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szechuan garden on smith st.

We are still reeling from the Red Hot closure and ordered from the new Szechuan Garden last night. It gets an F from us as in barely edible. The Hot and Sour soup was thin and not spicy or flavorful, the steamed veggie dumplings were gummy with way more dough than filling, and the steamed chicken and veggies was rife with inedible chicken bits. The brown rice was even a little weird. The cashew chicken was not so bad... the one saving grace. We will not be ordering from there again... but where else can we get chinese in carroll gardens?

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  1. Do a search, you'll find more than one positive review. I've been there a few times and find it to be the opposite. Its not on Manhattan Chinatown levels, nor is it high end gourmet. However, I'd say its thebest in the Cobble/ Carroll vicinity for any Chinese. The times I've been to Sz Gar have been in the restaurant and not delivered. That can make a big diff. What about Hunan Delight on Union in the Slope? They deliver to Carroll Gardens.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Larry Brooks

      I'm with you Larry. It's not perfect but it's been very reliable for us. The only thing I wasnt fond of was their wonton soup. In fact, I had both those steamed veggie jumplings *and* the steamed chicken with veg (I tend to request specific veg...bok choy and string beans usually) just last night (delivery) and had no trouble with either. The chicken was pretty generous (though it hasnt always been) and was all white meat (so not sure how you ended up with anything inedible). We also had the brown rice with no issues..not as good as the stuff we make with our recent japanese rice cooker purchase, but totally fine.

      My other safe chinese choice is Chance. Though we tend to do mainly dim sum from there, and pineapple /shrimp fried rice.

      Of the other corner joint chinese spots, China Hong has been better than it used to be. Empire Kitchen used to be the best around but closed sadly. Me and My Egg Roll has great wonton soup but that's about the only reliable thing we get from there.

      1. re: Nehna

        Maybe it's worth another try... the meal we had was pretty bad, though.

        We will definitely give Hunan delight a shot.

        1. re: Nehna

          Plenty of ways to have inedible pieces of white meat chicken... I've certainly had my share of poorly cooked, strangely textured, mystery pieces of sliced chicken from some restaurants.

          1. re: Nehna

            So I'd like to actually order from Szechuan Garden and give it a try, but it's not up on menupages.com yet, and I threw out all the menus they shoved under our door when they first opened. Anyone have a link to their menu online?

        2. I have to agree with the other posters. We've ordered from them half dozen times or so since they opened and have never been disappointed except for one time they gave us one appetizer when we had ordered another. We found it surprisingly not greasy & fresh.

          1. i've been meaning to check out szechuan garden (only plan in the area that serves dandan noodles?). sorry to hear your experience wasn't good. i might get burned for this, but lichee on montague street is great for chinese delivery. i'm down on union and they deliver to me, usually in short time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: the_state

              szechuan garden is definitely a step above lychee nut in my opinion.... though i wont lie and say that i havent ordered from them plenty of times, but for not much of a price difference, the food seems much fresher and cleaner (is that possible for chinese food?) at SG. i think they are my go-to spot now. unfortunately jeffy, i dont know where theres a menu online, but i had shrimp with mixed veggies in garlic sauce last week from them and it was pretty tasty!

            2. Like some of the other posters, we haven't been disappointed in several tries. Top-tier Chinatown or Queens? No. Best of the neighborhood? So far, definitely. Not as gloppy as any of the others. I agree that the hot and sour soup (and the wonton soup) aren't that great, so I don't order them. The Chengdu wontons in peppercorn sauce (NOT the ones in broth) are excellent.

              Worth another try, perhaps?

              Jeffy - I haven't seen a menu online. Perhaps they'd fax one to you?

              1. where exactly is this place? i did a quick menupages / google search and could not find anywhere on smith st. in brooklyn a place named szechuan garden. i live in carroll gardens and would LOVE a new place to try.

                1 Reply
                1. re: abr269

                  West side of Smith between Warren and Wyckoff. Closer to Warren.

                2. Agreed... Red Hot was the best in the area, and Szechuan is a disgrace. Gross. Andy's on Montague used to be the old standby, but they've gone somewhat wayward. The shrimp moo shu is pretty solid and the empress chicken is great. For my money, though, Fortune House in the Heights is the best.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: hmacleish

                    To each his own. Ironically I find Fortune House in the Heights to be gross. And Andy's hasn't been good for at least 5-6 years.

                    And yes, we can agree on Red Hot. Awesome.

                    1. re: Larry Brooks

                      Andy's is terrible. I've had bad or inedible food from them every time I've tried it.

                      What exactly qualifies Szechuan to be a "disgrace"?

                      1. re: Nehna

                        Last night we ordered from Szechuan Garden for the first time, and we were really pleased. We only got a few things--pork dumplings, scallion pancakes, and kung pao chicken--but everything was very good, much lighter and less greasy than the other delivery places around here. Also, delivery was amazingly speedy for a Friday night. I'm sure we'll order from them again.

