Welcome to Basdban! The sister restaurant of Birds of a Feather (review available here), under the umbrella of The Foreign Project Group. While Birds of a Feather showcase the elegant side of Sichuan cuisine, Basdban showcase an elevated version of Sichuan food.
The décor at Basdban is edgy, funky and you can throw in the element of gastropub as well. While the bar is the centrepiece of the indoor dining area, the playful animated lights will brighten up the place with lively and funky music. There is plenty of seating outdoor as well, though the ambience is not as vibrant as the indoor seating.
We kick off the tasting with Funky Fish ($18). Thick slices of salmon sashimi, dressed in funky sauce and yoghurt. The sashimi is fresh, while the funky dressing has the elements of sweet sauce and Sichuan oil. The yoghurt helps to temper the spicy oil. A good start to the meal.
Sticky Pork Ribs ($18) – Roasted Pistachio, Sichuan Sweet Vinegar Glaze with Housemade Pickles. Basdban uses the lean version of the pork ribs, similar to the baby back ribs. The sweet, tangy and spicy flavours come from the Sichuan sweet vinegar glaze, complemented with the crunchy roasted pistachio. I like the carrot and purple cabbage housemade pickles that balance the flavour nicely.
Lalalalala Fried Chicken ($28) – Wok Fried Chicken, Lala Clams, and Sichuan Chili. This dish will not be out of place in a Fear Factor challenge, as half of the plate is filled with cut Sichuan chilli. Well, I manage to get a few bites of the chicken cubes, that are aromatic and crispy. For the lala, it is like digging into the landmines, as seeds of the chilli or peppercorn might be hidden behind it. Not the dish for me, but Sichuan food lovers will appreciate this.
Two To Tango ($23) – Classic Sichuan Wok-Fried Broccolini, Caulilini and Minced Tofu. A superb vegetarian dish. Multi texture and multi flavour, complete with a kick of spiciness at the end. The tofu flavour completely transformed and can easily be mistaken for minced pork
BB Prawn Aglio Olio ($28) – Sichuan Style Aglio olio, Tiger Prawns and Clams. Basdban interpretation of Aglio Olio. The tiger prawns are fresh and cooked just right. The pasta is cooked to al-dente, smooth, and silky with a touch of spiciness. The cherry tomatoes are plump and bursting with flavours while the Sakura prawns added a crunchy texture to the dish plus enhancing the umami flavour. Yummy!!
Wholey Fish ($48) – Whole Barramundi served in Mala Broth. Similar to the Chong Qing grilled fish. The whole barramundi is butterflied and deep-fried to seal the juice in the flesh and give the fish a crispy texture. It is then simmered in Mala broth to give it an aromatic and spicy kick. The spiciness level here is mild and easily acceptable to most people. However, if you like the super spicy version, don’t hesitate to ask the service staff to increase the spicy level to match your expectations.
The fish and other spicy dishes will go well with a bowl of white rice, that is served with furikake topping.
Basdban Unagi Donabe ($45) – Sichuan Waxed Meat, Unagi, Morel Mushroom, Sakura Ebi, lard and Special Shoyu Sauce. A must-order dish here. The rice is soft and infused with multi-flavours from the waxed meat, unagi, mushroom, lard and Sakura ebi. The special shoyu sauce binds all the ingredients nicely. Once you scoop it in your mouth, it was a party in your mouth. Yummy!!
We commence the sweet ending with Glutinous Rice ($15). The glutinous rice is done three ways; fried, boiled and pudding topped with grapefruit, pomegranate and sweet sauce. You get to experience different textures of the glutinous rice (crispy, wobbly, creamy) at the same time. An interesting dessert.
Pick Me Up! ($16) – deconstructed tiramisu. I like the coffee crumble, followed by the cream and coffee-liquor infused mascarpone. The dark chocolate sheet is crispy and solid. I feel they can be more generous with the coffee liquor for that extra kick.
Basdban also serves a great cocktail to go with the food. Since I can’t take alcohol, I get to try their Oriental Flair mocktail version.
|Oriental Flair - Mocktail Version
|Monday Blues - Cocktail
|Kyoho - Mocktail Version
|Basdban Old Fashion - Cocktail
Overall, it was a great dining experience with Sichuan street food. The team at Basdban successfully elevated the dishes by using better ingredients and controlling the level of spiciness. I recommend the Funky Fish, Two to Tango, BB Prawn Aglio Olio, Wholey Fish and Basdban Unagi Donabe plus the Pick Me Up! Kanpai!! Cheers!!
Thank you very much Kristine, Chef Eugene and Basdban Team for hosting us.
Food & Drink: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Budget per Person: $51 - $80