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  • Sze Chuan Cuisine

    Post #1 - September 14th, 2013, 8:53 am
    Post #1 - September 14th, 2013, 8:53 am Post #1 - September 14th, 2013, 8:53 am
    On the farther stretch of S. Wentworth resides the 2 month old Sze Chuan Cuisine. A friend of mine from N.E. China told me some of his friends told him it was good, so we went last nite. Arriving @ 7 30, there was a wait of around 15 mins. The room reminds me of Ming Hin minus the shitty plastic garbage bags that double for tablecloths. Warm, inviting modern style featuring carved wood panels and a huge staircase hung w/rope, I liked the look right away. Also, being the only non-Asian in the place, I was hoping we'd hit the motherlode (and no, that's not a racist comment, just an observation).

    sze chuan cuisine1.jpg


    We started w/beef w/maw. Good, but I prefer my benchmark of this dish @ Lao Sze Chuan. The beef here wasn't as moist as Tony's is, but that's a personal preference not based on knowledge. Yi loved it and asked for some raw garlic to accompany it, something quite common from his neck of the woods. His intel had told him the boiled fish slices in red spicy oil was the way to go, and it was. Redolent with ma la, it was all you could ask for balancing spicy, oily and numbing w/ea mouthful. Fresh soy bean sprouts lent a nuttiness and some texture and the thin rice noodles buried in the bottom of the bowl were spectactular. Lastly we had one I chose, salt and pepper oyster, another winner. The oysters were fresh briny tasting, not buried in batter, and even better, served with julliened onions and peppers tossed w/dry chile and basil. Yi didn't feel that it was authentic in that way- w/the basil and all it reminded us both of a nod to Thai or Vietnamese, but it was delicious none the less and there wasn't a spec left on our plate.

    boiled fish slices in red spicy oil.jpg boiled fish slice in red spicy oil
    salt and pepper oysters.jpg salt and pepper oysters


    Service was pleasant and professional, the menu, well worth working yourself through I'm sure. Before we left we checked out the upstairs, again reminding me of Ming Hin w/it's semi-private rooms.

    sze chuan cuisine2.jpg upstairs


    All in all, a worthy contender.


    Sze Chuan Cuisine
    2414 S. Wentworth
    312.791.1882
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #2 - October 12th, 2013, 8:12 am
    Post #2 - October 12th, 2013, 8:12 am Post #2 - October 12th, 2013, 8:12 am
    Woke up thinking about the star of yesterdays lunch, Boiled Fish in Red Oil at Sze Chuan Cuisine. Tender silky fish flesh, obscene amount of Szechuan pepper/dried chile, saifun noodle and sprouts. Puts the Slap your Ma in MaLa!

    Thanks for sharing Alan!

    Sze Chuan Cuisine, Boiled Fish in Red Oil

    Image
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - October 12th, 2013, 9:25 am
    Post #3 - October 12th, 2013, 9:25 am Post #3 - October 12th, 2013, 9:25 am
    It was quite a lunch that I shared with G Wiv & Jazzfood on Friday. When we arrived at around 1:00, the place was pretty empty, but in the course of the next half hour or so, the restaurant really filled up; kind of surprising for a late afternoon on Friday. We were the only non-Chinese in the whole place, but I imagine the demographic will start to shift at least a little a bit once word of this new destination gets out. I'd say that Sze Chuan Cuisine is a worthy replacement for the late, lamented Double Li.

    Here's a little pictorial of what we ate.

    Sze Chuan Cuisine
    Image

    Szechwan Dumplings in Red Spicy Oil
    Image

    Special Flavor Duckling
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    Hot & Spicy Diced Chicken Chong Quing Style
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    Salt & Pepper Oyster
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    Boiled Fish in Red Oil
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    Image

    Everything was extremely good, and we barely scratched the surface of the lengthy menu. The red oil used in many of the dishes is superb, redolent with hot chiles and szechuan peppercorns. Plenty of MaLa to go around...especially in the boiled fish dish. I'll be back often, for sure.