                        http://artichokeheart.wordpress.com

                        1. re: artichokeheart

                          My wife and I took a risk and ordered from Szechuan Garden for the first time last night, and we too were really really surprised at how tasty the food was (especially for the wasteland that Carroll Gardens is for good Chinese). We had the spicy dumplings and Hunan chicken and vegetables which were both very good and not greasy at all. The only dissapointing item was the Dan Dan noodles (will definitely skip them next time...too soggy and not spicy enough...seems that Wu Liang Ye in midtown is the only place that lives up to what we had in Shanghai).

                          Prior to our experience last night, Lichee Nut was the only place that we found worth ordering from (it used to be good, but I have to say that it has gotten greasier and we are tired of the attitude we get from the delivery people about having to come out to Carroll and Smith St, despite the fact the restaurant says it is no problem and we are big tippers).

                          Defintiely recommend giving SG a shot.

                  2. I didn't even realize until I looked it up that this is the same place as Saki Sushi. I can't speak for the Chinese food (they didn't even have it when I went for sushi there when they first opened), but the sushi is pretty bad. Their lobster-based rolls use shrimp and hope you can't tell the difference and their toro was actually partially frozen. So I won't even be attempting their Chinese food. I'll take the word of those who say it's awful. I never trust places that do more than one type of cuisine as distinct restaurants (as in non-fusion, separate menus, etc)

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: hamstrman

                      Meh, while I understand your point, and tend to agree with the sentiment -- not so here. The sushi isn't good -- the one time we ate in at the restaurant we tried some sushi before our chinese and it was uninspired. It wasn't terrible, but it wasnt anything I'd do again. The reason to go there is the chinese food. And if you live in the neighorhood and want some solid chinese---a HARD thing to come by around here---you are making a mistake not giving it a try, as its really quite solid for neighborhood chinese.

                      1. re: hamstrman

                        My last two experiences at Szechuan Garden have been uniformly dismal. I used to like the place, but now find standards have dropped to the typical Brooklyn Chinese restaurant--gloppy food, indistinguishable meat, poor seasoning. Very disappointing, since I thought this place had promise.
                        Chance on Smith St. is a somewhat more reliable prospect, but it too can be very very off.

                        1. re: hamstrman

                          Not sure what you mean. They don't serve sushi here. This is one of the few authentic szechuan restaurants in BK and needs our support. If you order szechuan it's pretty darn good.

                          1. re: Barry Strugatz

                            No, he's correct, they absolutely serve both -- I've had both there. In fact, it started as a sushi place and then changed its name / menu to focus more on the chinese food, with the sushi as sort of an after thought now it seems.

                            1. re: Nehna

                              We've been going to a # of Szechuan places lately and would love to have a local one. And I was happy to read about this place on the boards. But, we passed by and read the menu and it didnt seem to have much to suggest that it really was a Szech. place... much of the food seemed to be generic Chinese -- all over the map with no indication of anyone caring about the supposed specific region. And sushi too. Are you saying that the food is good or that it's specifically a good Szechuan cooking place? Either is fine by me (we could use a good non-specific Asian restaurant around here as well) but I'd prefer a solid Szechuan place.

                              1. re: Steve R

                                I'm saying its the most reliable 'chinese' restaurant in the neighborhood. i don't consider myself an expert in the least on the different subregions of Chinese cooking, so I couldnt say whether its the best Szechuan. But considering there arent any other Szechuan's in the neighborhood, I guess it could win that by default ;)

                                It's nothing that will blow your mind, its simply reliable, fresh ingredients, etc.

                                1. re: Nehna

                                  I'm glad that our most reliable chinese option in the neighborhood got the memo that the one thing we lacked on Smith St was "Asian Fusion"
                                  /sarcasm

                                  Apparently this place now has a new name with a new fusion menu that went straight to the trash can. We placed an order last week, and while we ordered from the old Sichuan Garden menu, we received nothing that was very edible - probably because half of our order wasn't on the new menu.

                                  Sad days...

                                  1. re: EJC

                                    This would be sad indeed if true... will have to try our standbys and see if they've been spared the rod.

                            2. re: Barry Strugatz

                              I think you're confusing this place with the real thing down in Bay Ridge. This restaurant is a regular gussied-up take-out joint, and judging from my one lunch there, it's not very good.

                              1. re: PAL

                                It's not on same level as Bamboo Pavillion in Bensonhurst, but they have dishes with capsicum, braised fish filets, twice cooked pork, szechuan tofu, etc, Unavailable in this part of Brooklyn.

                                1. re: Barry Strugatz

                                  I think the restaurant in Bay Ridge that PAL was referring to is Grand Sichuan House. There's a long thread about it and most people like it very much.
                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/461890

                                  It would be wonderful if a place of that quality opened in Carroll Gardens or Park Slope.