Sichuanese. 20/F & Rooftop, Prince Tower, 12A Peking Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2799-8899. Qi-Nine Dragons is a sister of the Michelinstarred Qi-House of Sichuan in Wan Chai; With dark, sleek interiors and a sweeping view of the harbor, Qi serves up a surprising mix of refined Sichuanese classics with a modern twist.
HIT Qi specializes in the signature mala (aka numbingly spicy) flavors using Sichuan chilis and peppercorns. We started with the chili oil wontons ($80): Thin and transparent, the wonton wrapper revealed a juicy, meaty interior, and eased us slowly into the spicy onslaught to come. The deep-fried Chongqing style sliced chicken ($215) was served on a bed of chilis and peppercorns. The dish was properly spicy—this was when the sweat beads started to form—but the unique sensation of hot, crispy and tangy made us go back for more. Cumin lamb with roasted chili ($260) was similarly served with a side of red hot-fire, and was just as addictive, although we wished the lamb itself held more inherent flavor. We dove into the braised mandarin fish fillet in chili oil soup ($200 for small,
$300 for large). Served in a bright red pond with mung bean noodles, bean sprouts and mushrooms, the dish gave us that unique numbing sensation without overshadowing the subtle taste of the tender, fresh fish.
MISS The mapo tofu ($105), another staple Sichuanese dish, was underwhelming and under-seasoned.
BOTTOM LINE Well-executed dishes and a killer rooftop bar make this a great place to take out-of-towners who aren’t afraid to work up a sweat.
Open daily noon-2:30pm, 6-11pm. $$$