Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant, West Broadway
This is a favorite place with my group of friends because you don't have to wait for a table and the service is pretty good for a Chinese restaurant. The servers are pretty well dressed - they have this white and black suit-like attire - I totally approve. Also the deco is pretty pleasing - its' not the top end of Chinese restaurants but at least you can have a private conversation, without fear of inconveniencing the person at the next table. Or without fear of someone eavesdropping on your private life! This restaurant is pretty spacious - spotted a private room.
Caution - I forgot to bring my camera and so the pixs did not turn out looking the way that I wanted. Camera phones are pretty handy but you can't take a good macro shot as the camera lens is way too small. It doesn't help that my hands are pretty shaky so the pixs turn out blurry. Fortunately, someone was there to lend a hand with the photos and save my dining experience. Another point - we did not order your typical Szechuan fare as some friends do not take spicy food.
The Szechuan Chongqing beef fried with spinach had an interesting twist - the spinach was crispy. I like it. This is the less spicy version but if I had to eat it by myself, I will go for the spicy stuff! The beef was well marinated so I enjoyed this dish.
Its a bit oily but I was enamored with the crispy spinach.
Next is the General Tao's chicken - a personal favorite of a friend of mine. It has a crispy feel to it. It kinda reminded me of sweet and sour pork, minus the gravy. I do like the texture of this chicken.Yummy!
At first glance, the dish looks pretty ordinary but its so yummy.
The sweet and sour pork is something I personally would not have ordered myself. But the whole point of dining out is that it should be communal. Everyone should be given a chance to order a dish that they like and to share. I am a BIG fan of sharing food!! Sadly, the sweet and sour pork was a thumbs-down for me. The flour coating on the chicken was too thick and the meat was a tad too hard - they should have made it something along the lines of General Tao's chicken.
I would rate this sweet and sour pork as below average. Gosh - am I harsh??
Oh, and before I forget, we need our carbs. So besides sharing some steamed rice, we had seafood chow mien with gailan. Silly me - I kept on saying green leafy vegetables to the server. The word gailan failed me. Shame on me! Anyway, I do like the fact that they were pretty generous with the seafood. They should have cut the kailan into smaller pieces though. It was really difficult to chew the long stems. Felt like a rabbit or something.
Swimming with seafood and gailan.
And finally Chinese cookies - with compliments from the restaurant. Sesame fried dough balls - unhealthy. A strong cup of tea to neutralize the oil helped - I love the tea here and I like the fact that they do fill it up unlike Lin's.
The finale -By then, I was pretty stuffed.
Deco: 3.5-4/5. Pretty comfortable set up, relatively spacious. I understand that the male washroom has ice in their urinal to help in controlling the smell. So, an extra half point for that. I never heard of it before though :)
Quality of food: 3/5. Its average. I would prefer if the food is a little less oily.
Value for $$: $$/5 - its between CAN$18-CAN$20 per head (inclusive of tip). I don't suggest that you go for the buffet dinner which is about CAN$24 per person (minus tax) unless you really can eat a lot. Their lunch dim sum is a better value for $$.
Overall Experience: 3.5/5 - I rate them slightly higher than Lin's because of the better service and they do give you some Chinese cookies. I do miss this particular server. He practically remembers most of his customers but I don't see him anymore.