    Sze Chuan Cuisine
    2414 S. Wentworth
    Chicago, IL 60606
    312-791-1882
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - October 12th, 2013, 9:30 am
    Post #4 - October 12th, 2013, 9:30 am Post #4 - October 12th, 2013, 9:30 am
    Looking forward to checking this place out. Curious: what's the sauce on the diced chicken dish?
  • Post #5 - October 12th, 2013, 9:37 am
    Post #5 - October 12th, 2013, 9:37 am Post #5 - October 12th, 2013, 9:37 am
    No sauce on the chix dish, it's dry. My mouth felt like it had electricity running through it by the end of the meal.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #6 - October 12th, 2013, 9:57 am
    Post #6 - October 12th, 2013, 9:57 am Post #6 - October 12th, 2013, 9:57 am
    BR wrote:Looking forward to checking this place out. Curious: what's the sauce on the diced chicken dish?

    No sauce, but fantastic with a drizzle of red oil from Boiled Fish in Red Oil.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - October 12th, 2013, 10:05 am
    Post #7 - October 12th, 2013, 10:05 am Post #7 - October 12th, 2013, 10:05 am
    BR wrote:Looking forward to checking this place out. Curious: what's the sauce on the diced chicken dish?


    There was a small amount of residual chile oil at the bottom of the plate, but it was essentially sauceless. This dish is very similar to the Dry Chile Chicken at the Lao Empire restaurants.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - October 12th, 2013, 10:11 am
    Post #8 - October 12th, 2013, 10:11 am Post #8 - October 12th, 2013, 10:11 am
    Only there is no cloying sweetness.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #9 - October 20th, 2013, 11:15 pm
    Post #9 - October 20th, 2013, 11:15 pm Post #9 - October 20th, 2013, 11:15 pm
    Seven of us visited Sze Chuan Cuisine and had a very nice evening. While the service was not perfect, it was extremely enthusiastic.
    We got a few dishes that we did not order, but it wasn't a big deal. We ate one of them and returned the other. I might recommend that you order by the number on the menu to reduce confusion.

    We had the Szechuan dumplings (number 10), the shredded chicken with ginger flavor (#30), chengdu spiced rabbit (#18, which while boneless had some bones), salt and pepper oysters, boiled fish in red spicy oil (#34), hot and spicy chicken (three chili chicken) (#54), sauteed string beans (#126), eggplant in garlic sauce (#127) , and air dried shredded beef (no number) ( although I suspect we had another dish or two).

    We brought our own wine (and glasses) and they were very welcoming. Everything was at least good, with the p[possible exception of the eggplant. I've had many better versions of this dish. None of the dishes were incredibly hot, although they were generally properly spicy.

    I'll be back soon and report on what we had.
  • Post #10 - October 21st, 2013, 6:52 am
    Post #10 - October 21st, 2013, 6:52 am Post #10 - October 21st, 2013, 6:52 am
    I really enjoyed my lunch there last week with the highlight being the duckling with taro. I thought the three other dishes we had - Spicy Beef Tendon, Edible Tree Fungus Villa Style, and Free Range Chicken In Dry Hot Pot, were also notable.

    How can you hate a place that labels beef dishes on their menu as "Cattle"?

    Looking forward to a return.
  • Post #11 - October 24th, 2013, 9:10 am
    Post #11 - October 24th, 2013, 9:10 am Post #11 - October 24th, 2013, 9:10 am
    Five of us had a fantastic dinner here on Tuesday night--we ordered a few of the recommended dishes and a few things no one has posted about yet and there were no misses.

    A few highlights and data points:

    * Since I don't think it's been posted here yet--while they do allow BYO, they offer a limited range of beer/wine/spirits (Grey Goose bottle service for $120 anyone?? :) ) and charge a one-size-fits-all corkage fee of $10/bottle for BYO.

