In the gastronomic world of Asian-fusion, it takes a lot to attract attention. Luckily, the QT Wellington knows how to stand out. In 2018 the hotel’s carpark was replaced with Hot Sauce, a quirky restaurant serving Singaporean, Thai, Korean and Japanese-inspired dishes.
The menu is sharing-style with a modern flair, and the recipes have been created to reflect heritage and childhood nostalgia from the chefs. My friend and I arrived on a Sunday evening to a pleasantly-full restaurant and friendly staff. As you can imagine, located where the carpark once was, the restaurant itself is vast and spacious. Steaming baskets hung from the roof and the lighting cast a red hue over the mixture of bar leaners, leather chairs and low tables.
After a quick menu run-through and recommendations from the general manager, we ordered a selection of smaller and larger plates. For reference, my friend and I shared a total of six items from the menu. A surprising highlight of the meal was the Chicken Satay Skewers – juicy chicken drowning in a rich, punchy peanut sauce. The worst part? There was only one skewer each.
The Fried Chicken Baos get a special mention, because who doesn’t love a bao bun stuffed with crispy fried chicken and truffle slaw. I could have easily had more of the truffle slaw. And more of the fried chicken for that matter.
We were recommended the Burnt Coconut and Mushroom Curry, which was comforting and the absence of meat went unnoticed. Gluten and dairy free, it’s a great option for sharing. A roti would have been the perfect addition – fingers crossed they’re coming to the menu soon.
It was the Popcorn Chicken which was the most interesting plate of the evening. Inspired by Singapore’s sweet version, one of the chefs re-created this childhood favourite of his. Made using maple syrup, sriracha mayo, salted pineapple and shallots, it’s an unusual melange of flavours and textures. Much to my amazement, it worked. I’m not wild about sweet and savoury combinations, and I personally would have appreciated a little more heat, but it’s an unconventional recipe worth trying.
Whether you’re lucky enough to be staying at the QT Wellington, a Wellington resident or happen to be looking for an evening of Asian-inspired cuisine, I suggest you put Hot Sauce at the top of your list. I hear they do a darn good cocktail, too.
90 Cable Street,
Tuesday – Sunday: 4pm until Late