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grand sichuan, hell's kitchen for beginners

  • m

I'm going to the HK branch and am unfamiliar with both Szechuan food and this particular restaurant. I am VERY adventurous when it comes to spice/heat but a little timid about trying new kinds of off-the-beaten-track meats, so rabbit etc. is out. Can anyone give me a few of their favorites to start with?

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  1. Don't miss the cold appetizers. I personally like the beef tripe.

    Also, don't miss out on their "fresh chicken" dishes, the chicken in those dishes aren't the frozen kind and taste much better!

    1. Rabbit isn't that weird. Tripe may be pushing it for a hesitant eater, but there's no reason to be scared of a little rabbit ;-) If you saw how your everyday chicken was handled, I think you'd be scared of that too.

      1. Here's my list:

        Sichuan Wonton in Red Oil
        Prawns in Garlic sauce (NOT shrimp with garlic sauce)
        Hunan beef - A must try!
        Gui Zhou Spicy Chicken - HOT!

        I'm sure others here can add to my list. If you have a friend whose from Asia, be sure to bring him along, he can add you in choosing things that your virgin American tongue may not be accustom to ;-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mickey Blue

          Seconding the Sichuan Wontons and Gui Zhou Spicy Chicken. The wontons are small, though, more like an appetizer. I like to pair them with the cold cucumbers in scallion sauce as a foil for the spiciness.

          And like the poster below states, the soup dumplings are good too.

          Some people here like the sour string bean with pork, but it didn't wow me and my boyfriend and I ended up wasting a good 90% of it.

          Some recent discussions (of another branch, though)

          Edited to add:
          Short discussion of HK branch

        2. Smoked Tea Duck (not spicy but somewhat salty, another Szechuan food characteristic)
          Dan Dan Noodles (spicy)
          Crab and Pork Soup Dumplings (note that this is really Shanghai food and the GSI version is far from the best that you can get in NY. BUT if you've never had them, it's worth getting while you're there)

          1. Fresh-killed kung pao chicken
            Gui Zhou spicy chicken
            Mapo tofu (I prefer it without ground pork)

            1. I'm near the 24th St. outpost of GSI, and I like to order the special "We Would Be Two Lovebirds Flying" dish (real name....who could make it up?)...wicked hot and delish chicken and spicy pepper dish.

              Agree with bobjbklyn about the crab and pork soup dumplings....a nice addition.

              1. Most any of the whole fish dishes are likely to be good. I previously posted a set of recommended Grand Sichuan dishes. You might try searching for recent discussions.

                1. there's a fried fish filet dish with a sweet and sour sauce. i'm usually not into those sweet dishes, but that one's good. sauteed pea shoots are good. agree with dan dan noodles, soup dumplings, fresh chicken with peppers, sichuan wontons, at my location its called ai zhou spicy chicken, but i'm sure it's the same.

                  1. We love the pumpkin dishes, as well as the crab dumplings.

                    But we also only eat in the restaurant and don't order delivery from them EVER, after a few really awful experiences.


                    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Nosher

                      What awful experiences did you have from them Nosher?

                      I order from them all the time, and while their dining in food is much better, I haven't run into any take out problems ... yet!

                      1. re: eatfood

                        Dishes packed in lagoons of foul grease, a dirty sponge delivered to us, and mixups galore. It's on our short list of no-go delivery places, right after Fat Sal's on 10th Avenue.


                        NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                    2. Soup dumplings and any fresh chicken dish. The cold spicy tripe dish is awesome too!

                      1. Spicy Beef Tendons!


                        1. Oooh don't miss the dan dan noodles, and those dumplings with the soup in them -- so good! If you're at the chelsea location, let the older lady suggest dishes too.

                          On a related note, is it true that the Sichuan peppercorns are banned in the US but Grand Sichuan still uses them on the DL?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sugarcookie

                            Not true for several years now. Sichuan peppercorns are legal again for import into the US

                          2. I see some of you recommend the xiaolong bao (soupy dumplings) at Grand Sichuan. Those are a Shanghainese specialty. So I instead recommend the Sichuan Dumplings in Hot Oil.

                            1. I go to the chelsea location, so sorry if some of these aren't there: my absolute favorite item is cold spinach in red oil with ginger (or is it garlic sauce), always have to send it back to make sure they put red oil in (this is one of my favorite things to eat in the world), and I concur on the soup dumplings and the ah zhou chicken, and the wontons in red oil. Last time I was there i had 2 yummy things I hadn't tried before: red pork with chestnuts (I got lean), really good, and some soup with fish, looking at the menu I think it was Sliced Fish and Sour Cabbage Soup, nice to have something lighter with my meal.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Produce Addict

                                The cold spinach dish is at the Hell's Kitchen location. It's the first or second dish in the Prodigal Daughter menu. The other vegetable dish on that menu, made with carrots, celery, garlic, and a complex sauce including hot oil, is a knockout!

                                1. re: Pan

                                  the spinach dish is called green parrot with red mouth. they make it with more than one kind of sauce, so specify that you want the red oil.

                                  1. re: platypus

                                    Yeh I specify, they never listen, so I've gotten to expect that I'll have to send it back. My guess is that they don't believe that I want the red oil since it is spicy (I'm not chinese). An unfortunate development is that the last time I was there they added sesame oil which does not go well.

                              2. Ma po tofu,
                                Asparagus or cucumber with scallion oil,
                                Sichuan wonton,
                                Dry sauteed string beans
                                cold spicy pork appetizer
                                Dan dan noodles.