cold-dressed golden egg (HK$42) was a delicious dish of very delicate century egg in a sauce we liked so much one member of our group took the rest of it home to eat with noodles. The complex, balanced and spicy sauce was also a stand-out in the dish of pig’s ears with red oil dressing (HK$52). Water-cooked grouper (HK$508; or HK$458 with the standard mandarin fish) featured gently poached fish in a light and spicy broth, along with celtuce and bean sprouts. None of the vegetable options sounded interesting so we asked for (and received) an off-menu dish of celtuce fried with garlic (HK$78). We love this crunchy vegetable, even though its slippery texture makes it difficult to eat. Crispy fried pig intestines (HK$68), served with a dip of cumin, Sichuan peppercorn and salt, had just the right amount of innard “funk” and was a good, mild dish that calmed our palates.

Price: about HK$200 without drinks or the service charge.

What else? There’s no English on the menu or the signboard, and the staff speak Putonghua with some Cantonese.

Chuan Yue Ren Jian, 1/F 10 Prat Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2573 8618. Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm