Located in Yishun Town Square, newly-opened Qi Lai Feng specialises in fish pots, both dry and soup versions, as well as hot pot. The beauty in eating fish pots is that one gets to choose their preferred fish and here, they offer anything from their signature Q fish, dory to toman fish.
Having spent a great deal of time abroad and eating their way through China, the founders decided to bring it back here, after realising that many of popular hot pot restaurants in Singapore lacked the proper technique, the flair and the wide variety that authentic grilled fish dishes is supposed to have.
By marrying the authentic flavours and lip-smacking spices of Sichuan cuisine which take on a more fragrant complexity rather than being overly fiery, it is the restaurant’s distinctive fish pot flavours coupled with their use of fresh ingredients that allow this humble restaurant to resonate with diners.
Some of their notable fish pot flavours include their dry signature Spicy Fragrant Fish Pot, Jade Pepper Fish Pot and soup versions such as their Gold Soup Lemon Fish Pot and Tomato Vitamin C Fish Pot. Ensuring a flavour-packed dining experience that promises good value for exceptional food, Qi Lai Feng in Yishun is one that warrants a visit.
From now until 31 January 2019, our readers can enjoy 50% OFF for all fish pots only at Qi Lai Feng between Mondays to Fridays and 30% OFF on weekends.
COLLAGEN Q FISH RIBS
To kick-start your meal on a high note, a great option to consider is their flavourful, fried Collagen Q Fish Ribs (S$10++). For the uninitiated, Q fish is a very distinct species of fish commonly used in Chinese cuisine and is best known for its crunchy and bouncy texture, high amounts of collagen and a great source of protein and calcium.
The restaurant prides themselves on zero wastage and tries their utter best to use every part of the fish—a value we appreciate a lot. For this dish, the ribs of the Q fish, the ones used in their various fish pots, are kept, seasoned in an aromatic mix of spices and salt and deep-fried to golden perfection.
A good, meat-forward appetiser that’s perfect for sharing is the Spiced Beef (S$10++). Cut thin and served alongside a vinegar-based sauce with garlic, the flavourful combination does well to perk up the taste buds and ease the appetite into the spicier dishes to come.
SPICY FRAGRANT Q FISH POT
A dish that boasts interesting textures, a fiery complexity and above all, a medley of flavours that’ll leave you sorely addicted is the Spicy Fragrant Q Fish Pot (S$49++ for small, S$69++ for large).
Utilising their signature Q fish that has a distinct bounciness, smooth texture and nutritious value, the dish involves a variety of dried chilli as well as their house-perfected chilli oil that is infused with over 30 different herbs and spices.
The cooking technique applied in this dish is unparalleled—and we were lucky enough to have a glimpse. Cooked dry, the fish is only wok-fried till about 70% doneness, after which, a piping-hot 200-degree ladle of their spiced oil is poured over the top to finish the dish. What this method does is that it activates the natural flavours of the fish and also tightens it up, giving it its signature chewy texture.
JADE PEPPER MULLET FISH
A dish that’s sure to get you perspiring—but in a good way—is the Jade Pepper Mullet Fish (S$49++ for small, S$69++ for large). Generously topped with fresh red and green chillies along with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, the dish indeed packed a lip-smacking punch.
The dish was spicy—as it should be—but the sensation was elevated with a fruity, fresh-tasting characteristic that was what clearly set it apart from its other mala counterparts. Paired with the robust, chewy texture of the mullet fish and the nuttiness of the sesame seeds, this dish is something worth trying.
MALA FISH POT
What’s Sichuan food without a chilli-laden centrepiece that’ll numb the tongue and blow your head right off? If you’re a fan of spice then the Mala Fish Pot (S$39++ for small, S$49++ for large) is sure to get your taste buds tingling.
Exuding a crimson red hue, this terror of a fish pot did intimidate us slightly, but contrary to our initial expectations, it was a lot more fragrant and flavourful than it was fiery. The broth has lots of flavourful depth and a distinct umami quality that makes reaching in for repeated spoonfuls difficult to resist.
GOLD SOUP LEMON FISH POT
An easy dish to fall in love with, the Gold Soup Lemon Fish Pot (S$39++ for small, S$49++ for large) ranks high, not just amongst their various soupy fish pots offered here, but among some of the best that we’ve ever tried.
This non-lethal fish hot pot option sees a bright yellow broth that’s accented with a zesty lemon flavour but is nicely balanced with numerous other spices as well, giving it a hearty, savoury flavour. Nuanced and fragrant, this dish tastes similar to Thai tom yam sans the fearsome spice.
TOMATO VITAMIN C FISH POT
Loaded with fresh, bright flavours with an added bonus of being rich in vitamins, the umami-dense Tomato Vitamin C Fish Pot (S$39++ for small, S$49++ for large) is a good, non-spicy option to consider if you’re not too keen on sweating buckets.
Rich in nutrients and vitamins, every sip of this broth will have you feeling a tad bit better about yourself but more importantly is the symphony of tangy, vibrant flavours that make this fish pot addictive.
Offering a limited but straightforward list of soup bases for their main Hot Pot—Mala Broth (S$10++) and Fresh Pork Bone Broth (S$8++)—Qi Lai Feng more than makes up for it with their sheer attention to flavour and seasoning. Both of the broths were hearty, adequately seasoned and boasted a deep flavour profile that is only achievable through the use of good ingredients and long periods of brewing.
Committed to serving food of exceptional quality, every raw ingredient—from their meats and seafood to even their noodle options—is prepared fresh upon order. Their meat offerings are a must and we absolutely adore that the paper-thin slices allow for more flavour to latch onto the meat better.
Hankering for some carbs? Skip the rice and go straight for their Three-Colour Noodles (S$5++). Made using different ingredients for each variety, these handfuls of delicious joy are sure to fill you up and give you a unique taste each.
If you’re hankering after some solid fish pots and hot pot, you should hurry down now, because from now until 31 January 2019, our readers can enjoy 50% OFF for all fish pots only at Qi Lai Feng between Mondays to Fridays and 30% OFF on weekends.
Qi Lai Feng
3 Northpoint Drive, #01-02
Yishun Town Square,
Tel: +65 6483 0100
Daily: 10.30am – 9.45pm
Nearest Station: Yishun
This post was brought to you by Qi Lai Feng.