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Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

The old OTB on 5th Ave between 86th and 87th has become a Sichuan restaurant. I saw it going in and was, of course, skeptical but hopeful. My wife and I are big Sichuan fans - we love Grand Sichuan on 24th St., Szechuan Gourmet, and Wu-Liang Ye.

Well, it's for real. We just visited and had dan dan noodles, soup dumplings, pea shoots and double-sauteed pork. The hostess told us the place is owned by the same person as Grand Sichuan on 56th and 2nd in Manhattan. (Which is not, apparently, the owner of 24th St. or St. Marks Place.)

So, I'd be lying if I said it was *exactly* the same - Dan Dan noodles weren't really that firey and the soup dumplings were a little gummy. BUT, the rest was dead on. I couldn't believe I was eating double sauteed just blocks away from 86 Noodles, where I had the worst imitation of the dish EVER.

The menu is the same multi-page affair we've seen at the other places, (though there is no "fresh killed" chicken page.)

Can't remember the exact name of the place! (It's not Grand Sichuan.) A yellow awning just below 86th, on 5th. East side of the street. Number on the (nameless) takeout menu is 718-680-8887.

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  1. Glad to hear this. When I got the obligatory menu shoved into my gate, I was intrigued. What turned me off was that they seemed to sell Japanese food as well...

    2 Replies
    1. re: carfreeinla

      Yes, it's true, they've also put a sushi chef in the back, which is indeed odd. Right now I'm sure they'd sell anything to get the locals in (since it was pretty quiet.)

      1. re: scooter

        I've seen a few BR Chinese menus with sushi added to them. Weird.
        I can't wait to try this place despite!

    2. This might win "best news" post of the year if they are able to match GS (W.24th St) and W-LYee. Thanks for the alert.

      14 Replies
        1. re: ropa vieja

          Finally went back in person, it's called "Grand Sichuan House." (So, duh, not that different from GS.)
          8701 5th Ave.

          Tonight I had "Cumin Beef" which was soooo good. Dry strips of beef, encrusted with chilies & cumin. Reminded me of "Wok Tossed Prawns with Sichuan pepper corn & spiced salt" at Szechuan Gourmet. Presentation was a little frou-frou with beautiful slivers of green onion and a carrot-flower for garnish.

          AND I had chinese broccoli as a side, and even this was amazing. Probably steamed, then sauteed with broth, butter, and chilies. It's the first chinese broccoli I've ever had that was intelligently sliced (diagonally) into deliciously thin pieces.

          We've also gotten takeout, and had "Chong Quing Spicy Chicken" - that was another "dry" dish like my cumin beef - not as good, though.

          Next week they are doing "hot pot," and they were very excited to tell me about it. (It's like shabu shabu, apparently.)

          Business seems criminally slow. God I hope they make it!

          Grand Sichuan House
          8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

          1. re: scooter

            We will support them! What about the sushi side- do you know? We are mourning the change at Nouvelle...

              1. re: irvingk

                the old chef is gone. Last few times we have gone, it has not been good. Sad;

              2. re: carfreeinla

                Just an update on the sushi side of this place. There isn't any anymore... I'm disappointed I didn't get to try it.

                As for the place in general, I got take out tonight and split with two friends. We got the Kung Pao Chicken and Shrimp: this was alright, nothing special... We got the Dan Dan Noodles, which I actually loved. We got the Crystal Dumplings which were a little dry and again, nothing special.

                And last but not least, the Chong Qing Double Cooked Pork: I liked the taste of this dish, but it was 2 oz of meat with 500 hot peppers! Do people sit there and eat these peppers?? I ate two and thought I would choke to death. If this is what this dish is like everywhere it is made, I find it to be a ripoff.

                Overall, the place was ok, not great and it was annoying that there was hardly any double cooked pork...

                1. re: hamstrman

                  > Do people sit there and eat these peppers??

                  Yes, they do. That's authentic Sichuan food, which the owner wasn't sure Bay Ridge diners would accept. That's why he added the sushi. That the sushi is no longer available suggests that the Sichuan food is finding an audience.

                  But if the double cooked pork really contained just two ounces of meat, I'd say you were short-changed.

                  Which Sichuan restaurants around town do you prefer?

                  1. re: hamstrman

                    Yeah, we tried the Chong Qing Spicy Chicken as takeout and didn't like it that much, either. Same impression - small amount of meat buried in an absurd amount of peppers. The "dry" texture of the chicken was interesting but ultimately there wasn't much to eat.

                    Next time I'd definitely recommend ordering plain old "Double Cooked Pork" (S11 on the takeout menu, still pleasantly spicy) rather than "Chong Qing Spicy Double Cooked Pork" (S17).

                    We have also tried the Kung Pao Chicken and Shrimp and found it pretty boring. As we work our way through the menu, not every thing is a winner, especially as takeout.

                    I'd definitely recommend giving it another chance in general. Look for the raves in this thread and try those things!

                    1. re: hamstrman

                      "And last but not least, the Chong Qing Double Cooked Pork: I liked the taste of this dish, but it was 2 oz of meat with 500 hot peppers!"

                      Two ounces? Come on.

                      I've been to GSH 4 times and I've found the portions to be very generous indeed. Bigger than those served at the Grand Sichuan chain in Manhattan, Szechuan Gourmet, and Wu Liang Ye. Bigger than Spicy and Tasty in Flushing. Only little Pepper serves equal sized portions.

                      Most recently we were there on Friday night. The nearly unanimous praise on this thread and the recent Daily News article seems to have helped their business. There were 4 tables occupied, one with a group of about 8 people. There was also a steady stream of people getting takeout.

                      Steve R. recently introduced me to the chili beef dish and I made it a point of ordering a full portion this time around. Outstanding, as were the old favorites cheng du dumplings, dan dan noodles, and cumin beef.

                      As we were tucking in to our starters we heard raised voices over in the front of the restaurant by the cash register. A man was demanding that they make him chop suey and chow mein. I overheard him taunting the very pleasant waitress - "You're Chinese and you don't know how to make chop suey? I'm never coming back to this place!"

                      You can't please everybody.

                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        I agree about the portions. Each time that I have gone, I have had more protein in each dish than in any other Chinese restaurant that I can think of. The prices feel a bit higher than in other places in BR, but I will happily pay them. Think of how lucky we are to have local delivery for such good food.

                        1. re: carfreeinla

                          You guys know I'm a huge fan of this place, but I'll just repeat myself - I ordered another Chong Qing dish as takeout and had the same basic impression. Ratio of dried hot peppers to meat was about 3:1. Hamstrman is not crazy - he just "ordered wrong."

                          There so much good stuff at this place, that it would be a shame to write them off based on those two dishes. Hope he gives it another try.

                          1. re: scooter

                            I ordered the Chong Quing chicken dish about a month ago as part of meal with a large group. Yes. the chicken was covered by a pile of peppers. No, it wasn't "2 ounces." It was a substantial portion of meat. Now maybe those peppers count as a distraction but the overall amount of chicken was generous.

                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                              Agreed that it might work better in house, where you've got a variety of dishes on the table and a general abundance of food. I'm sure the presentation on a plate makes much more sense, and the portion may very well be different.

                              When you've got it at home as takeout and you expected it to be your main dish, it's disappointing - you're digging through a carton for those tiny morsels. 2oz is a low estimate, but it did seem to be less than one half breast's worth, maybe 4oz.

                              Of course, that's normal for many other dishes, too, but there the other ingredients are edible.

                            2. re: scooter

                              That's common in at sichuan places in china, little tiny bits of chicken on the bone and tons of dried chilis.

              3. I have been to Grand Sichuan House several times since opening and I could not be happier to live at 79th and 5th in Bay Ridge.

                The steamed pork dumpling are exemplary. The fresh ginger and scallions used in the dumplings is incredible, and the skins, to me, are absolutely perfect. The scallion pancake is most likened to a slightly thinner version of New Green Bo's. I have had the julienned jellyfish with scallion, mung bean noodle with spicy pepper sauce, sliced pumpkin with ginger and scallion, loofah, sweet potato cakes, and the wonderful shredded chicken with sour cabbage. Their soups, particularly the shredded pork with pickled cabbage noodle and the fish fillet with pickled mustard green noodle soups, are wonderful and a welcome change from my 4th and 86th pho addiction, and the shredded potatoes in vinegar sauce is unlike any version I have yet had (blanched shredded potatoes with slivers of pungent green chile in a clear vinegar sauce). I will try to start working through the casseroles soon (the beef and turnip looks particularly good), as well as the plethora of lovely fish dishes being offered. Oh, and the dry and salted crispy pig intestine is very well-done; the best version I have had outside of China. Also, their brown rice (you will be offered either white or brown) is perfection; nutty, perfectly cooked and a wonderful compliment particularly to the vegetable dishes. If you happen to find yourself in and around 86th for shopping or en route to the Dyker Heights holiday houses (a lovely stroll down 86th from the restaurant and not very far at all), this is a wonderful stop. And the complimentary pot of green jasmine tea is quite lovely, as is the ending of perfectly juicy and vibrant oranges. I knew this place was going to be special. I just wasn't prepared for just how special it truly is. Enjoy!

