I was quite excited to goto Chili Fagara. I’d done some research and this was reputed to be one of the best Sichuan restaurants on the island.
It is located half way up the steep hill on Graham Street, so you naturally work up a thirst before you get there.
There interior is quite dim and romantic I suppose, as the décor is deep red, a reference to the famous chili of Sichuan. (Pointing to Heaven is a literal translation) that the province is famous for, and a lot of the dishes contain.
The restaurant is pretty small and cramp, or some might call it cozy and warm.
The menu is shall we say contemporary Sichuanese. A few new additions, but mostly jazzed up old favourites.
We started off on a few appetizers, some spicy, some not. Just to warm up the taste buds. We also had some beer, which was served to us in a bowl. Which was actually much more easier to drink from than a glass. You drink slower also. Money saving idea.
I ordered the Lemon Chicken to get us going, an old time favourite. It was lovely, those pieces of deep fried chicken coated with a thick lemony sauce. The chicken was plump and juicy, the sauce reminded me of lemon curd, a childhood obsession once upon a time.
It wasn't on the menu, but I asked for Twice Cooked Pork, they were only too glad to do this for me. I was really happy. Absolutely great, apart from the lack of pork. Would have preferred a bit more. Then again I always want more.
To finish off and me literally as I was sooooo stuffed. Pearl of the Orient, a house specialty, they won an award a few years ago with this dish. It was a fruit, not too dissimilar to a Lychee, coated in spicy crumbs and deep fried with at least 50 chili's. It really did have my mouth on fire.
Overall, it was ok but not as good as I was hoping it to be. The food in Bar-Shu in London has a more authentic note to it, and they do use the infamous Pointing to Heaven Chili's, which give you a more numbing effect in your mouth, not a mouth on fire effect.
Good but not brilliant.