    * We followed the road paved by others and ordered the Szechuan dumplings in red oil, the beef tendon/maw, the boiled fish slices in spicy red oil and the salt & pepper oysters--all were as good as promised! Perhaps the most notable thing is that while the various red oil sauces all look the same, the flavors are, actually, quite different--in particular, the sauce for the dumplings had an ever so slightly sweet tang and richness while the fish was almost like a great soup broth spiked with the fruitiest Szechuan peppercorns I've ever had. Also, while an earlier post noted that the beef maw was drier than LSC, we found the opposite--it was exactly the right amount of sauce but with better seasoning. I think we were fighting to lick the plate!

    * The other items we ordered were:
    --the aged tofu slices in spicy sauce--this was prepared in a shredded salad style--very light but a great balance to the other items we ordered. It didn't really have a sauce--more like a light dressing--but it was perfect eaten with the beef maw.
    --the grilled mushrooms--this was in the little hot-pot, grilled items section towards the back of the menu--I don't see it on the web menu so I'm winging it here but this was one of my favorite dishes--the mushrooms were cut in very long strips and had a very pronounced and meaty grilled flavor. LOVED these
    --the fried lamb with cumin--serious, heavy duty cumin flavor, nicely gamey, not deep fried so you could really taste the meat. Delicious!
    --Ma Po Tofu, vegetarian style--silky soft cubes of tofu, yet another version of the "red sauce"--this one nicely spiced with Szechuan peppercorns--not as much as the fish but still notable--malalala!

    Service couldn't have been nicer, very comfortable space (great chairs--are you listening LSC???) and a menu worthy of further exploring. Looking forward to a return visit soon!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #12 - October 24th, 2013, 10:08 am
    Post #12 - October 24th, 2013, 10:08 am Post #12 - October 24th, 2013, 10:08 am
    Quite a good dinner at Szechuan Cuisine a week and a half ago. Got a couple dishes from the LTHF-approved list and boldly forged out on our own for a couple others. We weren't able to get much of an explanation of crab curd with soybean flower but went ahead and ordered it anyway.

    Image

    Basically a thick soup of tofu cubes and frozen peas-n-carrots (no crab!) in a mild yellow thick broth. I wouldn't rush to order this again but it could be a useful soothing dish to offset a large assortment of fiery food.

    I've been to Szechuan dinners with a monotonous assortment of different foods in the same red oil, so was a little wary of ordering both the Szechuan dumplings in spicy oil and boiled fish in red oil.

    Image

    Turns out that shouldn't have been a concern. The dumplings are surrounded by an oil with a mellow sweetness plus a mound of minced raw garlic, very different from the fish's red oil.

    Boiled fish in red oil is a good version, more than , thanks to a generous handful of (somewhat unusual) green Szechuan peppercorns (more obvious in stevez's photo above).

    Image

    Underneath the chilies and fish are layers of cellophane noodles and soybean sprouts. Though the $23.95 price is higher than at some other places, the serving is immense.

    Preserved pork Szechuan style, another intriguing name, turned out to be a real winner.

    Image

    Smoky slices of pork belly, with a flavor quite distinct from bacon, came stir-fried with leeks and a few chilies. An absolutely delicious dish.

    Good place, interesting menu.

    Szechuan Cuisine
    2414 S Wentworth Av
    Chicago
    312-791-1882
  • Post #13 - October 27th, 2013, 1:58 pm
    Post #13 - October 27th, 2013, 1:58 pm Post #13 - October 27th, 2013, 1:58 pm
    Ate here last night, went with the aforementioned fish in red oil, really an excellent dish. We also did the sauteed string beans and the basil beef. String beans were cooked in a red oil as well but not as spicy as the soup, these were very good. The basil beef was great too, perfectly cooked tender beef with a brown sauce, not at all gloppy or sweet. Menu looked great, I'd like to go back to try more things.
  • Post #14 - November 13th, 2013, 12:50 pm
    Post #14 - November 13th, 2013, 12:50 pm Post #14 - November 13th, 2013, 12:50 pm
    The ma la in the food at Sze Chuan Cuisine is off the charts. I've never experienced anything like it. The food is all carefully prepared and the flavors are really bright.

