Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Indulging in Spice at Sichuan House

This was one of the last meals that Michael and I enjoyed in Hong Kong before I left for New York.  We knew the rest of August was going to be pretty crazy, and we likely would not have any time to see each other, much less see each other in a relaxed setting, so he surprised me by being very accommodating of my desire to eat spicy Sichuan food and accompanied me to Sichuan House, located on Wellington Street.

I obviously frequent a lot of hole in the wall Chinese joints, but Sichuan House is pretty fancy.  This means a commensurate price sticker, but I don't mind (all in the name of getting a spice fix!)
 Unlike at other places, the tiny little appetizers here (making up part of the mandatory "tea fee" prevalent in Asia) are really good.  From left to right, fried cold lima beans in a zesty, spicy sauce, then pickled cabbage (like Chinese kim chee), then dried bean curd.

Making up the other portion of the tea fee is their fantastic house blend of tea.  It is a green tea base with orange peel, barley, goji berries and dried dates, with gives it a sweet and light flavor (especially perfect when the dishes get to that spicy edge of unbearable).
 I've discovered my issue with Sichuan House is not that the food isn't good - in fact nearly every dish is very good - but that for some reason I always end up messing up on the ordering.  For example, these chilled green bean noodles with chopped pork and fresh garlic appetizer - I keep getting it because it sounds so good on paper, and I keep forgetting that I don't like how the noodles come in thick sheets.  It's misleading to call it a noodle dish!
How awesome is that serving bowl?  This is the ma po tofu, which is cooked very nicely and served piping hot.  Most places don't serve it hot enough.  I think there may be a little too much sauce in this one, and I prefer this dish a little spicier.
 Their bang bang wontons are really good, mixed in a sesame sauce that contains a nice low heat. Unfortunately I can't have more than one or two of these as the sauce is quite heavy.
This is their cumin lamb shank, which was pretty good except I didn't expect the lamb to be so gamey. I kept looking longingly at the huge bowl of water cooked fish at the next table.  Next time, I have to be smarter about what I order.

Sichuan House
M88 Building
2 Wellington Street, 7th floor
Central, Hong Kong
852 2521 6699

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