                Grand Sichuan House
                8701 5th Avenue (btw. 87th and 88th)
                Brooklyn, 11209
                (718) 680-8887
                Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
                Fri. & Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
                Sun. 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ene

                  I live a few minutes from there and have been ordering from the Chinese-American menu, lunch specials and the such. I used to go to Chopstix for these. I don't know Sichuan food. Start me off with some recommendations from their menu.

                  1. re: Lschneide

                    If you are not afraid of something that's a little fatty, double-sauteed pork seems like a pretty standard Sichuan entree. Pork is cooked once, sliced thin, then sauteed with leeks and sichuan peppercorns (which have a unique slow burn). The end result is a lot like bacon. GSH's version was good.

                    Two basic sichuan appetizers are Dan Dan Noodles (noodles with chili sauce) and dumplings swimming in the same kind of chili sauce.

                    Things they have on the menu that are not strictly sichuan - soup dumplings (we thought these were just OK) and sauteed pea shoots (best vegetable ever.)

                    And finally, another thing we like to get at the Manhattan Sichuans is "Tea Smoked Duck" (again, not for the fat-averse.) Haven't tried it from GSH yet.

                  1. We went for lunch today. Empty, but it seemed they were doing a decent delivery/takeout business. The soup dumplings were great (second the opinion that the dough was a little thick, but they were still fantastic). Had the pea sprouts and the twice cooked pork. Everything was great, and I'm already looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: nnovoy

                      we got take out tonight. Empty. Can't say that they were doing any delivery business. I am on a diet so I couldnt try much. Both dishes that I ordered had lots of protein in them- a rare thing these days. We will be back too...

                      1. re: carfreeinla

                        this place is great. in addition to seconding the pea shoots and dan dan noodles and soup dumplings cited above, i also recommend the salt and pepper shrimp, the cold cucumber appetizer, the cold pork tripe appetizer, chicken with chinese broccoli (not as boring as it sounds), and a dish not on the menu of sliced sauteed flounder and baby bok choy, which is incredibly spicy. be warned: they claim they will make things mild upon request, but that has not been my experience. and they do not mess around with those peppercorns.

                        1. re: ropa vieja

                          Question for some of you who've been there. Are the dishes like pumpkin with ginger and scallion, shredded chicken with sour cabbage and flounder with baby bok choy at all greasy? Does this place use a lot of oil?

                          1. re: sourcherry

                            I haven't had the dishes you list, but the stuff I've had doesn't seem greasy. (I guess the most comparable thing I've ordered was the chicken with chinese broccoli, like ropa vieja above. It's in a clear, somewhat buttery-tasting sauce with the sichuan peppercorns. Not heavy at all. Like I said earlier, some dishes like Cumin Beef are surprisingly "dry," but in a good way.)

                            1. re: scooter

                              Thanks. But just curious - Chinese restaurants don't use butter at all. Do they? Another post mentioned pea shoots with butter and that seemed odd.

                              1. re: sourcherry

                                Yeah, I was just there tonight, and thinking about how I'm probably way off on that. What I'm probably tasting is sesame oil.

                                We had the "hot pot" (thin sliced chicken, pork, and beef, cellophane noodles, tofu, spinach, all of which you dunk in a boiling pot of chicken stock.) It came with "Sichuan New Years' Sauce" - sesame oil, garlic, and cilantro.

                                (It's a special, documented only in Chinese on the last page of the menu. Amusingly, the hostess, who is a sweetie, kept pointing to the page in order to explain all of the different options, as if we could follow along.)

                                1. re: scooter

                                  scooter, you mention upthread "cumin beef" and it has set my nerves tingling. But looking at the menu, I'm not seeing it. Could you suggest another name for it? tx Deb

                                  1. re: Deb Van D

                                    You are right, it doesn't seem to be in the take-out menu or the online version linked above. It appears on the first page of the in-house menu, and the wording is slightly different ("beef w/ cumin" perhaps.)

                                    I've successfully ordered it for take out - the woman was quickly able to figure out what I meant.

                                    1. re: scooter

                                      Great, thanks! Tonight could be the night . . .

                                2. re: sourcherry

                                  Not traditionally. It's steamed and likely in a combination of oil and maybe chicken broth.

                      2. I was delighted with this place. I was slightly worried that my expectations were artificially high, but after only one visit this past Friday night, I am very happy. I was with friends and had an opportunity to sample about six dishes, and all of them were top notch. Made me all-over giddy.

                        I don’t find Sichuan cuisine to be as awfully spicy-hot as some people do, more tingle in those Sichuan peppercorns than chili heat. But this food packed a gratifying smack. The dan dan noodles are in my top three ever, and thanks to CH scooter I was able to find the cumin beef on the menu. That was terrific, crispy, addictive, fiery little morsels, I had trouble shooing one of my tablemates away. He kept saying that he had a cold and needed the heat. Beat it. Wonder how they get it so crispy.

                        We tried the Chengdu spicy dumplings and some wontons in chili oil, both really nice. Our ailing friend, though, ordered the dish that was the standout of the evening. He very often orders duck when he sees it on a menu, and that night was no exception. I like duck but tend to be disappointed by it in restaurants, and prefer my own at home. But his shredded duck with string beans was just outstanding, happiness on a plate.

                        The owner came out and introduced himself after our meal, a winning sort. He made a point of saying that he had spiced the dishes accurately and we told him that we appreciated it. He volunteered this, we hadn’t made a song and dance about demanding that the food be Authentic. The place has a lot to offer and I wish them well. It was worrisomely quiet while we were there.

                        Oddly enough, I think this is the first time I’ve been to a Sichuan restaurant where none of us ordered the double cooked pork. Something to look forward too. We should have tried the Chinese broccoli. And the scallion pancake. And the jellyfish. So many dishes, so few stomachs. We mean to go back at the first opportunity, even though Bay Ridge is little stretch of the legs for us. Great place.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Deb Van D

                          I too was worried that my expectations were high -- after reading this raving thread, I certainly got excited. Nevermind the fact that I live two blocks away on Fifth Avenue!

                          Nevertheless, my boyfriend and I just got home from our first trip to GSH, and thanks to the recommendations of folks here, it was GREAT. We started off with the scallion pancake and the wontons in chili oil. I wanted to drink the chili oil it was so yummy. We split the cumin beef as an entree and spent most of the time trying to figure out how the heck they make it so dry and crispy at the same time. I've never had anything like that before -- so tasty. Even the scallions in this dish taste sweet when compared with the punch that cumin rub packs!

                          Though reviews have claimed the place is dead when they've gone, there were quite a few other couples there this afternoon. The service was great too - our waitress was really friendly and interested to find out how we liked our food. Can't wait to go back and try more!

                        2. Had to respond after having a really nice meal here on X-mas day -- skipped Chinatown in Manhattan for some Brooklyn eats...We had the following:
                          steamed pork and crab soup dumplings -- nice flavor, slightly thicker dough (used to Joe's Shanghai on Pell, which we love); scallion pancake - thin and yummy; pea shoots - delicious, slices of fresh garlic throughout; double cooked pork -- just devine, with a perfect black bean sauce; dan dan noodles -- good, but spicey. Two things we were not so impressed with were the tea-smoked duck (skin was very gamey, almost inedible -- and we usually love fatty skin) and the red pork with chestnuts. Looking forward to going again and trying more of the Szechuan delights -- great service, reasonably priced and we hope it does well.

                          1. This is a seriously good restaurant. Just so you know, my points of comparison are Spicy and Tasty and Szechuan Gourmet (the Manhattan branch on 39th St.). Based on one meal, this place compares favorably.

                            I recently went with a couple of people based on this thread. We had -

                            Szechuan wontons - perfectly prepared, nice and spicy.

                            Chengdu dumplings - this was a new dish for me. The dumplings themselves were longer and had a sort of oblong shape and had a noodley quality to them. The filling was also different - finely minced pork that was smoother in consistency than standard dumplings. Honestly, if I had read this description before eating them I might not have found it appealing. In fact the dumplings themselves were very good and made a nice change from the standard kind. And of course they were suitably spicy.

