Monday, April 14, 2008

Grand Sichuan, Manhattan, NYC

Woohoo, I've finally found a place in Manhattan that serves a pretty decent Sichuan hotpot. Sure it's not as satisfying as the now defunct Xiaoping but it comes pretty close.

Here's the soup with enough oil and floating chilies to give it that kick. Somehow, I just felt the broth could be a tad bit spicier. Maybe I'll ask them to amp it up a few notches next time.

This is the beef and it's pretty decent in quality. There are enough streaks of white on this to make it pretty delectable once it's dipped into the hot broth. Thinly sliced enough for quick cooking (and quick eating) these were wolved down pretty quick as well.

The lamb had a little more white on it (white meat is healthier no? haha) but the flavor still shone through. Being someone who's always partial towards lamb, it's hard for me to find anything wrong with it.

The dumplings although bigger than Xiaoping's failed to deliver the same satisfaction. The skin was a little too doughy for my liking. Nevertheless, once it absorbed a fair bit of the spicy broth, it still had a pretty decent explosion of flavor when I bit in it.

I don't know what I was thinking when I ordered the Chinese sausage, these don't really get tender despite boiling them forever and it's a pain fishing them out as well. Next time I'll just get more lamb.

Here's where they have an edge over Xiaoping; besides the hotpot, they have a large array of cooked dishes as well. The sliced shank with spicy peppers and chili oil was pretty kickass. In fact this was as tasty as the stuff served at Ma Po Tofu Restaurant along Beach Road (Singapore) before their chef changed and the food became inedibly wussy.

The chicken fried with flower peppers and dried chilies were also decently spicy, except that there were bits of water chestnut thrown into this. I don't know if they were added for texture or just to bulk it up but I found it rather annoying that the chestnut bits took up almost 50% of the plate real-estate, which should have been exclusive to the meat.

Quick boiled spicy pork belly. Greasy, spicy and just salty enough. It was impressive that despite mult-tasking in both a hotpot and a cooked food joint, this place managed to perform in both categories.

The dandan noodle is perhaps one of the spiciest things here. Well maybe because I told the waiter to literally kill me with the chili but this really hit the spot. The chili hit only comes like 1-2 minutes after you've taken a first bite, for a chilly early Spring evening; this hit the bullseye.

Just make sure to get enough beverage ready if you're not used to spicy stuff. Alternatively, you could ask them to tone it down for beginner's and gradually work your way up because their max level is pretty strong.

D

7 comments:

J said...

I love sichuan food!!!!

Lord Dianabol said...

What desserts have they?

Pretty kickass joint nonetheless!

kahsean said...

mmm im reading this at like 1am in the morning. its makn me hungry :D

daphne said...

oh boy. I like the sound of the dandan noodles.

U know the chicken dish that u were talking about? I actually thought it looked like chickpeas!! (maybe it was the chesnuts in disguise).

ladyironchef said...

hard to find good chinese food in the states!

Cuong said...

Hahah Im glad you have found another innocent victim this time...

I have gained enough XP and +fire resistance to try this though :D

Looks yummy!

PS Gratz NYT blogger!

D said...

j: me too!!!!

lord dianabol: I haven't tried the desserts here, but I did see redbean pancakes on the menu

kahsean: spicy greasy food is great late night after drinking grub =D

daphne: Chickpeas? that's sound healthy =P

ladyironchef: I'm pretty fortunate that the chinatown in Manhattan is rather good.

cuong: yo mate! u sure ur ready now for the heat? I'll take on anytime =P