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JMC Szechuan aka Szechwan JMC Chinese Kitchen

JMC Szechuan aka Szechwan JMC Chinese Kitchen
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  • JMC Szechuan aka Szechwan JMC Chinese Kitchen

    Post #1 - December 13th, 2018, 11:59 pm
    Post #1 - December 13th, 2018, 11:59 pm Post #1 - December 13th, 2018, 11:59 pm
    You should be aware of this little place. Pretty outstanding food and with the demise or decline of some old favorites this really stands out. So far everything I’ve tried has been really good. Chong Quing popcorn chicken( with fries mixed in) house special( green peppercorn) boiled fish and others. On the prowl for some MaLa mojo? This might be the spot.Worth seeking out.

    243 W Cermak Rd
    Chicago, IL 60616
    (312) 929-2212
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #2 - December 14th, 2018, 2:07 pm
    Post #2 - December 14th, 2018, 2:07 pm Post #2 - December 14th, 2018, 2:07 pm
    Was there last wk and agree.
    IMG_2956.JPG
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #3 - December 14th, 2018, 2:09 pm
    Post #3 - December 14th, 2018, 2:09 pm Post #3 - December 14th, 2018, 2:09 pm
    I have been meaning to write about this place, but I am terrible at starting new threads. I really like the food here , it's supplanted Szechuan Cuisine, though it seems slightly more expensive than other options in the area for what is less "professional" decor and service.

    I really like the mapo (the best this side of the Pacific I have tasted), the Dan Dan noodles (better than in Chengdu), and basically any cold chili oil dish (bang bang chicken and cucumber salad). I also quite like their string beans.

    That said I they are much lighter on the "ma" here than other places, which suits my wife's palate. I personally could use a bit more in the mapo.
  • Post #4 - December 15th, 2018, 11:52 pm
    Post #4 - December 15th, 2018, 11:52 pm Post #4 - December 15th, 2018, 11:52 pm
    Strong second for the Dan Dan noodles. Certainly the best I’ve ever had. Also shouldn’t miss the house special lamb ribs both among the best dishes I’ve had this year.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #5 - December 17th, 2018, 5:54 am
    Post #5 - December 17th, 2018, 5:54 am Post #5 - December 17th, 2018, 5:54 am
    this place sounds good 8)
  • Post #6 - December 17th, 2018, 10:12 am
    Post #6 - December 17th, 2018, 10:12 am Post #6 - December 17th, 2018, 10:12 am
    Went here on my birthday in August. I agree with everyone's assessment. Very good all around. But of the several dishes we had none were light on the "ma". The dan dan noodles were certainly the spiciest ones I've ever had. Which was a good thing to me but not to my wife or son.
  • Post #7 - December 17th, 2018, 12:10 pm
    Post #7 - December 17th, 2018, 12:10 pm Post #7 - December 17th, 2018, 12:10 pm
    Based on the reviews of others I must've been gringo-ed. I had the Dan Dan Noodles this past Fall while chasing the high from some I had in Hong Kong a week before. I felt like I was dealt oregano. Not bc of the fact it wasn't as good as this random Sichuan spot I found in HK but bc the noodles were nothing like I was hoping for and there wasnt much spice involved. Not to say they were bad but they were not anything remotely close to what I was hoping for.

    ImageDan Dan Noodles

    That said I've watched as this place has stayed packed with mostly young locals. So I was always planning on returning to try more. I'll leave a couple pics and people can tell me if this is what they got. If so I don't know. Not my preferred style. I realize I'll probably have to go back to China to get close to what I had there but I've had Dan Dan elsewhere in the US since then that I liked more than this.

    ImageReady to slurp
  • Post #8 - March 8th, 2019, 12:28 am
    Post #8 - March 8th, 2019, 12:28 am Post #8 - March 8th, 2019, 12:28 am
    Two of us had a really nice and filling lunch here recently . . .

    Image
    Szechwan JMC Chinese Kitchen - 243 W Cermak, Chicago

    Image
    Szechwan Style Noodles with Chili Sauce (cold)
    We'd already ordered but when we saw this show up at a neighboring table, we decided to order it, too. Nicely chewy and flavorful noodles, with a sauce that was mildly hot with a slight touch of sweetness.

    Image
    Lamb Ribs Pot
    Deep, delicious flavors, moderately high spice level and ma la. The fatty knots of lamb, were tender and the meat, while not mushy, came away from the bone easily. The cabbage and clear noodles provided a great vehicle for slurping down more of the broth.

    Image
    Dry Pot Aged Pork with Cauliflower
    In this case, dry pot aged pork was essentially bacon and it was tasty, though I think there were only 3 small pieces of it in the entire bowl. But as a lover of cauliflower, I still really enjoyed this dish. The florets were just on the al dente side of tender and they carried a lot of the sauce, so every bite was really flavorful. And I loved the thick slices of fresh green chili, which I think were probably jalapeno (and reasonably spicy).