                            Dan Dan noodles - they compared with the best I've had.

                            Hot and sour soup - It was a cold night and this was a nice rendition.

                            Shredded Pork with fried bean curd - I use this dish as a benchmark since it's served at both S&T and SG. This version compared nicely.

                            Shredded duck with green beans - A standout dish. Normally I find duck to be on the greasy side. I can eat a bit of it but it has limited appeal. Not this time. This was nicely crispy and had a wonderful spicy kick. Not overpowering but enough to really wake up your mouth.

                            Cumin beef - My friends liked this dish more than me. One of them said that it reminded him of beef french fries and I think he had a point. Nicely crispy, the cumin taste was pleasantly assertive. I liked it fine but I liked the other dishes more. Put it down to personal taste.

                            They sell beer and wine. The beer selection was somewhat limited but we found something we liked. On the night we went they only had a generic red wine. It was the only part of the menu that could use a bit of improvement.

                            The chef/owner came out to find out how we were enjoying the meal. We'd been praising the dishes to the waitress and I think she must have passed on the compliments. He was a genuinely interested in our opinion and he was really pleased we appreciated his efforts to serve authentically spicy dishes.

                            This is an outstanding place. I'm a long time Park Slope resident and for the first time I've got a case of Bay Ridge envy.

                            Logistics - this place is on 5th Ave. and 87th St, around the corner from the giant 86th St. branch of Century 21. Combining a shopping trip with a first class lunch or dinner sounds like a good idea to me. It's one block from the 86th St. R train stop.

                            Grand Sichuan House
                            8701 5th Avenue (btw. 87th and 88th)
                            Brooklyn, 11209
                            (718) 680-8887
                            Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
                            Fri. & Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
                            Sun. 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                              I've been back twice since my first visit and this place hasn't missed a beat. Both times I brought along groups so we got to try a wider range of choices.

                              New dishes -

                              Mung bean noodle with spicy pepper sauce - this was one of the hottest things I've had in awhile. It would probably be too hot to eat by yourself. It's best shared among a few people so the heat doesn't become too intense. Tasty though.

                              A noodle dish with peanut sauce which I'm not finding on the on line menu. Not particularly hot but quite tasty. If you're ordering lots of spicy stuff this is a nice change of pace.

                              Cucumber with fresh garlic - cool and soothing. Another change of pace dish.

                              Sliced conch with hot red oil - I'm not as conch eater but my fellow diners seemed to enjoy it. A solid B+ based on their comments.

                              Sauteed spicy chinese broccoli - plenty of heat and subtle flavor. Chinese broccoli actually resembles broccoli rabe more than anything else. I'd happily order this again.

                              Shredded potatoes with vinegar sauce - A winner. Slivers of potatoes cooked perfectly with incendiary slivers of greenish peppers mixed in. The peppers were so beautiful that I decided to eat one. That probably was a bad idea - my mouth burned for 5 minutes. Luckily they are easily avoided and impart a nice zip to the dish. Just don't eat them.

                              Shredded duck with spring ginger - very good indeed but the shredded duck with green beans beats it out. People raved about this dish when I ordered it on my 3rd visit.

                              Braised sliced beef with chili sauce - We ordered this based on Steve R.'s recommendation and I owe him for this. It was wonderful, spicy in a subtle way with a really unusual balance of flavors. I will definitely order this on my next visit.

                              Sauteed loffah - I didn't try this but I noticed that the person who ordered it didn't eat all that much of it. I suspect it just wasn't particularly interesting.

                              We ordered one of the fish dishes but I'll be damned if I can remember which one. People liked it fine but I noticed that at the end of the meal there was still a bit left. The beef and duck were completely finished.

                              I'm sure there are things that I'm leaving out but that's a fair sampling.

                              This is a great restaurant.

                            2. My friend and I went to Grand Sichuan House last night after reading about it here. It was fantastic! The scallion pancakes were thin and crispy without being greasy, my ma po tofu was spicy, tingly and flavorful, and even my heat-averse friend's egg fried rice was pretty awesome. Can't wait to go back!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: eating me

                                Finally got a chance to eat at Grand Sichuan tonight. It was, indeed, quite delicious. Scallion pancake, soup dumplings, duck with ginger all yummy. We will definitely go back.

                                1. re: AnnBR

                                  I'm glad you liked it. If you liked the duck with ginger, next time try the duck with green beans. I liked them both, but liked the second dish better.

                              2. We are homebound these days with a new puppy, and eating GSH as takeout about twice a week. We've been settling into a routine and enjoying some repeat dishes. (Thanks for the heads up on shredded duck with spring ginger!)

                                The most interesting discovery has been that they even do Singapore Mei Fun well - their rendition is almost up there with NY Noodle Town (nice and spicy, but perhaps lacking the stick-to-your-ribs greasiness of NYNT.) 1000X better than other places in the nabe.

                                1. My one complaint is that because of my dietary restrictions, I must order food with no soy sauce. I eat mostly steamed plain foods. Everytime I order something, I ask that they use chinese veggies. Instead they always use American ones. They serve such wonderful specialty vegetables- the pea shoots, the pumpkin soup etc, not sure why they won't use Chinese vegetables in more general dishes.

                                  1. People, you need to go to this place - we made it on Sat night there was just one other party and a Daily News photographer shooting for a story. .All of our dishes were good, some excellent - its a great new eating spot.

                                    szechuan shrimp dumpling in red chile oil - nicely made, dumplings included dried shrimp, gave a funkier flavor, nice wrapper.

                                    green beans with shredded duck - this came across like BBQ at first till I realized its made with their tea smoked duck - a very interesting and delicious combo with the fresh snappy green bean blandness - no rice needed on this one

                                    chonqing dry and spicy chicken - this is the dish where there are bits of chicken fried in a huge mountain of dried red chiles, with salt and spices - in this rendition, the chicken was lightly breaded (question, does anybody think chinese restaurants are cheating and using chicken nuggets as a raw material for this type of dish) It was really enjoyable tho I thought the non-breaded version I had at the UES Wu Liang Ye a few years ago was better and our dining companion though t it could be crispier.

                                    spicy chinese broccoli - this was a very fine veg dish - as someone elsewas posted, it was beautifully sliced and crispy - instead of being covered with gloppy chili garlic sauce as I had feared it had no apparent sauce at all but the (mostly) subtle flavor of chiles and szechuan pepercorn with the oil. impressively restrained and delicious.

                                    cured pork with spring garlic (?) - greens - its in the picture menu and I may have gotten the name right - this was thin slices of cured pork - maybe belly bacon - it was white and brown slices - cooked with pieces of flat greens that seemed like leek leaves. It was wonderfully savory and enjoyable.

                                    I look forward to lots of return visits to explore more of the menu - its in a rather unfortunate location back behind Century 21, but the municipal parking garage and the R train line are close, so do go!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      I've been there 3 times this past month with groups of 5-8 CH and other food folk and every time was a winner. The string beans are seriously great, but we found that the ones with minced pork were even better than the duck (which we also liked). So were the Chongqing chicken & cured pork that jen mentions above. Additionally, there's a chicken with potatoes dish that's really good and the cumin beef is crispy and addictive (better than the cumin lamb, which is also a good dish but not crispy). The Tripe/Tongue combo & Beef Tendon apps were seriously hot/spicy but very nice, as was the mung bean app (not as hot, just good). One of my favorite dishes was the braised sliced beef with chili sauce. Over the course of the 3 visits, with about 20 eaters (total), I think I've sampled much of the menu and, overall, think I'd rate this place right up there with Little Pepper and Spicy and Tasty in Flushing. Not bad for a Bay Ridge place.

                                    2. We went today and had a great time.

                                      Pork Soupy Buns were perfect - a generous serving of 8 substantial pieces, each with plenty ginger and scallions. They were too strong tasting for a main course, but perfect for an appetizer.

                                      Cumin Beef was also excellent. I ordered it super hot, and it REALLY was. In the picture section, I saw Dry Sauteed Beef, which didn't have a number and didn't seem to be on the menu. It was my favorite dish at the late lamented Cuisine de Szcechuan on Irving Place -- dry, crispy and coated with ground Sichuan peppercorns, with slivers of carrot and celery and no sauce. I definitely try it next time.

                                      My wife doesn't like hot stuff, so she had the Sesame Beef. It was just right -- lots of sesame flavor but without the usual fur coat of sesame seeds, fried in fresh oil, sweet but not overpowering and just crisp enough.

