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Sichuan Cuisine: A Review

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One word comes to mind whenever someone says “Sichuan food”: spicy. As a fan of spicy food myself, I was delighted to hear that a new restaurant serving Sichuan food had recently opened up. The restaurant, which is literally called “Sichuan Cuisine” (巴国天府), boasts a wide selection of foods; after throughly scanning its menu online, I decided to pay it a visit

I arrived at 6:30 on a Saturday evening, but the restaurant was completely full of people. I waited for around 38 minutes before finally sitting down at a table. This gave me plenty of time to assess my surroundings. On the television sets, a random Chinese cooking show was being shown, and in the background, I could hear a Jay Chou song playing over the speakers.

After much deliberation, I eventually ordered the fried salty popcorn chicken, labelled with one pepper as its spiciness degree, Chengdu noodles, two peppers, hot-spicy pot, three peppers, and dry-pot spicy chicken wings, three peppers. Side note: The scale went from no peppers, or the non-spicy food, to three peppers, which was the most spicy.

The first thing to arrive was the hot-spicy pot. It came in a two-tiered dish with a burning fire on the lower level, and the actual food balanced on the top level. The chili flakes were very prominent throughout the dish; however, it took a while for the actual spice to kick in. The bean sprouts, cauliflower, potato slice and other vegetables were crunchy and tasted fresh; the shrimp, which was probably the highlight of the dish, also tasted very good. I honestly expected this to be way spicier than it actually was, but as time went on and the food was soaked in the spicy oil and sauce, the dish did seem to taste spicier.

The fried salty popcorn chicken wasn’t spicy at all — in fact, it was more salty than anything else. It tastes like what one would normally associate with popcorn chicken, just rather salty. I could literally see salt cubes scattered across the red peppers, green peppers and onions that accompanied the chicken. Nevertheless, the dish still tasted alright overall, though nothing particularly extraordinary stood out.

The other three pepper food, dry-pot spicy chicken wings, came in a two-tiered dish similar to the hot-spicy pot. The chili flakes and peppercorn were very distinguishable and brought an immediate, numbing spiciness to the chicken. It honestly did taste a little bit like artificial spice, the kind you could just sprinkle on top and add yourself. This dish was also less spicy than I expected, despite the ridiculous amount of chili flakes sprinkled throughout. There were small bones throughout the chicken pieces though, which was a drawback.

Finally, the Chengdu noodles came last in a small white bowl. The noodles themselves, which were round and rather thin, weren’t oily at all. Soft and chewy in texture, the noodles complemented the scallions and beef that were crumbled on top. Despite the two pepper warning, these noodles also weren’t spicy at all.

Overall, I’d say that the spiciness of the restaurant was underwhelming — the food in Sichuan is definitely spicier — but that doesn’t mean the food itself didn’t taste good. I would definitely go back for a second visit, as there were definitely some other dishes on the menu I would like to try. I would give the restaurant 4 out of 5 stars.

Katie Shaw, Managing Editor

Katie Shaw, junior, is the managing editor for the Panorama, so expect to hear her nagging about deadlines 24/7. Currently, she is 5'2" but definitely...

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Sichuan Cuisine: A Review