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Actually pretty decent Chinese on Smith

  • j

I tried takeout from a new (to me) restaurant on Smith - Szechuan Garden, between Warren and Wycoff. I have to admit, the food was pretty tasty. I ordered my standard - Kung Pau chicken and sesame noodles, the food came fast, piping hot (the chicken) really fresh looking and quite tasty. My noodles were light, not greasy and quite delicious. The chicken was really succulent and just spicy enough, vegetables were crisp and fresh.

Has anyone else tried this place? I'm thinking of ordering again, this time I'd like to try something new.

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  1. Thanks for the tip - I found a menu in my box this weekend and it looked better than average...I will try it after the Turkey is gone.

    1. Yeah--they've saturated the hood with menus. Considering the competition (lack thereof) I was curious. Glad to see your report.

      1. I haven't tried this place but looked at the menu and it looks promising. What is odd about the whole thing is that they were a Japanese restaurant for the first couple months they were open and just switched to the chinese/ sushi format.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bhill

          I'd love edible Chinese in non-Sunset Park Bklyn, though I'm always a little wary of places with the aforementioned Chinese/Sushi format. But I'll definitely give it a try. Wish they delivered to Windsor Terrace!!

        2. Yes, I've eaten there now a few times both before and after the odd changeover. it is not quite as good (authentic) as the Grand Sichuan / Wu Liang Ye sichuan cuisine in the city, but it is MUCH better than the bulletproof-glass/fried chicken wing/sloppy Cantonese alternatives in this neighborhood. Give it a try! The lunch special is only $6.95. And the sushi isn't bad either. We need to keep this place going! Next we need a decent Vietnamese pho joint.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Brouhaha

            I'd like to see a Korean place as well.

            1. re: Matt M.

              Little would make me happier, esp for some korean bbq without treking up to midtown.

              And a solid Indian restaurant, while we're at it.

            2. re: Brouhaha

              Nicky's on Atlantic between Smith and Hoyt just started serving pho, eat-in only. It was pretty good when we had it last weekend.

              1. re: Brouhaha

                I never could get myself interested in going when it was a sushi place, resenting as we did, yet another sushi place in the area, when we have so many of them. I'm glad that perhaps they realized it was a silly choice, and added szechuan food (even if I have a hard time getting my head around that combo).

                Anyway based on this thread, we went last night. We decided to give them a try on both styles of food. We shared some sushi to start with and then had two chinese dishes to share for main courses. The sushi wasn't bad....we had some nice white tuna sashimi, some eel and a couple of well prepared/sized rolls. We quite enjoyed the double sauteed pork with spicy capsicum dish (though I would have liked it to be spicier, and next time will tell them so....it was marked as spicy but was pretty mild honestly). Husband had a craving for gen. tsao's chicken (hehe) so we had that too, and it was actually not bad. Not as heavy/cloying as it can be, and the chunks of chicken were tender.

                We'll add it, alongside Chance, to our short list of chinese places to order from, etc in the area.

                1. re: Nehna

                  I'm excited by these reviews. We haven't received a menu yet; can someone post the phone number? Thinking of ordering in for lunch tomorrow.

                  1. re: artichokeheart

                    718 643-0388
                    718 643-0377

                    If you do order, please add your review to this thread.

                    It is a "Short list" indeed.

                    It's worth noting, as I look at the menu, that if it is indeed decent, it bears out the truism that you get what you pay for. The prices on some things are close to double what you would pay at a typical take-out kitchen. (And I feel safe in saying that there's stuff on the menu that you're not gonna find at that takeout window---cold ox tongue and tripe with roasted chili-peanut vinaigrette indeed.......)
                    I am certainly not whining about the price--just observing.

                    1. re: JonL

                      Ordered last night. First impressions were not good, unfortunately.

                      Hot & Sour- This is one of my benchmarks for Chinese joints and I was sadly unimpressed. Bland with an unpleasant vinegar taste.

                      Spring Rolls- Crispy on the outside, fresh and mushy on the inside. Delicious.

                      Shredded Pork in Spicy Garlic Sauce- Pretty inedible. Big long chunks of fatty pork. Not shredded at all. All the veggies were cut too large. The sauce was not spicy at all. Just kind of sweet. The steamed rice it came with was undercooked.

                      Chicken Fried Rice- Once again, undercooked rice. Uneven seasoning (some of the rice was white). About two teaspoons worth of chicken in the whole thing.

                      The bill ran $27. I guess I'll give it a shot another time to see if it gets any better, but my experience was not good.

              2. Ordered in a couple of nights ago. Just a small meal of standard dishes: Hot and Sour Soup and Shredded Chicken in Spicy Garlic Sauce. Was delivered incredibly quickly, and the food was very, very fresh and tasty. Nicely prepared. Will definitely be ordering again. Great addition to the neighborhood delivery options. I say lose the sushi, we have an unbeatable place already with Ki, and just focus on the Chinese.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hankp

                  We ordered on Sunday night too based on this thread. It was pretty good, certainly not the best I've had but definitely better than the other options in the hood. Agree on above post re Spring Rolls, they were great. Fried Dumplings were definitely pan-seared as described on the menu but were the really thick doughy version (whatever happened to being able to get dumplings with nice thin crisp skins?). They do offer Gyoza's, so will try them next time. Chicken with Garlic Sauce: definitely fresh and good quality, especially the chicken but loaded with too many vegetables for my taste and needs to be spicier. Also agree with above comment that the hot and sour soup had an odd taste to it. I don't think this is exactly what the neighborhood was craving, but it'll do it in a pinch.

