Black Sheep Restaurants has done it again. Right at the cusp of relaxed dining restrictions, when cooped-up diners are at their most ravenous, the restaurant group dazzles us with a fresh new concept that’s nothing short of spectacular. And what a spectacle it is, with velvet lipstick-red banquettes to match the fiery heat wafting from the kitchen, alongside hand-painted murals and glittery chandeliers for a dash of Old World charm.
The menu is a collaboration between Head Chef Robert Wong, a fourth-generation chef who most recently helped Chilli Fagara to earn and maintain its Michelin star for three consecutive years, and Fuchsia Dunlop, a London-based writer and professionally trained chef who has spend decades researching Chinese culinary traditions. Dunlop is the author of many Chinese cookbooks including several that focus on Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan Cookery and Land of Plenty.
The interior of Grand Majestic Sichuan evokes the ambience of one of Hong Kong’s iconic Cantonese restaurants of the 1960s – the ritzy Majestic Restaurant & Night Club in North Point. A plush tiger-emblazoned, custom-made carpet welcomes guests into this multifaceted restaurant, which boasts not one but two bars and a terrace for fair-weather days.
Our tasting began with a flurry of fiery appetisers. The bang bang ji ($148), a classic dish of cold, shredded chicken tossed in a spicy, nutty sesame sauce, is made even more tender and flavourful with the use of poached local three-yellow chicken. (Please note: all dishes will first be referenced by their pinyin name as shown on the menu, followed by an English description)
The hong you chao sou ($208), one of our favourite Sichuan dishes, features four plump pork dumplings in chewy skin, luxuriating in a pool of aromatic sweet chilli oil – delicious morsels with a steep price tag.
The curiously named fu qi fei pian ($238) translates literally to “husband-and-wife lung slices”, but thankfully, the dish here is comprised of thin slices of beef shin and tongue dressed in garlicky chilli oil and crushed peanuts. We thoroughly enjoyed the exhilarating heat of this one, although we missed the contrasting textures of lung and other offal cuts that are the traditional components of this dish.
A crunchy plate of suan rong pai huanggua ($98) cooled the palate with its refreshing bites of cold cucumber tossed in a garlic-laden dressing.
A headliner of a main, the suancai yu ($298), made using line-caught pomfret stewed with pickled mustard greens, packs a heady fragrance alongside irresistible heat. The spice factor really kicks in just as the bite becomes an afterthought, so considered yourself warned! The deliciously creamy broth complements the tender and silky fish.
Another classic, the Chongqing laziji ($308) involves a bit of a scavenger hunt, with the prize being the scrumptious morsels of local three-yellow tucked within the landmine of fiery chilli peppers. One of our favourites of the meal, the flavourful, juicy chicken comes with a dusting of numbing peppercorn and sesame.
Looking as beautiful as it tastes, the gongbao xiaqiu ($318) is a glistening plate of wok-cooked prawns tossed with cashews and house-made sauce. The prawns are fried to plump, juicy perfection and glazed with the addictive soy-based sauce.
Another one high on our favourites list, the chen pi niu rou ($318) features grass-fed beef tenderloin paired with 10-year-aged tangerine peel for a distinctly fruity flavour. We’re usually not fans of tangerine peel, but somehow the citrusy flavour works well in this dish, helping to uplift the richness of the incredibly tender beef.
Mapo doufu ($228) is always a moreish dish, especially when eaten with rice. Grand Majestic Sichuan’s version uses hand-chopped grass-fed beef, although we wished the spice and numbing peppercorn factor had been dialled up a notch.
One surprising standout dish is the wawacai ($179), a humble plate of Chinese cabbage fried with chilli and chicken oil. The simple, sweet flavours of the cabbage are highlighted with the aroma of the chicken oil.
The ganbian sijidou ($188) is another rather mellow dish to appease the palate after the onslaught of spice. Dry-fried green beans coupled with hand-chopped Kurobuta pork make “eating your vegetables” an easy feat.
The dandan mian ($188) arrives with a bit of tableside pageantry; the chewy strands of noodles are tossed in spicy sesame sauce in front of diners and are then topped with hand-chopped Kurobuta pork, preserved mustard greens and fried scallion. Don’t underestimate these noodles – the lusciously creamy sauce packs some exquisite heat. Be prepared to cry and drool at the same time, so keep some tissues at the ready!
Our meal concluded with a pu’er tea ceremony to soothe our on-fire palate.
Our insider’s tip is to be sure to visit the washroom (several times!) during your visit. A little birdie told us that there might be complimentary champagne on standby for every guest as he or she exits the loo…
Grand Majestic Sichuan is another winning concept by Black Sheep Restaurants that’s sure to make a splash with diners. A highly stylised ambience featuring an authentic Sichuan menu along with impeccable service – now, that’s a recipe for success!
Shop 301, 3/F, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central, 2151 1299
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.