Originally used in the Chinese province of Sichuan to mask the smell of less-than-choice cuts of meat (remember, this is a place where virtually all of Warner Brothers’ characters are fair game for the dinner table), the pepper corns are now synonymous with the cuisine of central China, the hint of hydroxyl alpha sanshool enough to give an effect described by foodie Harold McGee as that of “a mild electric current”.
For lovers of Sichuan cuisine, or for those yet to tempt fate, there’s no better spot than Qi, an elegant eatery in Wan Chai that serves up delectable peppercorn-laced dishes in lavish surrounds. Named for the star anise, another great ingredient in Sichuan cuisine, Qi serves up a modern rendition of timeless central Chinese dishes laced with the characteristically intense flavours of the region – spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, peppery, and salty. With an extensive menu that not only caters to spice junkies but also to softer palates, Qi is a great spot for group dining; each dish is as much a conversation piece as it is a collage of flavours and textures. Look out for the likes of chili Dungeness crab; plump dumplings in tangy peanut sauce; cold poached chicken in lava-hued chili oil; and lamb roasted with cumin and chili, best enjoyed with adventurous friends in the private dining room, or on the outdoor terrace.
Adding spice to your life.
Shop 12, 2/F, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai