After the relatively bland food of the festive season, we were ready for a bit of spice; a bit of something different. We turned to Red n Hot – a place in Chinatown I used to go to for lunch quite often, but my notes tell me its back in 2011 that we were last here. It’s an unwelcoming sort of place – through a barely lit entrance and up barely lit stairs to the first floor.
Remembering the very generous servings, we skipped starters and dived straight in to Sichuan comfort food. There was gong bao chicken – moist dice of chicken, a crunch from peanuts, flavouring from dried chillis and Sichuan peppercorns (lots of chilli and peppercorns). And just a moistening of well flavoured sauce. First you got the heat from the chilli and peppercorns (that lasted till we got home), then you get sweet and then there’s a final background note of vinegar. Really good.
There was also a dry fry of green beans and pork mince. The beans properly cooked – retaining a little bite but not unpleasantly squeaky. Flavourings here were soy, which made it fairly salty, and a little heat from Sichuan pepper again. Nice contrast with the chicken. Plain boiled rice set it off.
It was all pretty decent food. However. And there is big however. The bogs are not clean. No, it’s worse than that. The bogs are downright manky. That always makes me worry. If they can’t keep the public areas clean, whatever may be happening behind the scenes. So, when I got home, I checked the “Scores on the Doors” website for its food hygiene rating – something i rarely do about places. Red n Hot gets a 1 – major improvement necessary. I really couldn’t recommend it now.