Enjoy Mala: Mala Dip Pot Skewers & Other Authentic Si Chuan Dishes At Orchard Central

If the mere mention of spicy Si Chuan mala makes your mouth water with the thought of its tongue-numbing fiery heat, then this hidden gem at Orchard Central will be sure to tickle your taste buds.

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Opened in June 2018, Enjoy Mala is an authentic Si Chuan restaurant that not only dishes out traditional Chinese mala fare — such as 口水鸡  (S$12.80), which literally translates to drool-worthy chicken; or Si Chuan Spicy Wonton (S$7.80)— it also offers 醉麻辣串串 (dip pot mala skewers).

Enjoy Mala is spacious and bright, and was furnished to looked more like a quaint French cafe than a Chinese mala restaurant. Despite that, the wafting smell of spicy mala food as we approached the stall was unmistakable.

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All dip pot mala skewers are customisable — right down to the soup base, condiments and sticks — so don’t worry if you can’t take too spicy food. 

Start off by choosing your pot soup base: Softly Spicy, Moderately Spicy, to OMG Spicy (S$8.80 each).

We ordered the Moderately Spicy soup base and surprisingly, though the thick layer of red-hot oil looked incredibly lethal, it wasn’t as spicy as we thought it’d be. It was peppery, salty and tangy, with a good depth of savouriness to balance out that tongue-numbing mala spice.

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For those who can’t take spicy food, opt for the Chicken Soup base (S$7.80). It’s a full-bodied, gravy-like broth, rich with the essence of chicken, which was boiled for hours and left to simmer over a stove.

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To help balance out the spice, go for the Sesame Oil condiment, which is a life-saver. Or if you like your skewers to be spicier, get the Dried Chili and Hot Chili Oil (S$2 each).

I preferred the Sesame Oil dip as it was fragrant and gave our taste buds reprieve, and were welcome additions to any skewer we picked.

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Onto our favourite part, choosing the skewers to go into the pot.

Affordably priced between S$0.50 to S$1.20 each (with a good majority at S$0.50) we ordered the typical mala staples, such as chicken, pork, beef tendon, mushroom balls, luncheon meat and prawns. Not forgetting our greens: lotus root, Chinese cabbage, enoki mushrooms and beancurd skin.

More unique offerings included the Mala Spare Ribs ($0.80) and Mala Beef (S$0.80). They were marinated in mala spices prior to being cooked and added to the pot, making it soft, juicy and permeated with flavours.

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Other than dip pot mala skewers, Enjoy Mala also offers a variety of traditional Si Chuan and mala dishes. My personal favourite was the Spicy Lala (S$12.80).

There was just something undeniably delicious about that briny clam taste, mixed together with the piquant sharpness of the mala sauce, that made us polish off the entire bowl of clams.

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The Si Chuan Spicy Wonton (S$7.80) is a must-order. Each wonton was so large that it couldn’t even fit on my spoon! The wonton skin was silky smooth and the meat filling was generous and succulent.

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You’d think fish having been steeped in oil sauce would be flaky and flavourless, but the Spicy Fish (S$9.80) was fresh, supple and melted in our mouths. Definitely a huge plus in our books.

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Impressively plated (psst, perfect for that Instagram picture) and great for large groups, the 麻辣小龙吓 (Mala Crayfish) (S$29.90) was such a handful to crack open, but at least we were handed plastic gloves to get the most out of the meat with our hands.

You’ll notice that the crayfish at Enjoy Mala are bigger in size, as it is imported from Australia. The flesh is sweet and firm but had little mala taste.

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Delightfully chilled and zesty, the 四川口水鸡 (Si Chuan Drool-Worthy Chicken) (S$12.80) was a refreshing and tasty dish that balanced out the heat in the rest of the mala dishes.

Though it had a good amount of bone and tendon, the meat was delectable and it made for a great appetizer.

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Using the same concentrated stock as the Chicken Soup Base, the Sour Spicy Noodles ($8.80) was bouncy and smooth.

With glass noodles, bean sprouts and a sprinkling of chives, the bowl of spicy noodles left our tongues pleasantly stinging and numb, yet it cuts through all the flavours with a subtle tang.

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Wash your meal down with a cold glass of Moscato (S$66 a bottle). Fruity and sweet, the drink went really well with the mala spice and helped to kick the fiery numbness down a notch, while the fizziness helped refresh the palate.

On a cold rainy day, these fiery mouth-watering mala dishes absolutely hit the spot. Two of us from the team agreed that it wasn’t as lethal as it looked and could be spicier, while our other two colleagues were left panting.

Peppery and well-flavoured, the other dishes were satisfying and lip-smackingly delicious. Though the mala dishes looked sinfully oily, it was anything but and didn’t bother us.

To get the best out of Enjoy Mala, be sure to bring a friend or two who can handle his/her spice!

Expected Damage: S$20 – S$50 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Enjoy Mala

181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, #04-22&22B, Singapore 238896

Our Rating 4/5

Enjoy Mala

181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, #04-22&22B, Singapore 238896

Telephone: +65 6509 0295
Operating Hours: (Daily) 11am - 10pm
Telephone: +65 6509 0295

Operating Hours: (Daily) 11am - 10pm