    I just found out that they deliver to my office and I'm enjoying a stellar meal from them. Jackpot!
  • Post #15 - November 13th, 2013, 7:44 pm
    Post #15 - November 13th, 2013, 7:44 pm Post #15 - November 13th, 2013, 7:44 pm
    Do you know if they deliver downtown?
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #16 - November 13th, 2013, 8:52 pm
    Post #16 - November 13th, 2013, 8:52 pm Post #16 - November 13th, 2013, 8:52 pm
    Not sure how far their delivery ranges but they did deliver to Adams and Wabash.
  • Post #17 - November 14th, 2013, 9:27 am
    Post #17 - November 14th, 2013, 9:27 am Post #17 - November 14th, 2013, 9:27 am
    They delivered to 223 W Jackson at lunch, so my guess is downtown is all fair game. I will say that the chong qing chicken delivered was not very good - it wasn't spicy, and this was to be expected and my mistake for ordering this delivered, but it was soggy. I have ordered dry chili chicken delivered from LSC and while not as good as ordering in house, it is never soggy. The Chinese broccoli, on the other hand, was delicious.
  • Post #18 - November 21st, 2013, 5:53 pm
    Post #18 - November 21st, 2013, 5:53 pm Post #18 - November 21st, 2013, 5:53 pm
    I stopped in here earlier this week with a group and we made a very small dent in the rather large menu. I have to say our meal was excellent. It was nice getting yet another take on this regional cuisine, and experiencing it in a fresh, new light.

    Image
    Spicy Beef Tendon
    There was a really nice heat-to-flavor balance here and the texture was perfect, with just a bit of chewiness.


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    Hot & Sour Cucumber
    Probably my least favorite dish. I liked it but I didn't feel the thick slices of cucumber melded well with the very tasty sauce.


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    Szechuan Dumplings in Red Spicy Oil
    A great take on a dish I've had many times. The wrappers were toothsome, the filling was flavorful and the garlic -- there was lots of it!


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    Crab Curd with Soy Bean Flower
    I really loved the depth of flavor here. There were no pieces of crab but the thick broth had a rich flavor. I thought this dish, dotted with a little chili oil, was spectacular. Although, it was definitely subtle relative to the other items on the table.


    Image
    Ma Po Tofu
    One of the best renditions I can remember having. The heat level was high but balanced nicely by a very deep range of compelling flavors. And, my mouth was buzzing just a bit after eating this one.


    Image
    Fried Lamb with Cumin
    Another really nice rendition. I appreciated the intensely aromatic cumin and the tender lamb, which is the one thing that really set this version off from other versions I've had in town.


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    Chinese Broccoli (sauteed, garlic, oyster [I assume that means oyster sauce])
    Soupy but delicious in its own right. And the broccoli had a lot of crunch. I combined this with a bit of the crab curd dish and some chili oil, and it really came together nicely.


    Image
    Hot & Spicy Diced Chicken Chong Qing Style
    Unlike some other similar dishes in town, this dish had nary a hint of sweetness. In fact, it was so spicy, I could feel the vapors from the chilis in the back of my throat the moment it hit the table. The well-seasoned chicken was perfectly cooked: crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and piping hot.


    Image
    Air-Dry Shredded Beef
    Kind of like a jerky. I loved the flavor and some pieces were delightful. Others I chewed and chewed before I had no choice but to jettison them. I just couldn't get them down.


    Image
    Brisket in Dry Pot
    There was liquid but I guess relative to other hot pots, it was considerably less, which may be why it's referred to as "dry pot." In any case, the flavors here were terrific -- the ma la seemed to have increased incrementally over the last few dishes we were served with this being the crescendo. As we went up the ladder with it, it never seemed over the top . . . until the very end when I ended up with about 3 electric buds in my mouth.

    A couple other notes: some folks we knew came in right after we started eating. We advised them on what we ordered but it was clear that their food did not approach the same heat and spice levels that ours did. I walked over to their table and the same dishes we'd ordered looked entirely different. Like us, they'd also requested "ma la" to their server but apparently, it didn't take. So, if you want the real deal here, you may need to be somewhat forceful about it.