                2. On the thread's recommendations, I ordered on Sunday night - wonton soup (my standard) and General Tso's (Nehna's post got me thinking - a different and better General's might signal a place worth coming back to.) The soup was subpar, not particularly flavorful, but the General's (as Nehna indicated) was actually pretty good, lighter than GTC usually is. Even my wife enjoyed it and she doesn't normally like Chinese food.

                  The most interesting thing was that when I picked up a menu there, I saw some of the stuff I like at Wu Liang Ye in Manhattan - Dan Dan noodles, Chengdu wontons - and that unless I'm the menu (at least the Chinese food part) is almost an exact copy of Wu Liang Ye's, down to the beige paper, small-cap typeface, etc. I asked if the restaurant was related to Wu Liang Ye, and the hostess didn't seem to know what I meant (though her English wasn't great so I don't know). Does anyone know if they're affiliated?

                  So - we ordered again tonight. The aforementioned noodles, wontons, the pork with spicy capsicum, and the Ma Paul tofu. Dan Dan were good though they could have used a little more sauce. The wontons were very good - "I could eat these all day," my wife said - and again a little more sauce wouldn't have hurt. The tofu was not quite firm enough, and it was in a sauce with the minced meat rather than stuffed with it, but tasted good. And the pork was fine (in a good way).

                  Still haven't tried the sushi, and not sure we will - there are plenty of good options around here.

                  All around, it was a solid meal, probably the best Chinese in the Cobble area (though of course that's a relative comparison!) We liked it and will order again, and try some of the same and some different things. If they had good wonton soup (Chung Hing is my go-to for that, though I know it isn't that great in general), I'd probably order there exclusively.

                  1. Just to add to the fray, we ate in on Saturday evening, after a long drive back after Thanksgiving. We ordered the steamed vegetable dumplings which were pretty bad (thick, gummy skin; overy cabbagey) , and then the Sauteed chicken breast and vegetable with spicy hunan sauce, and the sauteed baby shrimps with sichuan chili sauce. Both entrees were quite tasty, with a nice level of spice and not so gloppy. Lots of vegetables in both, which we enjoyed. We would order both mains again, but probably try either the spring rolls or the scallion pancakes instead of the dumplings.

                    I wouldn't order sushi here either, as the neighborhood has enough options for that, but the Chinese food really does fill a void.

                    1. We tried it on Saturday, prompted by this post. Delivery to Brooklyn Heights was fast. We loved that it wasn't the standard, gloppy, greasy mess that most neighborhood Chinese joints serve. We played it safe with the first order. The Szechuan wontons were delicious. The chow fun and kung pao chicken were also top notch and stood out for their lack of grease. The sauteed string beans were still relatively crisp and full of flavor. All in all, I'm ecstatic that this place is delivering in the nabe and I plan to order more ambitiously in the future.

                      1. Ordered this evening and was pleasantly surprised. We had Kung Pao, veggie dumplings, and (I'm embarrassed to admit) steamed veggies and chicken from the "light" section of the menu. Each dish was really good. I added a little sriacha to the brown garlic sauce that came withe the veggies and chicken, and it was really good and spicy. Nothing was overly greasy and our delivery came quickly. Will order again.

                        1. We ordered tonight and were very disappointed. The double cooked pork was extremely fatty and I couldn't eat it at all. The chicken with asparagus was ok and the dan dan noodles not great. They also forgot the brown rice. It was delivered quickly, but I'm sticking with Andy's.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: abby11201

                            due to the positive reviews about this place, i called the other evening to order take-out. i ordered: chicken & brocolli, one sprng roll, a wonton soup and 2 cans of soda. total: $22!! i promptly cancelled and ordered from my neighborhood chinese joint for half the amount. sorry, if i am going to pay $22, i will order sushi from osaka.

                            1. re: mag

                              that's odd because we've ordered from there twice now, 2-3 dishes + 1 app and depending on the dish it was from $25-35. But, it was a ton of food. Enough for dinner for 2-3 for a couple of nights, plus a lunch or two. And everything we ordered was really, surprisingly, good. We don't order soda, so that saves a few bucks right there . . .

                            2. re: abby11201

                              Double cooked pork is always a rather fatty dish, Abby...at least any time I've had it in various Manhattan chinatown spots. It's, as best I can tell, made with a cut similar to bacon. Which is a fatty cut of meat. So it could just be that this isnt something to your taste, which I can totally appreciate. Me, I loved it :) But bacon is about my favorite thing in the world.

                              1. re: Nehna

                                FWIW, the name of the dish on the menu is "Double Cooked Streaky Pork......"
                                I'[ve not seen or heard that terminology before but I took it to probably mean pork belly or something of the sort.

                                1. re: JonL

                                  In the UK, streaky bacon is the sort we get in the US, as opposed to their bacon (back bacon I think it's usually called there), which is much meatier/less fat, and akin to canadian bacon a little. So I think that nudges me further to thinking its basically bacon in the dish...and hence the controversial amount of fat. New Green Bo's version is also a little fatty. Same with Grand Szichuan. It's a great dish though..just not something you should eat nightly ;)