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Hell's Kitchen branch of Grand Sichuan Intl.

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Adam Stephanides Aug 8, 2000 11:29 PM

I walked by tonight (9th Ave. between 50th and 51st Streets) and it was open. Anybody check it out yet? There was no menu in the window, so I don't know if it's the same menu as the Chelsea one.

--Adam

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    Jerry RE: Adam Stephanides Aug 9, 2000 10:58 AM

    I've been there about three times. Unlike the smaller Canal Street place, you're dealing with waitstaff rather than the part-owner/manager, but the menu and food are generally the same. I did find some dishes to be greasier than I would like. Prices are still quite low.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Jerry
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      Jim Leff RE: Jerry Aug 9, 2000 11:31 AM

      Oiliness is an absolutely intrinsic part of Sichuan cuisine. If it weren't so, it wouldn't be authentic... and, of course, it's authenticity we all relish!

      1. re: Jim Leff
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        Michele RE: Jim Leff Aug 10, 2000 09:07 AM

        I went there last night for take out. I was the only customer the entire time. They were still setting up at around 7pm. I ordered Steamed seasame shrimp: - good, mixed seasonal vegetables: - they gave me something else which I didn't order (broc., carrot, onions Yech!) Vegetable Chow Fun - tasty (oily but still good), and Salt & Pepper Shrimp: - good but not for travelling, they lost they're crispiness. I'll try it again in a week or so, til they settle in more.

        1. re: Michele
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          Michele RE: Michele Aug 21, 2000 08:58 AM

          Good News - there were other people in the place this time! 80% Asian clientele, the service while shakey at first proved to be very accomadating and very friendly. We had steamed shrimp dumplings, scallion pancakes, sliced deep fried fish w/ sweet n sour sauce, spicy peppers in black bean sauce. Each dish was good. We're very excited to have this place in our neighborhood!

      2. re: Jerry
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        jen kalb RE: Jerry Aug 9, 2000 11:40 AM

        It sounds like this is a branch of the Chelsea restaurant - which was started by the former chef of the Canal Street place. As a result of his departure, the Canal Street Grand Szechuan is merely a shade of what it was - if I wanted high quality szechuan fare, I think would try the Chelsea Grand Sichuan International, or possibly this new place, rather than Canal Street.

        1. re: jen kalb
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          Jim Leff RE: jen kalb Aug 9, 2000 11:51 AM

          The branch on 9th ave is killing, Jen. Last meal there (maybe 2 weeks ago) was as good as I've ever had there.

          The chinatown branch is apparently pretty sad at this point. All their energy has clearly been in this branch, though I know nothing about the Hell's Kitchen location.

          1. re: Jim Leff
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            Michele RE: Jim Leff Aug 9, 2000 11:58 AM

            The Hell's Kitchen Branch opened up on Tuesday. I think we may try it tonight. I'll report back. We currently get delivery from the Chelsea location, but it's far from where we live but since we order a lot, they bring it anyway.

            1. re: Michele
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              matt RE: Michele Aug 14, 2000 10:27 PM

              finally tried the chelsea location last week. food was really great and different, as advertized. one problem: they seem to take asian customers right away, while the gringos waited over an hour for a table. several people in line complained about it; i thought they were hungry whiny new yorkers at first. but i watched for a few more turns and it looked like they really were taking asians ahead of everyone else. what's the protocol in that situation?

              1. re: matt
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                Jim Leff RE: matt Aug 15, 2000 12:17 AM

                Hard to draw conclusions from one observation. The Asians may have had reservations, or there could've been any number of other explanations. I find they're more disorganized in their seating policy than anything...it's often pretty chaotic at the front (the tiny tiny waiting area by the door really compounds the pressure).

                They get a lot of really educated chowhound gringo customers there, they tend not to condescend, so I'd be really surprised if they were showing this kind of preference.

                1. re: Jim Leff
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                  jen kalb RE: Jim Leff Aug 15, 2000 11:16 AM

                  you may have seen reservations, or different parts of a party coming in; willingness to share tables can also be an issue for gringos, since many Chinese restaurants have relatively few small tables. If you make it clear to the host that you will share,you may get seated faster.

                  1. re: jen kalb
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                    Michele RE: jen kalb Aug 17, 2000 09:06 AM

                    Everytime I go buy there new location, even during prime pre theater time, the place is empty! Not a sole in the joint. What's happening? Do you think people will start to try it. It's SO sad to see a new empty restaurant.

                    1. re: jen kalb
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                      matt RE: jen kalb Aug 17, 2000 11:59 PM

                      dont take this the wrong way, but i'm pretty familiar with seating policies at restaurants. like i said, I was totally skeptical at first, but i dont think they were seating the same party for over an hour, at different corners of the room!

                      its not that big of a deal; i love the food and would recommend to anyone. I just think it's wrong to do what they did, and we shouldn't make excuses for it.

                    2. re: Jim Leff
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                      matt RE: Jim Leff Aug 17, 2000 11:56 PM

                      me too. I'm not sure it was happening, but the more i watched, the more I suspected. having said that, the few was awesome, which is the point, no?

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            Anil Khullar RE: Adam Stephanides Aug 9, 2000 02:19 PM

            Is this the one next door to Uncle Nicks ?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Anil Khullar
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              michele RE: Anil Khullar Aug 9, 2000 02:20 PM

              Yes

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              Anil Khullar RE: Adam Stephanides Sep 2, 2000 12:20 PM

              We managed to go to Grand Sichuan next to Uncle Nick's
              thrice in the past few weeks. Twice for dinner, and once for lunch.

              The steamed dumplings,scallion Pancakes,spicy cabbage,
              sauted spinach in garlic,fresh vegetables in spicy oil
              were are wonderful appetisers. The cabbage could have been better.

              The whole fried Fish in Brown sauce, chicken with vegetables and ginger were O.K, I had great expectations with the whole fish (fresh catch of the day). The chicken was their special - called Two-love-birds something something -

              Spicy shrimps with garlic was excellent I must say.

              Another observation- We were two of us of dinner, and
              on both occasions the main course was so hugh that we
              had to get it packed-up-to-go.

              I am still not sure that this level of service (which was great) will last. If GSI survives a year in the
              neighborhood without a drop in quality, then it would
              add to a much needed quality Chinese rest. on 9th Ave.

              anil

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