    BYO ($10/bottle corkage) made the dining experience especially user-friendly. Service was friendly but spotty. We waited for water through most of the meal and extra napkins were doled out like rare silks. But I'd be lying if I said I weren't eager to return . . . soon!

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #19 - December 26th, 2013, 1:19 pm
    Post #19 - December 26th, 2013, 1:19 pm Post #19 - December 26th, 2013, 1:19 pm
    Had an impromtu late xmas dinner here last pm. No wait. Everything top notch but the star of the show were the salt and pepper oysters (for the first 5 mins). These must be eaten as soon as they come to the table, as they cool, they're not as impressive. If so, you will be rewarded w/a crunchy exterior that gives way to liquid salinity that brings to mind a fishy version of xiao long bao. One of the best bites in a long time.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #20 - December 26th, 2013, 5:41 pm
    Post #20 - December 26th, 2013, 5:41 pm Post #20 - December 26th, 2013, 5:41 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Had an impromtu late xmas dinner here last pm. No wait. Everything top notch but the star of the show were the salt and pepper oysters (for the first 5 mins). These must be eaten as soon as they come to the table, as they cool, they're not as impressive. If so, you will be rewarded w/a crunchy exterior that gives way to liquid salinity that brings to mind a fishy version of xiao long bao. One of the best bites in a long time.


    What he said, mostly. Quiet at 8:30. The ma la on the fish fillets in chili oil goes to 11: beautiful, but it will blow your tongue out if you're not careful. We balanced with a tree mushroom dish--not listed on the online menu, but it appears in a pic toward the back of the physical menu--that had a nice pop of vinegar and ginger, and knife-shaved noodles, which served their purpose but won't have anyone quitting Katy's anytime soon. Good stuff all around.
  • Post #21 - December 26th, 2013, 5:53 pm
    Post #21 - December 26th, 2013, 5:53 pm Post #21 - December 26th, 2013, 5:53 pm
    I really have to get down to try this place.
  • Post #22 - March 29th, 2014, 3:53 pm
    Post #22 - March 29th, 2014, 3:53 pm Post #22 - March 29th, 2014, 3:53 pm
    We had a frustrating maiden voyage here recently.

    I had actually tried to dine here once before on a Saturday night at peak hours and turned around after being quoted an hour wait. It was really darned busy on a Tuesday night at 7 as well, though we only waited about 10 minutes. We were the only gringos in the house, fwiw.

    I was dining with my parents and my old man has a short fuse on certain issues– a pet peeve we share is a wait for our beers. In a classic move of the seemingly-random-order-sequencing at Chinese restaurants, we actually were served our Boiled Fish Slices in Red Oil first, even before waters came out. And if you've had this dish, you know you're going to need a neutral palate cleanser to take the edge off. Speaking of the intensity of this dish, I found the numbing effects of its 100s of Szechuan peppercorns totally overwhelming. I'm typically a fan of the sensation, but this stuff was hard to eat, it completely anesthetized my tastebuds so that I had to wait five minutes in between eating anything else, since my sense of taste was so impaired. Maybe they accidentally dumped the peppercorns in our bowl. Not enjoyable. Also, the bowl looks enormous, which would explain its $23+ price tag, but really a fourth of the dish is dried chiles and it isn't served (or perhaps even meant to be) with serving ware conducive to enjoying its broth. So you fish out the chunks and the majority of it goes back to the kitchen.

    The Szechuan dumplings were good– I liked all that garlic scattered on the dish. A good count as well, each of us were able to grab two.

    They were out of every single vegetable we tried to order so our choice was green beans or American broccoli. We went with the beans, they were fine, kind of a standard Szechuan prep.

    The most redeeming dish of the visit was the recommended Special Heaven's Grilled Ribs which were very meaty and addictively spiced like lamb with cumin dishes, Great dish.