                                      Sliced Pumpkin with Ginger and Scallion was very interesting, though not hot. The pumpkin was chunks with green and light orange flesh, not too strongly flavored but nice, with a tasty yellow sauce I couldn't identify. They used young "spring" ginger, which I wasn't aware was available this time of year.

                                      All the tastes were clean and clear, unlike most places, including the Manhattan incarnations of Grand Sichuan House.

                                      At 2:00 on Sunday afternoon, parking was possible and the place was nearly empty.

                                      We really loved it and will be back often.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: KRS

                                        Last Friday the Daily News reviewed Grand Sichuan House!


                                        Very exciting! This evening we tried to get our usual takeout and it was apparently very busy. The story definitely used this thread as a source, since it included my misinformation that it was the former OTB parlor (Sorry, Irene! The OTB is actually still a few doors over. I'm an idiot.


                                        The food news is "Sauteed Diced Fish w/ Spicy Chili Sauce," another winner. Let me see if I can describe this accurately, at least - The diced fish is actually fried? Not the naked chunks I was expecting, anyway. The sauce is subtly applied with a moderate heat - it's not swimming in chili oil. And it's got chopped red peppers that, when tender, are fun to eat (though sometimes the skins are too tough.)

                                        1. re: scooter

                                          We went back and had the Dry Sauteed Beef, which wasn't ambrosial like it used to be on Irving Place, but was excellent (and *very* hot) -- slivers of beef cooked until nearly dry, with slivers of celery and carrot. It was better (and hotter) the Cumin Beef, in which the cumin covered up the flavor of the meat.

                                          Pork and Shrimp Soupy Buns were quite good, but I liked the plain pork ones better. The pork and shrimp together cancelled each other out.

                                          Once again the place was empty. Everybody go quick before they have to close.

                                          1. re: KRS

                                            We went on Friday night in the rain after reading about the restaurant here and had the pumpkin, cumin beef, and soup dumplings--hardly original. It was excellent. We are going back. We were the only people there so I am worried. But, it was pouring out.

                                            1. re: BMartin

                                              "We were the only people there so I am worried."

                                              I was there that same night. We arrived at around 8:15 and left at 10:15. As I said above, 4 tables were occupied including ours and there was a stream of takeout orders.

                                              The table behind us had 6 or 8 people, a mixed Asian and Caucasian group of men an women. Then there were the 2 people sitting by the window, An Asian guy and Caucasian girl. For awhile 2 Asian men occupied another table. Then there was my GF and myself, both Caucasian.

                                              How did you miss us? Or were you there earlier or later?

                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                Well, I guess we are fuddy-duddies because we got there at about 6:30. So I am glad to hear it was bustling later on.

                                                I am really looking forward to exploring this cuisine more--its the first new cuisine I have had for many years.

                                      2. Had a wonderful meal there last night, our second visit. Chendu Dumplings were nice and spicy and maybe the best Sichuan Cold Noodles I've ever had, spicy, sweet & sour all at once. Wonderful Cumin Beef ann nice garlicy pea shoots. We were one of five tables, a real ethnic polyglot too.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jakeyd

                                          Went there again tonight. Somewhat more crowded with young Chinese couples speaking in the soft vowels of Sichuan. Had the wonton soup, which was very delicate and not like the briny assertive broth that you find in Brooklyn's Chinatown, and we had the beef in brown sauce, which was lovely smooth and velvety. The workers there seem genuinely pleased when you like the food--they are obviously very proud of their cuisine. And for once in a Chinese restaurant their concern over whether the food would be too hot was justified. I must admit I'm quite taken with the place.

                                        2. We returned to Grand Sichuan House last Friday night. Aside from ordering some favorites I decided to try some new things. Like Sripraphai GSH has a series of photographs of various dishes along with the printed menu. The picture of the dry sauteed shredded beef caught my eye. (Strangely I looked for it on the printed menu but couldn't find it.)

                                          When it was brought to the table I was a bit disappointed. It seemed smaller and a bit more ordinary than the photo but looks are deceiving. This dish was dramatically good. The spicing was hot but not overwhelming and was balanced out by the slight sweetness of the slivers of peppers included in the dish. It was very good indeed. The portion size was just fine as well.

                                          The other newcomer was the broccoli. I've had their Chinese broccoli before and it reminded me of a spicy version of broccoli rabe. It's pleasant enough but it reminded me that I'm no great fan of broccoli rabe either. This time around we ordered the spicy American broccoli with garlic sauce. I've been a fan of the version served at Spicy and Tasty for years but this topped it. Unlike the S&T version this one didn't taste of sesame oil but it had it's own rich flavor. The spicing added a bit of zip but I wouldn't call this a hot dish. The chef must have read my mind because the dish consisted entirely of florets; there were no chewy stalks to deal with. My description isn't doing this dish justice - you need to try it for yourself. If my mother had cooked her vegetables like this I'd have cleaned my plate every night.

                                          People have voiced concerns in the past about the level of business this place does. On the night were were there about 3 tables were occupied. Balancing this out the phone rang about every 10 minutes and people kept coming by to pick up take out orders. If I lived in Bay Ridge I'd hit this place every week.

                                          (BTW, we got there around 8:15 and were able to park right in front of the place. In fact, I've always have been able to do that. The area is a madhouse during the day but becomes really quiet at night.)

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                            Hi Bob -- Funny, on your recommendation I tried this place on Friday and only at the last minute opted for delivery, as I live nearby. If I had gone (at 8:15, when I ordered), I would've seen you. Mine was probably one of the phone calls.

                                            I also got the Chinese broccoli, which I happened to like a lot. It had heat without overkill, and it was slick with oil without making the broccoli (or choi, or whatever the veggies were...like broccoli rabe, as you said) soggy. It wasn't drowning in oil or sauce.

                                            I got the dan dan noodles, which were very good but not as mouth-numbing as the ones at Spicy & Tasty (and I'm just peculiarly into the numbing feeling of peppercorns, so this isn't a barometer of quality or anything). They were delicious and addictive, though. The pumpkin with ginger and scallion was excellent, even more so the next day for lunch.

                                            I'm delighted to have an alternative to the offputting takeout Chinese places in the hood. The food is excellent, and I bet I'll be here every week. I now need to try that American broccoli dish you mentioned...

                                            1. re: merrymc

                                              Went on Thursday night around 7:30. We were the only ones there. The phone rang once during the time it took us to eat our meal. The waitress was making designs out of soda cans in the back. As usual the food was excellent. The soft shell crabs with red peppers were excellent. Every time we go there we try something different and are never disappointed. When we were leaving two ladies were being seated and asked us about the meal and we gave them our recommendatins about what to order.

                                            2. re: Bob Martinez

                                              I went on Sat eve. Place had been converted into three big tables ( they still had room parties of two and 4) filled with Chinese families being served big bowls of food. I had a toddler in tow and the waitress ( and waiter in a tee shirt!) could not have been nicer or more accomodating- even sitting next to my niece at one point. So glad that it is in BR

                                            3. We made it back here again a week or so ago, it had been some weeks between visits and I was feeling homesick for it. We had some of our favorites, dan dan noodles, Chengdu dumplings, cumin beef (which was REALLY spicy that night, and really terrific). I forget what else. We really like the way they treat American broccoli with its lusty sauce, and we sort of pined for it, but we wanted to try something a little different. My mate had had it before, but the shredded potatoes with vinegar sauce was new to me and it was really just so good. Spicy, vinegary and with a slightly crunchy bite, the dish made a great counterpoint to the rest of the meal. It's a dish for the table, though, fit to be shared--they send out a generous amount. It may be my new favorite potato salad.

                                              1. Why add to a thread that already has 56 replies? Because this place is that good.
                                                Was finally able to make it over for dinner, at around 7pm. The place was empty, bone dry. The desk was getting some take-out calls, most of the requests coming from their selection of Chinese American favorites (ie General Tso's, chicken w/ broccoli, fried rice, etc.)

                                                My cumin lamb, tender, moist, very flavorful with a residual and intense heat, was superb. It ranks, for me, with Chengdu Heaven's marinated beef, Spicy and Tasty's Tea-Smoked Duck and Grand Sichuan St. Marks' twice-cooked pork as my favorite Sichuan dishes in the city. My wife's Double Cooked pork, while good, was somewhat disappointing. The somewhat sweet sauce tended to overwhelm the pork and leak taste somewhat, as compared w/ GS St. Mark's version, which is hot, earthy and aromatic all at the same time. We always get the cold cucumber dish, wherever we go, as a cool, refreshing pallette cleanser, and GSH does it up right. We also got a dessert of sticky rice balls with some type of sweet bean paste inside. Unique, chewy and good.