    Image
    Ox Tendon & Maw in Chili Sauce
    One of the best versions I can remember. I thought the chili oil was perfectly balanced; full of funky flavor and suitably spicy. The tendon and maw were pleasantly chewy. The celery leaves accentuated the dish really well and the sliced celery ribs, along with the peanuts, provided nice well-placed flavor counterpoints and satisfying textural contrast.

    I wish we'd had a bigger group so we could have ordered more. As it was, we were stuffed and left a little bit of each dish behind. Looking forward to some return visits.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - March 8th, 2019, 11:51 am
    Post #9 - March 8th, 2019, 11:51 am Post #9 - March 8th, 2019, 11:51 am
    wesuilmo wrote:Went here on my birthday in August. I agree with everyone's assessment. Very good all around. But of the several dishes we had none were light on the "ma". The dan dan noodles were certainly the spiciest ones I've ever had. Which was a good thing to me but not to my wife or son.


    When I refer to "ma" I mean the numbing peppercorn flavor. This place still brings the spice, but their mapo is a bit tame on the peppercorns IMO
  • Post #10 - August 8th, 2019, 12:49 pm
    Post #10 - August 8th, 2019, 12:49 pm Post #10 - August 8th, 2019, 12:49 pm
    I had JMC front of mind ever since reading the following in the Best Thing Eaten (lately) thread
    Indianbadger wrote:Eggplant with String Beans at Szechwan JMC in Chinatown. I usually go to Mala Spicy Spirit almost exclusively because they are willing to make stuff off-menu for me that is vegetarian. … But this dish was awesome. You can clearly taste/smell the wok-hei in the dish. I am very glad that now I have two Szezhwan places that I can go to that are this vegetarian friendly and tasty!
    so I bit the bullet and drove down for carry-out Monday night, and I'm very pleased I did.

    The aforementioned Eggplant w/ String Beans was good, I just might not like it quite as much as Indianbadger. Be forewarned that it came off as really salty at first bite, but I like salty, so it was no problem. In fact, I had poured myself an IPA (Half Acre Bodem, fwiw) to have with dinner and the saltiness was a perfect match. It's really difficult to get the perfect texture on eggplant like this, so no big deal being a little softer than ideal. There's some garlic in there, and a small amount of heat.

    Standout dish was Chef's Special Stir-fried Pork (ironically not in the Chef's Special menu section). This was a somewhat amped-up version of twice cooked pork. I had requested on the phone when ordering that everything be fully-hot, and this was nicely spicy, while not so extreme as to diminish from the dish.

    Only other item was Dan Dan Noodles, and this was good, as expected. Maybe slightly better than I recalled at is the only one of the three I had on my only prior visit to JMC.

    It's a good sign when the tiny place is packed with Asian/Chinese twenty-somethings at 9:45pm on a Monday. I had to wait so late to avoid traffic, and was lucky enough it took less than 30 minutes each way from Central/Green Bay. While waiting briefly for my order, a couple customers agreed that the hot dry pot was REALLY spicy, more than they anticipated. It was exactly what I hoped to hear.

    JMC > MCCB for me.
  • Post #11 - August 8th, 2019, 2:26 pm
    Post #11 - August 8th, 2019, 2:26 pm Post #11 - August 8th, 2019, 2:26 pm
    JMC is always packed now and it is a tiny restaurant. The service is sporadic because of that and the large volume of take-out. However, I can't resist it. Top dishes after many visits:

    Mapo
    String beans and Eggplant
    Napa Cabbage Dry Pot (not dry, but the broth is spicy and delicious)
    Gong Bao Chicken (amazing peanuts)
    Dan Dan Noodles (still think it is the best in town by a large margin)
    Lamb Rib Hot Pot
    Chef's Special Stir Fry Pork (better than the twice-cooked)
    Cucumber Salad
    Chicken Salad
    Sichuan braised pork

    The fatty beef in sour broth and house special dry pot are good but not exceptional, but you can't really go wrong here. Better than MCCB for everything but a fish terrine.

    Also pro tip: there is a 10% cash discount.
  • Post #12 - August 8th, 2019, 5:09 pm
    Post #12 - August 8th, 2019, 5:09 pm Post #12 - August 8th, 2019, 5:09 pm
    botd wrote:Top dishes after many visits:
    ...
    Also pro tip: there is a 10% cash discount.
    My ego is sufficiently stroked knowing I went 3 for 3 on insider knowledge without advance notice.
    Thanks for the cash-discount tip, well worth remembering.
  • Post #13 - August 16th, 2019, 11:48 pm
    Post #13 - August 16th, 2019, 11:48 pm Post #13 - August 16th, 2019, 11:48 pm
    Try the “chefs special lamb ribs” next time.Deep fried ,coated with cumin laced mala magic,this is probably my favorite dish on the menu,and one of the best and most unique lamb rib dishes I’ve had.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.

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