Spicy fried chicken restaurant Sichuan Fry launches in London Fields

Following two years of rigorous menu testing and development, Dumpling Shack’s Sichuan Fry London Fields restaurant has finally opened, with fried chicken coated with “numbing and spicy sauces and oils” the main draw.
Developed with former Xu and BAO chef Haydon Wong, the menu builds upon the immense success of Dumpling Shack's 'Sichuan Fry' special menu item, which debuted in 2020 at its Spitalfields site.

The item, now named 'Sichuan Classic', comprises 24-hour brined chicken thigh, deep-fried in a secret, spicy coating, with homemade Sichuan sauce, mala honey sauce, smacked cucumbers, and sesame slaw, housed in a buttery potato roll.

Readers of last month's Food Innovation Safari will remember Mr Ji's Sichuan Burger, with the Camden restaurant's double-fried chicken thigh sandwich also leading with the lip-numbing abilities of Sichuan chillies.

The term 'mala' is worth remembering here. Coming from two Chinese characters meaning 'numbing' and 'spicy (hot)', respectively; mala is used to describe the sensation in the mouth from Sichuan peppercorns and chillies, and is known to be something of a signature flavour for Sichuan cuisine.

Sichuan Fry's launch menu
Sichuan Fry’s mala honey sauce, we presume, is made from mala seasoning which, along with Sichuan peppercorns and chillies, often contains the likes of fermented chilli bean paste, cloves, garlic, ginger, sugar and salt.

Huge queues greeted the launch of Sichuan Fry last week, with the menu also featuring a Soy Garlic fried chicken sando, a Crispy Aubergine vegan sando, and chicken wings/tenders.

The latter can be customised according to diners’ heat preferences, ranging from mild to ‘Super Sichuan Scorcher’.

It’s Shake Shake Fries (said to be a riff on the McDonald’s side option in Hong Kong and parts of China) are also customisable, with diners choosing seaweed powder, salt & pepper, chilli, or curry powder as a seasoning.
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