    Image

    Service continued to be spotty throughout the meal with long wait times between dishes. Our server was friendly and apologetic, however. The whole experience was not pleasant enough for me to rush back to this place. We ordered kind of minimally, largely in anticipation of the size of the fish dish, so I'm curious to work around the menu a bit more. I could see ordering those ribs and a few other dishes for take out or delivery. I gotta say, I have a really solid ordering pattern at LSC and it remains my benchmark for Szechuan in Chicago, however much of a sweet and sour sh*tshow it has become in recent years.
  • Post #23 - July 2nd, 2015, 8:25 am
    Post #23 - July 2nd, 2015, 8:25 am Post #23 - July 2nd, 2015, 8:25 am
    I got down here recently and will be back as I find Sichuan cuisine to be my favorite all around Chinese regional cuisine.

    We started with Chinese Dough stuffed with Braised Pork. This was hit with what are kind of crispy fried Chinese pita pockets made with a dough similar to you tiao. You then stuff it with cilantro and a wet braised pork that was redolent of mei cai kou rou, soy sauce and star anise. Highly recommended.

    We tried the crab soup. Decent flavor, but far too much cornstarch for our taste.

    Also tried the Ribs in Yolk as we are fans of salted egg yolk. While very nicely fried, it seemed to have little of the salty eggy flavor I wanted.

    Finally, ended with gai lan, chinese broccoli, but it was the not the tiny pieces pictured above, but much larger pieces as I have traditionally seen. I was bit disappointed in that, however it was perfectly respectable version of this dish. I just don't understand how simple vegetable stir fries cost as much as more elaborate preparations at asian restaurants. I want to eat a vegetable, but its hard to justify simple stir fry in garlic and soy sauce when so many other interesting things call out to me at the same price...
  • Post #24 - August 13th, 2015, 12:24 pm
    Post #24 - August 13th, 2015, 12:24 pm Post #24 - August 13th, 2015, 12:24 pm
    Had a more traditional Sichuan meal last night after our attempts at hand pulled noodles for Lanzhou noodle soup failed and we needed to get to Cermak to purchase some.

    Ma Pou - We have eaten a lot of Ma Pou over the years and this may rank as the best. Just the perfect amount of ma la and the spicy ya cai sauce was stupendous. Literally the only improvement I would make is to add some more produce; I particularly like ground, browned mushrooms and leeks.

    Preserved Pork Sichuan style - Really interesting smokiness from a pork that avoided being dry. I could not stop eating the leeks in this dish which were saturated with that smokiness. The weakest thing we ate, but still really good.

    Dumplings in Spicy Oil - I have always been fond of these and this place does it very well. Really well balanced oil, not too sweet and the bits of garlic on top are a nice touch. Dumplings themselves had great texture and good flavor.

    Pickled Vegetables with Taro - We ordered this thinking the pickled vegetables would be a nice counterpoint to sweet taro. The dish came out with strips of some translucent jelly that were most definitely NOT taro. Reexamining the characters, we determined that it actually says "magic" or "devil" taro which refers to the konjac plant. If you have ever eaten Shirataki noodles, it is the same thing. If you like jellied textures, this dish is phenomenal. The pickled sauce and the vegetables are exquisite and the konjac picks up the flavors very well. BONUS: konjac is high in fiber with almost no calories.


    Up next time is Duckling with devil taro for sure. I really want to order the big plate chicken, but at $25 it's probably a huge portion. If anyone wants to team up for a meal here, let me know!
  • Post #25 - August 13th, 2015, 1:36 pm
    Post #25 - August 13th, 2015, 1:36 pm Post #25 - August 13th, 2015, 1:36 pm
    Thanks for this: I've eaten there once or twice, but only via carryout. Ordering from the online menu, without Chinese, I glossed over the presence of "devil taro," called 魔芋 or moyu in Mandarin. I haven't had it since China, and because of your post, will be ordering it tonight. Definitely a weird texture, but as you mentioned, picks up sauce beautifully. Not sure anyone else is serving it.
  • Post #26 - August 13th, 2015, 3:36 pm
    Post #26 - August 13th, 2015, 3:36 pm Post #26 - August 13th, 2015, 3:36 pm
    Made it out here a few weeks ago. I echo other people's comments on the mapo tofu. I thought it was really great. One of the best preparations I've had in Chicago. Not too sweet, very balanced.

