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Sep 12, 2008 12:01 PM

Non-Spicy Options at Spicy and Tasty??

I really want to go to S&T tonight (first time) but I'll have my kids in tow. They're both pretty little and not so into spicy. Are there things on the menu (dumplings, noodles) that they would be able to eat?

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  1. There's lots there for kids.

    First of all, i found that if you are non-asian you may actually have to ask them to ramp up the spiciness in some cases. My kids loved the dan-dan noodles and the "spicy" chicken app, and neither were terribly spicy (not spciy enough for me, in fact).

    Also, there's lots of non-spicy options, including soup, noodles, and various dumplings - my kids loved the boiled glutinous rice with black beans, and the fried sesame yam dumpling with sweet bean paste.

    1. I agree with RBCG - there should be plenty there the kids can eat. Also I would recommend the soups - kids love Chinese soups and it's a damp rainy night anyway. PS - If you are adventurous, try the Stinky Tofu. Yes, it is actually called that, and, yes, it is pungent, but it has a complex flavor and it is delicious (and a little hot). A friend recommended this dish, and on the rare occasions I see it I get it. But maybe it's partly because I want to crack up asking for it. Enjoy!

      1. I'll chime in with the same opinion -- there's tons and tons there that's not spicy. here are a few rules of thumb:

        -- While their spoken english is somewhat broken, they understand you perfectly. If you ask a question, you'll usually get an answer you can understand. It might be accented english, it might be a head nod, it might be a finger pointing at a dish on the menu or sometimes, they'll bring over another staffer who has better english. Just tell "please, NOT spicy" and point to the kids.

        -- If a dish doesn't sound spicy, it probably isn't.

        -- Any dish you recognize as non-spicy from more tradition restaurants (beef with broccoli, noodles, spare ribs...) will be more or less what you expect, just much better.

        -- If you want to wow your kids with the yummiest green vegetables ever (and the brightest, most vivid green) then get the Pea Shoots. It's a little pricey ($12?) but you get a massive heaping platter of perfected sauteed greens that everyone will love.

        Enjoy your meal and let us know how it went!


        5 Replies
        1. re: Peter

          On the basis of this thread, I took my kids (3 and 5 years old) to spicy and tasty before the mets game today. It all worked well (but I almost "fried" the kids because it was so darn hot). We stopped at Zhu Ji Guo Tie for dumplings (they absolutely loved them, although it did take too long - at least in their minds - to wait for them to cool off) and then Xinjiang for some skewers (what can I say, my kids love lamb), before seeking out the airconditioning comfort of S&T. We started with Dan Dan Noodles, which they really enjoyed - my three year old son even liked them although he normally just eats pasta with oil - I tried to give him noodles without the sauce, but he still got a taste anyway, which - surprising for him - he still liked. My daughter gave me a smile as she slurped away on them (trying for the third time to use chopsticks). Beef with broccoli was a big hit - and some of the most tender beef I have ever had. Chicken with cashews worked well, although the spicy green pepper did at least partially sate my own personal desire for a little heat - the dish had incredible depth of flavor and balance. Peter I totally agree with you on two points: the dishes we had today were more mainstream than my usual ordering pattern but were flawlessly executed (I now will have much more confidence taking sichuan novices to S&T) and the staff could not have been more helpful - they understood our need for lack of heat (and a pair of plastic forks), and it couldn't have gone better.

          1. re: BillyBob

            Glad it went well! Hopefully this is the beginning of a long and tasty relationship between your kids and S&T. ;)


            P.S. I'm bummed you didn't get the pea shoots. Definitely get them on your next trip.

            1. re: Peter

              my kids love S&T (tho now we go mainly to the sichuan place in bay ridge---closer) my kids happen to love spicy (hotter than me, sometimes) but i agree there is something there for everyone. If you avoid the hot sichuan dishes, really, it would be like taking your kid to any chinese restaurant except generally much much better.
              I love reading about people who take their kids to fun, ethnic places to eat.

              1. re: missmasala

                When I was a kid my parents took me traveling, and to eat all kinds of ethnic food. Of course, I think some kids have broader palates than others - but if they are open to trying things I think it is great to expose them to how different parts of the world eats. The world is getting smaller all the time - the more we know about foreign cultures - and appreciate - the better!

                1. re: missmasala

                  "If you avoid the hot sichuan dishes, really, it would be like taking your kid to any chinese restaurant except generally much much better."

                  All Sichuan food is not spicy. But for a spice freak like me, I tend to gravitate towards the spicy ones. I once ate a a Sichuan restaurant in Hong Kong where all they served was a tasting menu where one had no choice as to what to eat. It was about a 12 or 13 course menu, with every other dish being spicy. I was really happy that I had the opportunity to do that because I probably wouldn't have ordered these dishes on my own. And it was a nice break from all of the spicy foods (which were prepared much spicier than the Sichuan restaurants in NYC). : )

                  ETA: Just found my Hong Kong Sichuan post. There are pics of the dishes as well.