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Sichuan Restaurant

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

When my friend suggested eating Sichuan after watching Iron Man 2 (yeah I know, this is how long this has been sitting on my hard drive instead of being posted, pretty good movie though), a little flicker of memory made me take more interest than usual. Then I remembered, Mr Noodles and Su Lin have been raving about the deep fried corn in salted egg yolk there, and apparently the other stuff is pretty good too.

So I was flicking through the menu in the restaurant to find that there was no such item on the menu. Imagine my disappointment when I got on my iPhone to find that they have been talking about Sichuan in Acton, not the Sichuan in Greenwich *sigh*

Well ok life moves on and we let our friends (newly engaged too, congrats!) do the ordering whilst I happily snacked on the spiced beef jerky (really great snack, very tempted to ask them for more, but I do think the more traditional pickled stuff makes for a better opening start).

Sichuan restaurant, London 01

On first impression, the pepper and chilli beef looks like a humongous plate, but sadly most of the bulk is actually bean sprouts hidden under the beef. Still, the slices of beef were tender and the strongly flavoured sauce was not only tasty, but also masked the taste of the inevitable tenderiser.

Sichuan restaurant, London 02

The brinjal dish was ok without being fantastic in any particular way except for the amount of oil used to cook it. The Pigpig liked it though, happily drowned her rice in that tasty oily gravy.

Sichuan restaurant, London 03

Another deceptive large portion arrived in the form of deep fried spicy chicken, apparently a very typical Szechuan dish. With generous amounts of dried chillis and Szechuan peppers used, this really had my tongue burning in that strange way that kept me coming back for more. My only complaint is that some of the pieces of chicken used had some splinters in the bone, which made things interesting.

Sichuan restaurant, London 05

The only thing the PigPig wanted to try was the deep fried mantou (Chinese buns), mainly because she wanted to eat it with condensed milk. Think she secretly likes the spicy sweet combo after her sweet sesame mochi in mala soup experience in Taipei. The buns itself were already slightly sweet so this wasn’t weird or anything, but I still do prefer eating them with the usual savoury dishes.

Sichuan restaurant, London 04

Lastly, we also ordered a fish, which came out quite a while after the previous dish for some unknown reason. The fish was quite good, no strong fishy smell and the spicy sweet-and-sour-like sauce was tasty, lacked any strong heat.

Sichuan restaurant, London 06

Altogether, the bill came to just under £15 each for four people. At first glance, the portion sizes look huge, but then most of the plate of beef was actually bean sprouts, and the chicken dish was about 80% chillies. I still had room for dessert and was quite tempted to stop by Lucky 7’s for a milkshake on the way back.

Food – 5.0
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 5.0
Value – 6.0

The taste of the food was how I like it, strong hitting and not pulling any punches whilst the level of heat was probably a little bit too low for my liking for proper Szechuan food (I’m guessing I have a pretty average spicy tolerance and I’m not a chilli-freak). That being said, for similar menus, prices and styles of cooking, Gourmet San is probably the better tasting one.

Best bit: not being chased out of the restaurant after finishing the meal. It’s a really rare occasion for me to be able to sit and chat with buddies over cups of tea in a Chinese restaurant in London lately.
Worst bit: accidentally eating a Szechuan pepper, which happened more than once. A numb tongue is weird.

Sichuan Restaurant 川妹子
Millenium Leisure Park,
Bugsbys Way,
SE10 0QJ
Tel: +44(020) 8305113

Sichuan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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