    Sichuan wontons were decent. Broccoli in oyster sauce was prepared well (my friend who eats little Chinese did not understand why we needed a vegetable dish, but she loved it). Lamb xinjiang style was great. More complexity than you get at other places that basically just blast it with cumin. The crab curd soup was good, though probably my least favorite dish. So many more things to try here!
  • Post #27 - August 13th, 2015, 7:16 pm
    Post #27 - August 13th, 2015, 7:16 pm Post #27 - August 13th, 2015, 7:16 pm
    not recognizing the address and connecting it to a visual I have of down there I googled the map and went right for the street view. I haven't digested anything mind altering this evening.

    This photo is just plain weird of 2414 S Wentworth Ave.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/2414+ ... 84!6m1!1e1
  • Post #28 - August 22nd, 2015, 12:37 pm
    Post #28 - August 22nd, 2015, 12:37 pm Post #28 - August 22nd, 2015, 12:37 pm
    I am way overdue! Boudreaulicious, mbh, petite gourmande!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #29 - August 22nd, 2015, 4:37 pm
    Post #29 - August 22nd, 2015, 4:37 pm Post #29 - August 22nd, 2015, 4:37 pm
    pairs4life wrote:I am way overdue! Boudreaulicious, mbh, petite gourmande!


    Pick a date! I haven't been since our big girls dinner a couple of years ago!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #30 - April 12th, 2017, 1:53 pm
    Post #30 - April 12th, 2017, 1:53 pm Post #30 - April 12th, 2017, 1:53 pm
    Ribs.jpg Those ribs!


    Sometimes you find a food that’s so enthralling, so intoxicating that you know you could keep eating it for a very long time, health consequences be damned. For me, such dishes are usually pork-based. The first time I had this get-me-the-hell-out-of-here-before-I-eat-more experience was years ago at a Filipino place on the far northside; the food was lechon kawali, fried cubes of pork belly, golden crunchy outside, pillow-tender and fatty inside, so simple and so seductive. At one point I had to push the plate away and step back from the table or I would surely have just kept eating them. I started to get concerned for my health, physical and mental.

    The most recent example of such crazed eating took place was last week at Sze Chuan Cuisine in Chinatown.

    The first dish we had at Sze Chuan Cuisine was Ox Tendon and Maw in Chili Sauce ($6.95). Though tendon is officially offal, this preparation had none of the funk of other nasty fifth-quarter bits like kidney or intestine; slow cooked and tender, what tendon has going for it is texture, tooth-tender though almost crunchy; not like cartilage at all but strangely, pleasingly chewy. And translucent. The maw, which is usually the throat or gullet of the animal, is meatier, with a slightly different texture than the tendon. In a hot chili sauce that enhanced but didn’t overwhelm, this was a very tasty appetizer, palate-perking and…fascinatingly delicious. The Chinese put a premium on food texture, and this meat salad was a collection of intriguing tactile tongue sensations. My mouth muscles had fun.

    A salad with chunks of cucumber and ribbons of dry tofu was a perfect balance against the tendon and maw, adding crispness and slight acidity to balance the chili heat. We nibbled at this throughout the meal to cool our tongues and provide a little vegetal pleasure between all the fleshy chews.

    And then it came…the dish that hit all the right buttons, a symphony of heat and sweet, vegetable and meat, a lunch of (many subsequent) dreams:

    …Pork spare ribs ($13.95).

    Under more chili-based sauce, this time mala, with a goodly amount of Sze Chuan peppercorns (I could tell because my tongue grew numb as I ate), onions and chives, this was a spectacular presentation of pig meat. A lot of the fat rendered out, but much fat still clung to the strips of meat, making each bite both toothy and lush, the fat leavened by the chili heat. I ate and ate and I knew I should have stopped, but I didn’t. That night, for dinner, I had ginger ale. But I’d go back for those ribs, oh man, were they good.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins

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