Set to become the new star of the Hong Kong’s dining scene in 2019, Sichuan Lab, soft opening in early February, will be a chic restaurant helmed by Kenny Chan, an internationally-recognised veteran chef with over 50 years of experience. Through harnessing his plethora of experience, he will have what it takes to incorporate modern creativity into authentic Sichuan cuisine, creating unique flavours that are truly unforgettable.
A reference to tradition will be echoed in the restaurant’s Chinese name, literally bearing the meaning of “River Flows Across Sichuan” and symbolising the transmission of heritage from generation to generation. In English, the name Sichuan Lab embodies the innovative and meticulous approach of the restaurant ‒ from food preparation to interior design, everything is executed with vigilant attention to detail while reflecting the concept of “Connecting East and West, Transcending Generations”.
Newly launched in the dynamic East-meets-West district of Wanchai, Sichuan Lab will be the latest restaurant by L’hotel Group. It will be located on the ground floor of the Group’s boutique-styled serviced apartments Lodgewood by L’hotel Wanchai and will share the same modern and chic design style.
A Star Chef Who Knows His Spices
Raised in a Sichuan family steeped in culinary experience and owning a major chilli bean paste business, Executive Chef Kenny Chan has honed his craft and expertise over the years. With footprints in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore and Canada, his culinary knowledge is astounding. With an impressive understanding of food cultures and all kinds of spice around the world, Chef Chan has elevated traditional Sichuan cuisine to the next level with his own style, injecting fresh vitality into Sichuan Lab. Moreover, he was named Chef Rotisseurs by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a rare and coveted honour bestowed on top chefs in Hong Kong and around the globe.
Hundred Tastes in a Hundred Dishes
Guests can savour more than hot and spicy flavours at Sichuan Lab. Chilies, peppers and peppercorns combined with the three signature ingredients of ginger, garlic and scallions will create an incredibly wide variety of dishes. Sichuan’s famous “seven tastes” of sweet, sour, peppery, hot and spicy, bitter, fragrant, and salty will be mixed together with an array of sophisticated ‘eight flavours’, resulting in unique dishes that each have their own style and leading to the famous expression – “Hundred tastes in a hundred dishes”.
In addition to classic Sichuan dishes like Poached mandarin fish slices in chilli broth, Crispy chicken dices with dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, Mapo bean curd with minced beef and Tan Tan noodles, Chef Chan will craft unique and creative delicacies that are exclusively on offer at the new establishment. For instance, Spicy thick soup with vinegar and peppers will be made with Kampot Pepper from Cambodia. Known as the “King of Pepper”, Kampot Pepper became a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the European Union, and is favoured by many top French chefs for its complex aroma and floral fragrance. Another dish, the 52℃slow cooked smoked duck breast will be a modern take on the quintessential dish of Sichuan cuisine, smoked duck. Prepared with Western methods that give a soft and tender texture, the duck breast will be packed with a delicate tea smoke flavour. In the chef’s self-invented dish Mandarin fish slices with crispy soybean crumbs, the fillets will be flawlessly cooked and sprinkled with crunchy soybean crumbs for a wonderful contrast in tastes and textures.
Other highlighted dishes served at the new venue will include Sliced local pork in spicy garlic and soya sauce, Sautéed peanut sprouts and Tossed chilled hand-made noodles with pork slices in spicy garlic soya sauce. Dessert offerings like the Sichuan green peppercorn and vanilla ice cream and Rose-scented sweet toast served withbrown sugar sauce and mixed fruits will let guests end their meal on a sweet note. For the adventurous diners, Chef Chan would recommend his own signature ‘Omakase’, which will allow guests to taste specially-designed seasonal dishes that are not listed on the regular menu.
Spicy hot pot is another highlight of Sichuan cuisine. Flavoursome soup base choices will range from Hot and spicy butter broth, Braised spicy chicken with 33 kinds of herbs and spices, to the nourishing Double-boiled fish maw and whelk soup, as well as the Fish head soup with chuanxiong and baizhi. Guests can toss a variety of ingredients such as Local beef, Local pork shoulder and belly and Welsh lamb mini shoulder rolls into the seething pot and enjoy a warming and satisfying experience that is perfect for the cold winter weather.
First Smart Coffee Machine in Hong Kong’s Dining Industry
Sichuan Lab will offer a range of sake to complement its gourmet offerings. According to Chef Chan, sake is an excellent match with spicy food as it elevates the intricate flavours. Guests will also be delighted with a multitude of creative cocktails and refreshing drinks at the restaurant’s bar that prepares them for the unforgettable gastronomic journey to come.
Besides, the restaurant will introduce the smart coffee machine TopBrewer, first-in-Hong Kong’s restaurant sector, from Denmark. With an ultra-chic design that integrates seamlessly into any environment, the coffee machine will be able to deliver a variety of high-quality coffee at the touch of the screen on a tablet.
Sleek and Modern Interior Design
Simplistic and stylishly designed, the interior of Sichuan Lab will be characterised by dark wood, eye-catching glass containers of spices and chilies in different Scoville Heat Units (SHU) from around the world, and a wall-to-ceiling back-lit wine shelf housed behind the bar. Besides the main dining area, guests will also be able to enjoy their meal at the private rooms, indulging in an innovative and exceptional Sichuan culinary experience found nowhere else.