                                                Tons of menu items looked tempting, in addition to scores of recommendations above. Good thing I don't live in Bay Ridge. Between GSH, and nearby stalwarts Karam, Pizza Wagon ( a sentimental favorite from when I worked here) and the egg creams at Hinch's, I'd need a bigger belt.

                                                15 Replies
                                                1. re: Polecat

                                                  "Why add to a thread that already has 56 replies? "

                                                  It's kind of nice to have all the comments about this place in one convenient spot rather than scattered among 37 different threads.

                                                  I get over to GSH about every 6 weeks and the meals range from very good to excellent. Your post reminded my that I'm due for a return visit.

                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                    we were in there Friday night and apart from a few takeout orders, it was quiet. I just dont ge the lack of patronage. Our spicy chinese broccoli and mung been noodles with spicy sauce were terrific - our duck with spring ginger was not as wonderful as an earlier dish with beans, but overall it was an exceelent meal.

                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      "our duck with spring ginger was not as wonderful as an earlier dish with beans"

                                                      I've noticed this too. Based on my own preferences the duck with ginger should have been better, but it's only very good. Luckily, this is easy to fix. Just order the duck with green beans next time. It's consistently excellent.

                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                        One of the Bay Ridge blogs just had a thread about Chinese Food. GSH was not even on the radar screen.

                                                        1. re: carfreeinla

                                                          Were you able to post a comment on that thread? Perhaps if folks in the neighborhood knew they had a gem of authentic regional Chinese cuisine right under their noses, the place would be more comfortably crowded. I'm with all the regulars who worry about keeping this place alive. Best Chinese I've had in the borough (non dim-sum), hands down.

                                                                1. re: carfreeinla

                                                                  Its great when 56 becomes 65..... This is what CH is all about - and what really gets me revved up - a terrific neighborhood place with an authentic cuisine. After re-reading this thread, I decided I have to go for lunch today (despite a previously planned outing for dinner at Srip before the Mets game tonight - with rain coming it might just be an all-eating kind of day). What to order for a first-timer? If any of the regular posters are looking, could you distill for me what you would order for your first time here (I am a Sichuan addict and frequently find myself at S&T). Left to my own devices, and based on the thread, I would order the Chengdu dumplings, szechuan wonton, duck with green beans, Chong Qing Spicy Chicken and cumin beef. This thread actually reminded me a conversation I had with a guy that I used to work with. His family owned a number of financially successful Chinese restaurants in CT. I proposed to him that authentic chinese cuisine (any region, but I was particularly interested in Sichuan or Hunan) could be financially lucrative, especially in NYC. He vehemently disagreed, and with some level of condescension, said that our palates would never go for it. I remember that discussion vividly every time I wipe my chin off after ethereal S&T and, also, after every lousy meal of soggy tasteless double-cooked pork with canned mushrooms at some neighborhood takeout place (chop suey, anybody?).

                                                                  1. re: BillyBob

                                                                    "Chengdu dumplings, szechuan wonton, duck with green beans, Chong Qing Spicy Chicken and cumin beef."

                                                                    Sound like you've got a group with you. Those are very good choices, especially that duck dish.

                                                                    Lets go Mets!

                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                      we had a bean noodle in spicy sauce dish last week (looks nothing like the picture menu, these are big square noodles that look vaguely korean) in the same sort of sauce as the dumplings. very good for the vegetarians among us. I just wish they would throw some cilantro or scallion on these dishes though..

                                                                    2. re: BillyBob

                                                                      I like the sliced lamb w. cumin better than the beef. Non spicy dishes that are good are sauteed loofah and the sweet potato or pumpkin cakes. The waitress is so sweet that she brought out a raw loofah for me to see and wrote it down for me in chinese. Great place - my husband loves the dan dan noodles and the ma po tofu!

                                                                      1. re: dmjuli

                                                                        My favorite dish is the ma po tofu as well. I cannot have anything with soy sauce in it and finding something with "deep flavor" can be a challenge with Chinese food. That is a really wonderful option.

                                                                        1. re: carfreeinla

                                                                          we had a vegetarian version of the ma po tofu the other night, and while it was acceptable and my veg daughter liked it, it was not a standouts - sort of uni-dimensional, with too much, thick sauce and uninspiring tofu. maybe omitting the meat throws off the balance, but it was much less good than our gold standard, the version served at the original grand sichuan on canal street (when the guy running the chain was there) - in that version, the tofu was silky and appeared house-made, and the sauce was lighter textured (maybe with broth) - tho even more spicy.

                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                            I like the variety with the fish. Lot of "white" food contrasted to the spice and subtle peanut flavor.

                                                    2. i just want to add my two cents to this thread, because i think this place really deserves props. thanks everyone for all the great descriptions of different dishes -- now i know what i'll be trying next time. just a shout-out for some not-super-adventurous picks, for any of you rolling with anxious eaters: their pork lo mein is, hands down, one of the tastiest versions i have ever had -- long threads of flavorful red-cooked pork, chunks of scallion, and a perfect amount of saucing and grease. the wontons in red oil are ridiculously addictive; even my boyfriend, who claims not to like chili oil, would not allow the waitress to take away the bowl long after the wontons were gone. we poured it over rice and it was delicious. also, the dry sauteed string beans with minced pork are really just perfect, especially if you are trying to fool a non vegetable eater into eating vegetables -- the minced pork is salty, saucy, and laced with little scallion bits in a very favorable bean-to-meat ratio. even the standard fried pork dumplings are several cuts above the rest -- the filling is fresh, and whoever mans the fryer in that kitchen is doing something really right, because the brown sides of the dumplings were almost shatteringly crispy. i could have eaten all 8 myself, and then some.

                                                      one other thing that really bears repeating is the friendliness of the people who work here. i have come in here at closing time, starving, and they won't turn me away. they are always good with suggestions, and very attentive to spiciness tolerance of different diners. overall, this is a really great spot and i'm so glad they are getting steady business.

                                                      1. I love this place, but I am perplexed about something. I once ordered the sour long beans with minced pork, one of my most beloved dishes, and asked for it "not too spicy" based on the warning in this thread. It came out 20x spicier than the Manhattan GS version--so delicious I ate it for days with lots of rice but bent over holding my stomach 24/7. Then last time I ordered the dry sauteed green beans with pork and asked "is it spicy?" She responded, "no, not spicy at all" and it wasn't. Is that usual? I would think they are basically the same dish. And what should I do to get them to prepare the sour beans so that I can eat it? Is it a lost cause?

                                                        1. From today's Times; looks like I have to put this place on my map!


                                                          1. Tried the place tonight. It was awful. I can't believe how bad it was. Maybe it is good for carnivores but all the veggie dishes we had (including the supposed awe-inspiring pea shoots) were bland and mushy and left a really bad taste in our stomachs. We should have known that not only is Chinese food bad, but Chinese food in Bay Ridge is double bad!

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: sam07

                                                              Someone has confused you. Repeat after me - "Szechuan Chinese is not a vegetarian cuisine. Szechuan Chinese is not a vegetarian cuisine."

                                                              1. re: sam07

                                                                try the chinese broccoli and the thick bean noodles with spicy sauce next time.
                                                                Both are really delicious and my veg daughter loved them.

                                                                1. re: sam07

                                                                  chinese food is not bad. repeat. not bad.

                                                                  1. re: david sprague

                                                                    chinese food can be very not bad. repeat. very bad.

                                                                    1. re: NYJewboy

                                                                      "can be" and "is" are very different. trust me.

                                                                2. I've been back here about 5 or 6 times since I last posted about the place and it's still wonderful. My only concern was that I thought they ought to be doing better business. Over the last 3 visits I've been pleased to see that they're now about 80% full. In any sane world there would be lines out the door.

                                                                  On Friday we had the usual suspects (Dan Dan noodles and Chengdu dumplings) as well as something new - shredded crispy beef.

                                                                  It was well spiced but not particularly hot. I'd recommend it to people who can't tolerate truly hot foods but who still like the occasional bit of excitement in their lives.

                                                                  We also spent time with our old friends, the shredded duck with green beans and the green beans with minced pork.

                                                                  I love this place.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                    I think they're more popular as a takeout place. Man, that's a great restaurant.

                                                                    1. re: francesb

                                                                      I recently tried and LOVED this place. Only had take-out...it's very convenient if you need to take a trip to Century21...

                                                                      The cumin lamb from the "New" Sichuan side of the menu is (so far) my favorite. Fire-y flavorful. The mapo tofu is spicy hot delicious too. If I ever eat in, I'll try the seafood dishes -- I don't expect they'd carry out well.

