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Any review for Szechuan Garden in woburn?

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Has anybody had food at Szechuan garden in woburn. This is very near the Super Stop n'Shop and Applebees off exit 35 on 95.


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  1. Yes and others have reported on this place in prior posts, scan back a bit. I tried the dumplings in chili oil and the dry chili chicken (could be off on actual names of dishes). I liked both although I found the chicken searing hot...I do like spicy stuff however.

    1. I like it alot, as does a friend of mine whose folks are Chinese.

      The chili vinagrette for the aforementioned dumplings is really really good. The dumplings themselves are good but not great.

      The same vinagrette, with liberal doses of tongue-numbing sichuan peppercorn, is tossed with cold chunks of rabbit, peanuts, and scallions. Very good, but be warned--the rabbit is cut up Chinese style and is chock full of bones.

      Ma Po Tofu has a spicy chili-oil based sauce, again with sichuan peppercorn. I didn't think it was quite as spicy as the rabbit.

      They also serve a lovely fish dish--chunks of white fish, batter fried, tossed with a garlic chili oil sauce and rings of hot pepper.

      The Chengdu Style Dry Fried Chicken is tasty, but salty and very strong tasting (lots of five spice?) Perhaps better eaten solo with rice, since the flavor could max out your tastebuds for the rest of the meal.

      On the milder side, they also serve shredded ginger camphor tea smoked duck--not at all spicy, stirfried with bamboo shoots, celery, and matchsticks of ginger. The smoky flavor is subtle and it's not at all overly rich (like duck can sometimes be).

      1 Reply
      1. re: gorboduc

        The dumplings at Sichuan Gourmet in Natick are a bit better IMHO. I like the chili sauce for it at both places.

        Ditto on the numbing Chengdu fried chicken. But it's good :-) The spiciness drops off significantly if you reheat it as leftovers.

        Had the smoked tea duck at the Szechuan Garden in Brookline recently and it tasted a bit bland. Not sure if it's better at the Woburn place. The Ma Po Tofu from the Brookline location was also disappointing (one dimensional chili flavor)-:

        Ask the friendly hostess/owner what the popular szechuan dishes are w/ the asian customers. Don't order the americanized stuff or you'll be disappointed according to some other posts on the forum. It's a szechuan place, so go w/ the crowd :-)

      2. Been here once and liked it. Only tried two dishes...a garlic shrimp dish and a shaved beef and napa cabbage dish which was swimming in chilis and very spicey. Both done very well with a few mai tais to wash it down. I'd like to check it out again sometime.

        1. I stayed at the hotel next to SG for four nights last September and ate there three of the four nights. My travelling partner is from China, and I confirmed his opinion of my good taste in Chinese food by insisting on the place. The standout dish for me was Twice Cooked Bacon - not too fiery, but damned savory - can't get that taste out of my memory. As I told the owner on our last night, "If my mother could cook this well, I'd still be living at home."

          PS: Don't waste your time on the Thai place further down Main Street - it's not suited for THai taste or felang taste. I embarassed the staff on the way out when I said thank you in Thai.

          1. There seems to be multiple post for this restaurant over the years. Anyway for you that likes the "special" menu I can report that a new version is out with some new dishes added. I only got a photocopy of the laminated menu so it's kind of hard to read. If anyone can read the menu I'm curious as to what kind of pork are in the two new pork dishes? I tried to ask but never got a clear answer. I tried the WenJun Chicken and it was nice but fiercely hot with a ton of sliced Thai Birdeyes in the dish.
            If someone want a copy of the original scan, contact me.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Ferrari328

              Avoid the Sichuan pickled vegetables. I had to send it back to the kitchen as it was way oversalted.

              1. re: Ferrari328

                The specials menu seems to be much smaller than it was a couple of years ago. I wonder if the regular menu has grown to include previous "specials" (this happens at Jo Jo Taipei all the time.)

                1. re: KWagle

                  I have a paper copy of the specials that's probably 4-5 years old an it has 65 items on it and the new one has 57 items on it. Not sure if anything migrated to the regular menu but a lot of the old "New" items are in the new "New" list.

              2. But it's an authentic Chinese fork! You only get chopsticks if you ask for them, that's the clientele they are going for at lunch.

                1. Went for lunch despite the mostly American Chinese lunch menu but they have a decent Mapo Dofu (Chef's Ma Paul Tofu with Minced Pork on the menu). I asked for it extra hot and for once it worked and come out with a decent amount of heat and it even had some ground Sichuan Peppers sprinkled on top. The Hot and Sour Soup is really good and comes out piping hot. The Chicken Wing has a coating on it and is super crispy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ferrari328

                    Next time, just ask for the full menu. They serve everything at lunch; no need to settle for The General etc. just because that's what most of the white folks are ordering.


