The menu is short and doesn't really pander to Anglo-Saxon squeamishness. I don't know anything about Szechuan cuisine, but I am going to go out on a limb and make the gross generalisation that any menu with that much tripe and sea-cucumber has to be authentic. Right?
We ordered a lot of food for three people. Some things I'd never seen before, all absolutely delicious. The waitress didn't speak much English and we were the only people there on a quiet weekday lunchtime, but the restaurant looks like it is really designed for evenings (garish red banquettes studded with rhinestone buttons, shiny lacquered walls, colour-changing neon lights around the cornices).
|Yes, this is fried rice. No, this was not one of the unfamiliar dishes. Very, very nice though.|
|Hot & sour potatoes. Extraordinary. The potato has the crunch of being undercooked but without that "yuk, raw potato" thing. With vinegar, garlic and chilli. I will order this in a flash if I ever see it again.|
|Chicken hotpot. Not as sauce-y as I expected a hotpot to be, and not as spicy as you would imagine from all of that chilli. And those white-ish bits? yes, they are garlic cloves, but cooked gently so they were quite mellow.|
|Gai larn with garlic is always good, but this was cut up into much more convenient pieces than I am used to! Much easier for picking up with chopsticks than the stuff usually served at yum cha.|
|Lamb with cumin. Absolutely divine. SO tender and almost crusted with crunchy toasted cumin seeds. I'd imagine that this is a dish of Islamic origin.|
|Aubergine with pork. I have had other versions of this dish, but this was the best I have tried - perfectly silky aubergine with pork as a flavour, not the main event, and a very well-balanced slightly sour sauce. I think this is an example of "fish flavour" sauce which doesn't actually have any fish products in it...|