                                                                      1. re: pitu

                                                                        I recently tried this place and left unimpressed. I'm amazed by the power blogs and the Internet in general have to hype up restaurants. Dan dan noodles were alright, and the cucumber with garlic was tasty....but definitely not worth the hike to Bay Ridge. I think Flushing is where it's at......

                                                                        1. re: eatingraoul

                                                                          "I'm amazed by the power blogs and the Internet in general have to hype up restaurants."

                                                                          They even managed to fool New York Magazine and Robert Sietsema.



                                                                          1. re: eatingraoul

                                                                            Well, it all depends on where you're starting from. Bay Ridge is 1/2 hour away (or less) for me and Flushing is about an hour 20 mins on the train...

                                                                            Locating a delicious dinner relatively nearby is not hype.

                                                                            1. re: eatingraoul

                                                                              I wonder if you tried the dishes that have been recommended on this site - every place has particular dishes they excel at. And while it may be possible for someone who has eaten repeatedly at all the good sichuan places in the city to make a relative quality judgement, it is notable that there are genuine and fine sources of this food spread around three boroughs now, halleluhah.

                                                                              1. re: eatingraoul

                                                                                Really? Their braised beef in chili sauce is the best I've had. Better than Bamboo Pavilion, or Joe's in Md, anyhow. I haven't been to Flushing

                                                                                1. re: eatingraoul

                                                                                  We're among the few that also have been disappointed the three times we ate there. However, before you say that Flushing is (only) where it's at, you need to try the Bamboo Pavilion. The food there is great IMO.

                                                                            2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                              Our most recent visit last Friday night and I'm pleased to report that the kitchen at Grand Sichuan House continues to produce outstanding food. All the old favorites made an appearance - the chengdu dumplings, dan dan noodles, cumin beef and chicken with spicy capsicum. Oh yeah, I left out he green beans with minced pork. All were excellent.

                                                                              In previous posts on this thread there have been some concerns about the the level of business they've been doing. Over the past 6 month things seem to have turned around. On the night we were there it was about 80% full with a number of tables occupied by large groups. The phone kept ringing for take out orders as well.

                                                                              You know what puzzles me? I can't figure out why there are any empty tables at all. In it's own way this place is as good as Al Di La.

                                                                              Al Di La
                                                                              248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                                                                              Grand Sichuan House
                                                                              8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                The advantage to frequent visits is that you're more likely to range through the menu rather than order the predictable favorites. Last Friday I ordered the shredded pork with dried bean curd, or as they bill it, "Sautéed Dry Bean Curd And Celery And Pork."

                                                                                I first had this dish at the original incarnation of Spicy & Tasty and thought it was terrific. This is it's equal. The bean curd absorbs the full flavor of the sauce and it's cooked to a perfect al dente doneness. Mixed in with the pork and celery, this dish is a great mix of flavors and textures.

                                                                                My only quibble - the default preparation isn't particularly spicy. (This is by design - it's not listed as a spicy dish.) At S&T I've always asked them to add some zip to it and they oblige. I made the same request at GSH but the message didn't reach the kitchen. It's *still* a great dish but a little heat would make it even better. I'll keep trying.

                                                                                Spicy & Tasty
                                                                                39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                                                                Grand Sichuan House
                                                                                8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                            3. Soooo happy with this place - still love those pea shoots (they've gone up a few dollars, but worth it for me) and the sauteed spicy chinese broccoli is incredible with a great smokey chile flavor and a few whole smoked chiles. Next on my list is string beans w pork, vinegar potatoes, and the pumpkin...

                                                                              The cumin lamb is consistently a mind-blowing punch of delicious.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: pitu

                                                                                I have had the potatoes and the pumpkin. Both are good, but I would only order again if I had other things with them- didn't want to eat a whole meal of either..

                                                                              2. Made a first visit to this place and thought id add an update to the wealth of reports here.

                                                                                Overall i thought this was a very good meal - we had sauteed pea shoots with garlic, cumin lamb and chengdou dumplings and green onion pancakes, all of which i thought were excellent. the soup dumplings were (i suppose unsurprisingly) lackluster - not terrible but with overly thick skins and a dearth of hot squirty goodness inside. id definitely save the calories and dollars for something the kitchen does better.

                                                                                the one surprise was the dan dan noodles which i found to be somewhat overcooked (the noodles) and underseasoned ( the sauce). im no dan dan expert but there was something missing to my tastes that was not a problem in the hot oil sauce that the chengdou dumplings were served with.

                                                                                definitely a good choice in conjunction with a century 21 trip if your coming from afar (we did not seem to be the only ones doing that circuit).

                                                                                1. GSH was closed by the Dept of Health on 3/4/10. See my post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/692368

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: bobjbkln

                                                                                    interesting. looks like we liked many of the same items. id still be curious to hear what people love about the dan dan/if we just had an unimpressive bowl compared to their usual offering.

                                                                                    any idea how long the closure is slated to last?

                                                                                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                                                                                      Have no idea. I assume as long as it takes them to clean up the violations and get the DOH back for inspection. I hope not too long, but I'd call before going.

                                                                                      1. re: bobjbkln

                                                                                        bobjbkln, I LOVE that pile of onions that the cumin lamb is served with! (I just read your link) I wonder if they're blanched. Anyway, I find them an excellent foil for the big punch of the cumin lamb.

                                                                                        The Chinese broccoli with smoky chiles and the sour green bean dish w ground pork are new favorites. The sour green beans are chopped fine, and taste a bit like tempeh to me, nutty and slightly pleasantly sour. The vinegar potatoes are a good bland side to go with some of the big flavor dishes, but I would not get them unless I was ordering a bunch of other stuff. I like GSH best with a group.

                                                                                        This is one place that I will cheerfully return to, as soon as they are open.

                                                                                        Grand Sichuan House
                                                                                        8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                                    2. re: bobjbkln

                                                                                      Per the DOH website, GSH reopened on March 8th, 4 days after they were closed. The results of their follow up inspection were very good.

                                                                                    3. Sometimes you just take great restaurants for granted - I know I do. Grand Sichuan House is in our regular rotation and we go about once a month, sometimes more. And yet I only post about it every six months.

                                                                                      OK - here's the non-news. GSH is still excellent.

                                                                                      Friday's meal -


                                                                                      Chicken with spicy capsicum - juicy without being overly saucy and perfectly spiced. Excellent.

                                                                                      Duck with green beans - I've loved this dish for years and it's just as good as ever. They don't bill this dish as smoked but it certainly is. Not overly hot but perfect in it's own way.

                                                                                      Sliced Lamb w. Cumin Favor - This was a new dish for me. The spicing was assertive without being overly hot. If you like lamb this is something you need to try.


                                                                                      Chengdu dumplings - excellent

                                                                                      Boneless spareribs - this was a friend's pick and I never would have ordered this myself. That said, they were pretty good. You'd take a bite, nod to yourself saying "not bad," and then, all by itself, your hand would keep going back for more over and over.

                                                                                      Dan Dan noodles - on a scale of 1 to 10, these were a 7. That's nothing new, their version is fine but not a revelation. If you're feeling noodly, the Spicy Sichuan Cold Noodles are a better choice.

                                                                                      If you haven't gone to GSH in awhile you need to get back to this place. If you've never been, you're missing some of the best Sichuan in New York.

                                                                                      Grand Sichuan House
                                                                                      8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                        Could lunch be as under-par as dinner is exquisite?

                                                                                        Went yesterday and, after the hot-oil wontons were done, was thrown for a loop by both ma po tofu in a salt-lick sauce with barely a shake of ground Sichuan peppercorn and duck with ginger having a freeze-dried-ness and reheated quality only a camper could love. What gives?

                                                                                        That said, a $4.95 lunch special with soup and brown rice is still a great deal.

                                                                                      2. Every time I go to this place I'm tempted to post about it. I resist because it would seem like I was overdoing it. Since my last post was from June of last year I figure it's time.

                                                                                        Two weeks ago we had some old favorites and something new. Pictures below.

                                                                                        They've taken to putting out a small complimentary dish of seaweed salad on each table to start. Salty and piquant.

                                                                                        The cold sesame noodles are just perfect with a nice amount of zip. (Alas, we've given up on the dan dan noodles here. They were serviceable in the beginning but have declined since then. Luckily, the cold noodles more than make up for this.)

                                                                                        Chengdu Spicy Dumplings. Always very good.

                                                                                        Chicken with Spicy Capsicum . This is perfectly spiced with a nice amount of heat. Wu Liang Ye has been serving this for years and their version is very good. This one is better.