                  2. My Chinese business partner and I stayed at a nearby motel about five years ago. We like to vary our cuisine when we travel, but that week, we ate there all but one evening. My favorite dish was the twice cooked pork - thee fat of the pork belly was exquisite mitigation for the searingly hot peppers. I might have reviewed this place before. It was the first time I was inspired with what has become my favorite compliment to a chef - "If my mother could cook like this, I'd still be living at home."

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: barefootdoc

                      Damn! I like this place so much I jumped at the chance to review it twice.

                    2. Big fan of this place. Great food, great beer menu, and they make some very inventive and tasty cocktails.

                      1. Can't believe that no one mentioned the cocktails that Ran makes at this place. They are delicious & creative. If you don't see something that you like on the drink menu, let him know what you like & he will come up with something.

                        The food is also really good. The last few times, it seems that things were saltier than normal, but I really enjoyed the miso glazed whole fish and one of the intestine dishes.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: eatanddestroy

                          I wonder if Ran gave up on Hair of the Dog, the cocktail bar he had in the works in the basement of the South End Jae's. Haven't heard a peep on that in months.

                          Oh, and Sichuan Garden is one of my very favorite restaurants in that area. Outstanding. Don't be afraid to ask for the full menu at lunch.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            Last I heard, which was just a few months ago, he was still working on it. I really hope it works out, and not just for my own selfishness for wanting to not have to travel all the way to Woburn to sit at his bar.

                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              A little update: Hair of the Dog has fallen through, but Ran is still looking for a space in town to do a craft cocktail thing with a Tiki slant. The good news is that the people he had lined up to help have moved on to other worthy things, like Markus at Shojo. I expect to hear more as he makes progress on this project.


                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                Sorry to hear he might leave the Woburn SG. I just found this bar: unbelievably good!! The Trader Vic's Mai Tai was fabulous.

                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                  It's not clear that his work in Woburn and opening a place in Boston would be mutually exclusive.

                                  He did suggest that he might be upgrading the bar program at Sichuan Garden in Brookline Village, which would be a big plus for the neighborhood and that place. I've found its food to be a step or two down from the Woburn location.


                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    Well that's a relief. While I like the food at Sichuan Garden, I think the food at Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica is even better. The bar and cocktails, however, more than compensate, and make it worth the visit.

                          2. Great restaurant run by great people. I have only recently discovered Sichuan Garden II and upon my first trip I was immediately blown away by the well curated beer and cocktail lists. The service I receive from the bar staff is top notch as they not only great at making a drink but they are always able to suggest something from the menu after asking a few questions.

                            1. My wife and I went here for the second time recently and had another memorable meal.

                              Sichuan Pork Dumpling with Roasted Chilli Vinaigrette - The vinaigrette is the key here. The dumplings are good, but the vinaigrette makes them great. The flattened shape coated with chili oil makes them tricky to pick up with chopsticks.

                              Xiao Long Bao (on menu as Steamed Mini Juicy Pork Buns) - The waiter said that these would take an extra 30 minutes, which is not unusual (I usually order these as we're being seated when we go to the Taiwanese places in Chinatown). They arrived six on a small plate without the expected soup spoons, dipping sauce, nor in a bamboo steamer. They were small, overly sweet, merely moist, but had no soup in them (hence the lack of spoon). These were not worth ordering here.

                              Braised Fish Filets & Napa Cabbage with Roasted Chilli - It seems every place calls this something different. Sliced white fish submerged in a large bowl of scarlet liquid. If it wasn't for the sprinkled green scallions, you might think it came from a volcano. That's not to say its excruciatingly hot... it just looks that way. Layered below the fish are strips of napa cabbage. There was also another vegetable in there that looked and tasted like a watercress. It was this vegetable that seemed to have the greatest concentration of spiciness. Their version does not have the little castanets of whole Szechuan peppercorns like Fuloon does, and also lacks the associated numbing sensation. An excellent dish.

                              House Special Eggplant - Long thin halves of Chinese eggplant scored in a diamond pattern. Neither spicy nor sweet, but with an intensely savory (yet not overly salty) thick sauce with ground chicken and garlic. Delicious.

                              1. We go there to sit at Ran Duan's bar for his drinks and his family's food. He's rather creative behind the stick, and the food has been solid each time. Definitely worth the trip to Woburn for us.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: yarm

                                  Ran is a great guy and will help you navigate the traditional menu in addition to feeding you delicious alcohol. I haven't been there in a long time and I think it's time to round up a crowd and go back.