I had read somewhere about the difference between flavour and taste. Flavour attaches more to our memory than just the momentary adjustment of the dish. It made me think about the food I love and long for, mostly the ones from childhood. In my younger days in Vietnam, rice was what we ate mostly. There was a particular essence to the grain that till this day when I eat that rice, I am transported back to the rice fields, the smell of rain and earthiness.

Much of flavour is closely related to the senses, which is why it has the power to conjure up emotion, happy or even nostalgic. The more our chefs work on refining our dishes to become signature, the more we have been opening up to the possibility of Naturally Chinese’s distinct flavour.

We’ve recently reworked our signature chilli oil; this being an important condiment to Chinese cuisine. Our team prepares this from scratch here at the restaurant. We had started by using dry chillies — grinding, seasoning and delivering them to the table. We’ve now shaken it up a bit by using fresh chillies and garlic. Did I mention that we now grow our own chillies? They are tended to by one of our chefs whose fruits of labour can be seen in the picture above.

One might say that the chilli oil now presents a whole different appeal. As a condiment, its job is to add just a touch to enhance the overall experience. The chilli oil now has a more zesty flavour, in a way similar to a Peperoncino Calabrese from Southern Italy. Make sure to try some the next time you are in, and feel free to share your thoughts with us.