                                                                                        Guizhou Spicy Chicken. It looks a lot like the previous dish. Don't be fooled. Those are pieces of potato mixed in with the chicken and the dish is powered by chili peppers, not Szechuan pepper corns. Ordering those chicken dishes side by side turned out to be a good move. The contrast was distinct and it was really interesting to be able to compare them.

                                                                                        Green Beans with Ground Pork. Mom always said I should eat my vegetables. She would have had a lot more success with me if she had added ground pork.

                                                                                        They were about 90% full on a Friday night - the crowd was largely Asian. This place is succeeding in spite of the neighborhood, not because of it. Too bad. The locals are missing out on some great food.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                          Funny, we went here for the first time in a long time on wed night, and i was thinking of posting. In my estimation, it wasn't as good as in the past, but some things were still v. good.

                                                                                          mapo dofu was good and had plenty of ma la flavor. cumin beef was still addictive.

                                                                                          however, the dan dan noodles, which we usually like here because the noodles are not overcooked and they are generous with the pickled mustard greens, was in a super watery broth. same with the wontons. it was as if someone had forgotten to drain them after boiling.

                                                                                          also, duck with stringbeans, usually a standout here, was uninspired. the duck was in too large pieces and tasted old, and there was no wok hai.

                                                                                          sauteed pea shoots had stems so tough as to be inedible.

                                                                                          guizhou chicken was good and spicy.

                                                                                          we'll go back, bc the owner is so nice and some of the dishes are great. and maybe we got an off night, but it def wasn't as good as it used to be.

                                                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                            I'm pretty sure I was there when you took those photos. We had fish and pickled mustard green soup, braised beef in chili sauce, and citrus prawns. The soup and the beef were fantastic as usual, but the prawns were disappointing because there was no discernible citrus flavor.

                                                                                            We went again last Friday, but much earlier around 6, and there were locals there eating their american/chinese food. Besides the beef in Chili Sauce, (we have a hard time not ordering that), we had a cold dish pork with fresh garlic paste. In the past this dish was very spicy and savory. This time it was sweet. I hope this isn't a new trend.

                                                                                          2. This is my absolute favorite of all the sichuan places i've tried in the city. I go as often as possible. The manager is super nice (except she once thought my best friend, who is only a year old than me, was my mother).

                                                                                            The Ma Po tofu is my number one dish. Dan Dan noodles can be hit or miss.
                                                                                            Not surprisingly, their "Americanized" food is heads and shoulders above any greasy take-out joint - especially their scallion pancakes and sesame chicken.

                                                                                            My problem is I always order the tofu - I have to - so unless I bring people with me all the time, I never get to try anything new!

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: secondbecky

                                                                                              I was here last week and had MaPo Tofu and found it to be rather unpleasant. Rather than silky tofu in a heavily chili oil laced sauce; the tofu was very firm, and the sauce would have been the greatest country gravy for biscuits ever but was very out of place in sichuan cuisine. The mung bean noodle salad with spicy sauce was okay, but not one of the better versions that I have had. The amount of spice was pretty good in both dishes, but the brownish semi-thick "gravy" was off-putting. Is this the way the dish is usually prepared here?

                                                                                              1. re: Alan Henderson

                                                                                                tofu itself might not be of the highest quality, certainly not at $8 for the dish, and yes heavily oiled (thank goodness!). It's the peppercorns that get the numbness on your tongue going though, not the oil. My sauce has never been thick though - and its never brown! More like rust colored.
                                                                                                I have no idea what you are talking about with regard to country gravy - I find it to be the most authentic sichuan I've ever had in the states. I tried Szechuan Garden in Cobble Hill based upon recs from this board and was so dissapointed in their version - why do they try to americanize it so? I don't want peas and carrots in a thick brown sauce, which is what I get most everywhere...

                                                                                                Szechuan Garden
                                                                                                2428 Creston Ave, Bronx, NY 10468

                                                                                                1. re: secondbecky

                                                                                                  It was not the peas and carrots in a thick brown sauce which is truly deplorable, but it was the color of a pair of khakis, and was pretty thick. Certainly a lot of peppercorns which is nice, but no discernible chili oil. It was very odd. The country gravy reference I was making was that the sauce had a very porky flavor and would have been really interesting over biscuits. I will certainly stop by again for further investigation when in the neighborhood. It was at lunch, maybe they don't put out the good stuff on the specials menu. It certainly was not up to snuff with the Szechuan Gourmet version that I just polished off. That said if I lived in Bay Ridge I'm sure that I would be very happy to have this near by, and as an upper Manhattan resident I would be thrilled to have them within my delivery range.

                                                                                                  1. re: Alan Henderson

                                                                                                    I know exactly what you are talking about. In the meal I posted about above, the mapo dofu sauce was a strange brown color. Our tofu wasn't firm however, and tho I noticed the strange color and thicker consistency of the sauce (country gravy is a good description) and was wary , the dish still tasted good and had ma la flavor.
                                                                                                    Not sure why they changed the dish. I liked it better the old way. Based on my meal there, I think they may have a different cook in the kitchen and perhaps the quality has declined somewhat. but i would have to go back for another meal or two before I could say that for sure. It may just have been an off night.

                                                                                                    Also, if you're traveling from upper manhattan, there are many better, closer sichuan places to try--not sure this one is worth traveling to. Legends in chelsea is currently one of my faves and i really like the mapo dofu there, tho it's super oily--even oilier than most sichuan cuisine. But spooned over some rice, it really hits the spot.

                                                                                                    1. re: missmasala

                                                                                                      Agreed that i would not travel from Manhattan just to eat here, but I was coming back from business in Staten Island and thought I'd give it a shot (not to get too off topic I am a big Lan Shen/Szechuan Gourmet on 39th st. fan although I will have to give legends a visit) are there any Szechuan spots in Sunset Park worth seeking out?

                                                                                                      1. re: Alan Henderson

                                                                                                        There's metro cafe in sunset park. i didn't love it, but the mapo dofu is good and plently of people do love it. That said, i haven't been in almost a year, so can't even guarantee it's still there.

                                                                                                        I prefer legend to szechuan gourmet but haven't been to lan shen.

                                                                                            2. I haven’t posted about this place since last March. That’s not because we haven’t been back, we’ve gone 5 or 6 times since then. And it’s not because it’s not great – it continues to be one of our favorite Sichuan restaurants in the city, including Manhattan and Queens. Chalk it up to laziness.

                                                                                              All our old favorites continue to shine (see my earlier posts for recommendations) but one of the luxuries of repeat visits is giving in to our inclination to try different things and find new favorites.

                                                                                              Cured Pork w. Garlic Shoots – a nice change from the double cooked sliced pork. Assertively flavored and slightly chewy. Worth checking out.

                                                                                              Sautéed Fresh Sliced Pork – the picture doesn’t do it justice. This is really good, robustly spiced without being overwhelming. More bacony than their usual pork belly dishes – in my book that’s a good thing.

                                                                                              Braised beef with chili sauce – It took us awhile to figure out that when this dish comes to the table it needs to be thoroughly mixed since a lot of the spices are on the surface. If you don’t do that the first few bites will be overwhelming. A few stirs distributes the spices evenly and the result is fantastic. The spicing is aggressive but not over the top. There’s plenty of heat but the beefy flavor shines through. An absolute winner.

                                                                                              Crispy Shredded Beef – milder than many of GSH’s other dishes, this still has plenty of heat and well balanced spicing. Man does not live by braised beef alone.

                                                                                              GSH continues to do good business, almost overwhelmingly drawn from Brooklyn’s Asian community. Families with kids and groups of nicely dressed and well behaved twentysomethings. Hipster free.


                                                                                              Grand Sichuan House
                                                                                              8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                Oops. I posted 2 pictures of the crispy shredded beef. Here's the Sautéed Fresh Sliced Pork.

                                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                  Fine meal last week - the duck with string beans was wonderful as always, featuring their tea smoked duck), the miraculous sauteed chinese broccoli, a Chengdu aromatic fish dish, pieces of fish braised in a peppery and fragrant broth, the mung bean noodle in spicy sauce (cold), also the cold chicken. First try with the cumin beef - companions liked it I thought it was one-dinensional, too much flavor of roasted cumin, nothing else. Ma po tofu, ordered without pork was disappointing rendition. Plenty of chile and peppercorn heat present where appropriate in dishes.

                                                                                                  Friendly welcome, glad to see they are still turning it out

                                                                                                  Grand Sichuan House
                                                                                                  8701 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                    Does the Chengdu aromatic fish have any vegetables or just fish? The photo looks a lot like the fish in red soup which has napa cabbage, leeks, bean sprouts, tofu, cucumber and/or zucchini.

