About China Taste
China Taste is a casual Chinese food joint located on Tyrwhitt Road, just 7 minutes walk from Bendemeer MRT. It serves up mainly Sichuan-style food, with many dishes loaded up with addictive spices and packed full of flavour.
China Taste is still relatively unknown perhaps because of the stiff competition in an area overwhelmingly known for cafés. Hence, here’s me doing my part to spread the word about the great food here.
China Taste has a bright, open and air-conditioned interior that is newly furnished just this year. There is also seating outside but it’s right by a busy road and not so ideal. China Taste definitely has a very casual vibe, great for a no-frills meal with family or friends. If you get late night cravings, is also a great place for supper as it is open until 12 midnight.
We started off with some traditional Chinese drinks which are essential to help you wash down the spice. For those who want the really authentic experience, a bottle of light TsingTao beer is essential. For non-alcoholic options, Jia Jia Liang Teh (Herbal Tea) or Bing Hong Cha (Ice Lemon Tea) is the way to go.
Our Favourites From The Huge Grilled (Shao Kao) Section
We started off with a bunch of skewers and grilled items. For the uninitiated, skewers or shao kao are bite-sized portions of meat, veggies or seafood grilled over charcoal and often coated with a spice mix.
1. Garlicky Grilled Oyster
My favourite would have to be the Oyster ($4.80 per piece). Each juicy oyster is piled high with a special in-house garlic sauce before grilling which packs the oyster full of umami. The flame-grilled garlic sauce is absolutely heavenly and goes surprisingly well with rice.
2. Enoki Mushroom
Another awesome shao kao dish was the Enoki Mushroom ($3 per portion, minimum order 2 portions). The seasoning coats the mushrooms thoroughly and this makes it super addictive without being too spicy or oily. I also liked how the dish was portioned nicely into bite-sized rolls.
3. (Herbal?) La La in Foil
This interesting way of cooking lala (clams, $8.90) involves wrapping it in a foil package with a slightly herbal soy sauce concoction before grilling it. It seals in all the flavour and juices while still ensuring all the lala gets cooked throughly. The grilling over heat also results in a very concentrated and delicious broth to go with the lala.
Meat Skewers At Just $1
The meat-based skewers were really affordable! You can get a basic chicken, beef or lamb skewer for just $1 apiece. This is pretty unbeatable compared to most other shao kao joints. The other parts do cost more but are still fairly affordable. For example, you can get a whole Taiwan Sausage for just ($1.80).
Overall, we felt that the meat skewers were hit-or-miss. The lamb skewer in particular was perfectly juicy and done just right, while some skewers, like the chicken, were a bit tough. Everything was still really tasty though, owing to the power of the secret seasoning mix.
China Taste Chili Chicken (La Zi Ji) is a Must-Try
La Zi Ji ($16.80), or crispy chicken cubes, are a mainstay of Sichuan cuisine and something that any self-respecting Sichuan restaurant needs to really do well. China Taste really hit it out of the park with this one as each cube is fried until crunchy which is just the way we love it. It has just the right amount of saltiness and hint of spice and should be no problem even for those who cannot take spicy food. The price is also quite affordable considering this dish often goes for more than $20 in other restaurants.
Besides that, we always need a vegetable dish for our family meals and the best we had would have to be the Olive French Beans ($8.80). Somehow China Taste manages to fry this basic dish to the point where the texture of the French Beans softens up and absorbs more of that olive vegetable umami.
Finally, another value-for-money dish we enjoyed was the Xiang La Yu ($23.80). This dish can regularly go for more than $30 in larger chains (depending on the size of the fish) so we felt that this was worth the money. The fish was really fresh and accompanied by various veggies, chili and garlic to up the flavour. The spice level was also thankfully not too high and the broth was thick, flavourful and great for dipping.
Overall, I feel that this is a really underrated place and anyone who loves Sichuan food should give this place a try! There are bigger chains for sure, but sometimes it’s nice to go off the beaten track for something that is more authentic and more affordable.
Spent: $25 per person
Address: 133 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207554
Opening Hours: 12:30pm–12am every day (Closed on Wednesday)
Refer here for their menu!