405-419C Lockhart Road
Tel: 2574 4111
Open: 11am-3am (Sundays from 5pm)
Price: about HK$180 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: the rough wooden tables and chairs and the red lanterns at the entrance give it a slightly retro feel.
Pros: the waiting staff are smiling and friendly.
Cons: some of the dishes are a little salty, although not unbearably so. The only item we didn't like much was the 'signature dish' of Chongqing-style chicken casserole with wild mushrooms (HK$128 for half). The chicken pieces were bony, and the flavours of the dish were nothing special.
Recommended dishes: we especially liked the cold dishes. Sliced cured Sichuan sausage (HK$48) was fatty and meaty, with a smoky flavour and a good dose of Sichuan peppercorn. Gwaiwei beef tongue (HK$48) was excellent, with a rich, perfectly balanced sauce that was numbing, spicy and garlicky. Poached pig's kidney in red oil dressing (HK$45) was oilier and spicier than the tongue, but almost as delicious. The hot dish of frog's legs with pickled chillis and vegetables (HK$78) was a little salty because of the chillis, but the frog's legs - buried in a mixture of cucumbers, bean sprouts and fresh coriander - were tender. Rice eel in fiery sauce (HK$68 from the lunch menu) was enjoyable because the noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage and Chinese celery soaked up the sauce. Crispy fish 'shoulders' (HK$98) was our favourite dish: the meaty parts of the fish were infused with chillis and Sichuan peppercorns, while the fins were so well-fried that parts of them were edible. Fish roe and offal omelette (HK$68) calmed our palates.
What else? The menu doesn't have any English translations. At lunch they offer a few well-priced dishes, including our eel dish.