                                                                                                    1. re: michelley

                                                                                                      it has some broth (its not a dry dish) and a considerable amount of napa, but its quite different from the fish in red soup. Having just finished up a second dinner's worth of leftovers, I recommend.

                                                                                                  2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                    There's a dish listed on Specials menu that's there all the time - Lamb with Scallions. (S-17)

                                                                                                    The lamb is well spiced without being hot. Lamb sometimes can be an assertive dish; this version is almost delicate. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                2. I'm really jealous of all these glowing reports because I didn't have the same experience. I ordered wontons in hot oil and mabo tofu (two of my favorite dishes) -- both spicy. I was alarmed when the mabo tofu came out in something that looked like duck sauce. There was also no layer of oil on top -- just a cornstarch sheen.

                                                                                                  I asked the waitress, "Shouldn't this dish be red?" She replied that this is how they do it. I asked her where the dou ban jian was in this dish. She told me that most Americans don't like spicy and encouraged me to try it. I generally don't have issues in Asian restaurants "Americanizing" a dish since I'm of Asian descent. But I guess they labeled me a gweilo and adjusted. No heat and no tingling. She brought me some chili oil and paste which helped a bit. The chef also put a ton of water in the wontons with chili oil to dilute the spiciness and taste. The wontons weren't good enough to stand on its own.

                                                                                                  Overall pretty disappointing. The waitress was very nice and told me that next time she'll make sure it's cooked with more spice.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                    I've been ordering the won tons in red oil for years. They've always been perfect. I'm attaching pictures taken over a 3 year period.

                                                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                      Unfortunately mine was nothing close to perfect. I ordered wontons in chili oil, not wontons in hot water with a dousing of chili oil on top.

                                                                                                      ETA: And my mabo tofu sauce was literally this color and texture.


                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                        That's a picture of duck sauce from a site that describes Asian condiments, not a shot of what you were actually served at GSH.

                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                          whatever about the picture. I dont think mapo tofu is a very good dish at this restaurant. We had it as part of a very good overall meal recently and the sauce was cornstarchy as Miss Needle reports and lacked the correct flavor. the tofu itself was fine.

                                                                                                          Its disappointing that Miss Needle had a bad meal - maybe the #1 chef was not there that day.

                                                                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                            Well, it's good to know that the mabo tofu isn't one of the stronger dishes there. I didn't read this thread before going -- was in the area and just decided to drop by. btw, I was also there during lunch. So perhaps the lunch chef isn't as good as the dinner one. Perhaps I'll try it at another point during dinnertime.

                                                                                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                              By coincidence, I got that tofu for take-out last night and it was lackluster. Three years ago when I started going there it was a highlight, the tofu firm and the dish spicy with hot oil and full of tingling Szechuan peppercorns. Last night... gelatinous tofu, little spice, imperceptible tingle, soupy sauce. The hot and sour soup, though tasty, was low on black pepper. Other stuff was OK, not exciting... Still love this place but they need to ramp it up a little.

                                                                                                              1. re: Laddie Din

                                                                                                                Yeah, the ma po tofu has definitely changed over time. We started ordering it "not too spicy" because it was hurting us in ways I wouldn't care to discuss in detail...but now we don't bother - it's just not spicy. :(

                                                                                                                1. re: scooter

                                                                                                                  You want spicy? Try the braised chili beef. When it arrives at the table make sure you stir it thoroughly since some of the spices are concentrated at the top. It's truly hot. The portion is extremely generous so you'll wind up taking some away. After it sits in the fridge overnight it will get even hotter.

                                                                                                                  I post so many positive things about GSH that I feel a need to provide a little balance. There's no reason to order their dan dan noodles. When they first opened they were decent, not great. Over time they declined. OTOH their cold sesame noodles are first rate.

                                                                                                  2. How often do we see this? A new restaurant opens and gets lots of buzz. Then over time the buzz dies down and the place goes off the radar screen. A year goes by and then somebody asks – “Is Café X still good?”

                                                                                                    It’s a fair question. If the people who continue to go to good restaurants would occasionally post about them from time to time maybe people wouldn’t have to ask.

                                                                                                    My GF and I have been regulars at Grand Sichuan House since it opened and it’s as good as ever. We must go about 10 times for every time that I post about it so it’s time for me to pay my dues.


                                                                                                    On our visit last Friday night the Chengdu dumplings were terrific as always. The oil was suitably spicy and the skin of the dumplings had a slight but pleasing chewiness. (Bad versions of this dish are mushy.



                                                                                                    Chicken with spicy capsicum remains one of our favorites. The exterior has a slight crunch (dusted with rice flour?) and the interior is juicy. The spicing is just right – your mouth buzzes but you’re not overwhelmed.


                                                                                                    Sauteed fresh pork. What can I say? It’s bacon. BACON. With fried scallions. Bacon and onions – pure genius. Zippy and oily in a good way. Thoroughly satisfying.


                                                                                                    Green beans with minced pork, because vegetables are healthy for you. The government keeps telling us that we should eat more vegetables. Well, if more restaurants started adding minced pork to them maybe we’d eat our vegetables every day.

                                                                                                    Grand Sichuan House is as good as ever. No need to ask – just go.

                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                        Thanks for this...l haven't been there in a while, and was wondering how they've been holding up. Do you have any recs in Boro Park, aside from Spicy Bampa?

                                                                                                        1. re: howdini

                                                                                                          We haven't had take out in well over 6 months and we wanted to treat ourselves. I have always loved their food. Ordered last night and I was not impressed. The food quality was good but they completely backed off the spices which is what I was looking forward to so much. The cumin beef which in the past was punishingly hot (which I loved) I could have fed to a child it was so under spiced. The vinegar potato dish had no peppers at all in it and was bland. I felt like I wasted my treat on them.

                                                                                                          1. re: psnative

                                                                                                            Maybe it was just bad luck? Bob's report from May paints a totally different picture...

                                                                                                            1. re: howdini

                                                                                                              I agree. I read Bob's report and when I did I immediately wanted to get some food from GS. Another theory was that based on the Bay Ridge address they toned down the spices. I think the majority of their customers are not from Bay Ridge. On best of lists of Bay Ridge restaurants GS never appears not even in the Chinese food category. Next time I will not order in and just go the restaurant.

                                                                                                              1. re: howdini

                                                                                                                I hit the place regularly - every 6 weeks. I don't post about it anywhere near that frequently because it would sound like shilling. My meals have all been very good.

                                                                                                                How to explain the different reactions? Maybe the regular chef wasn't there? It was a holiday weekend and a lot of places I visited had sparse crowds. Maybe they gave the regular guy a day off and someone else was in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                Or it could be just a legitimate difference of opinion. Since I didn't have Psnative's meal I couldn't say.

                                                                                                                The next time we go back I'll post briefly. Given my large sample size of good meals i suspect it was a one off thing but I'll let you all know.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                  I agree with that as well Bob. I think it could very well have been regular chef off. I love the place! Not giving up on them.

                                                                                                                  1. re: psnative

                                                                                                                    Glad to hear it.

                                                                                                                    I've never had an issue getting things spicy but I'm well known there. At places where I'm not known occasionally when I'm ordering something hot a waiter will say" You know, that's really hot." I always smile and say "Yeah! That's what I like."

                                                                                                                    That said, I've always considered GSH to be one of those places where spicy (for the dishes that were supposed to be hot) was the default. No special pleading was necessary - they just gave it to you.

                                                                                                                    I'm going with the substitute chef theory.

                                                                                                                    I think eating on site is a good idea. If you're starters arrive and they're not sufficiently spicy you can let the waiter know. But I'm betting that won't be necessary.

                                                                                                                    I'm sorry for your lackluster meal. I hate when things like that happen.

                                                                                                          2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                            I was there last weekend - chengdu dumplings - delicious, juicy interior, firm wrappers, delicious sauce. Chicken with spicy capsicum - at first glance we thought they had dumbed down the sichuan peppercorns but we were mistaken - perfect level of tongue tingle. Dan dan noodles were quite nice as was the cucumber with fresh garlic. All in all a delicious meal. This place has certainly NOT gone down hill.

                                                                                                            1. re: prunefeet

                                                                                                              Funny, I was going to post something similar. Went twice recently after not having gone for a year or two and it was excellent. I was glad. We had stayed away because of a couple of bad meals, but I think maybe they might have had one bad chef or something. Happy to report that the food is v good now.

                                                                                                          3. Well Soup Dumplings are Shanghai food.. so you might want to go to a Shanghai place for that