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Nov 10, 2008 10:00 AM

Best Sichuan in Hong Kong

While I realize time spent eating in HK should probably focus on Cantonese and Chui Chow food, Sichuan happens to be my favorite and I’d like to have one such meal on an upcoming visit. Since I only have time for one Sichuan meal, I’d like it to be the best possible.

I was interested in Mum Chau’s but was under the impression you needed a minimum of four diners for dinner (there are only two of us).

I tried Da Ping Huo on my previous visit three years ago and enjoyed it greatly, but I’ve already been there so would like something new.

I was wondering about Yunyan, Wing Lai Yuen and San Xi Lou (formerly, Man Jiang Hong, I think from what I've read here). I was under the impression that San Xi Lou was the best of the three but wasn’t sure if it was English-friendly or not.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. San Xi Lou would be my first choice, no question. English menus, English spoken by several of the staff, but the food is authentic enough to draw in homesick mainlanders.

    Yunyan isn't bad but the cooking and ingredients are not up to SXL's standards. It's also English-friendly (owned and operated by the Miramar hotel group).

    Wing Lai Yuen is ok - especially for their dan dan mein - but they tend toward HK tastes rather than full-on Sichuan explosions of flavour. English menu but not much spoken. Truth is, since Crystal Jade arrived in HK, I haven't felt the need to trek out to Whampoa for a bowl of WLY's dan dan mein any more...

    3 Replies
    1. re: HKDave

      They say the Wong Tai Sin location of Wing Lai Yuen is better than Whampoa's. I still remember eating at the original location in Diamond Hill during the 80s.

      I'd hit Wing Lai Yuen again if I could for their sa wor won ton chicken pot but you need 4 people or more to partake in this. The thinly sliced steamed Yunan style pork belly with garlic mud spicy sauce is fantastic

      1. re: HKDave

        I think San Xi Lou sounds like the best option. If I had more time, I would do taste testing around the city.

        I have no idea what garlic mud is but I love anything with pork belly, so I imagine it must be good.

        1. re: Krista G

          just garlic pounded to a paste, usually with spicy red oil. Usually a cold dish.

      2. I have been to Wing Lai Yuen; maybe I am the lone dissent here but I don't like it, not even its dan dan mien. I would stick to Da Ping Huo, which is my favorite Sichuan restaurant, including those that I tried in Mainland China.

        1. Just ate there last night @ San Xi Lou last night and it was high quality and as hot and experimental as you want to get. A local spot on the 7th floor. As soon as you eneter the room your eyes will tear up from the hot pepper oil floating in the room. We had The dry chili chicken, Mao pa tofu, string beans with pork, spinich and garlic and then they forgot to bring the last beef dish we ordered. We were too stuffed to ask for it. All was very tasty. My only complaint was there was only little tiny bones of with little pieces of meat. Dont know if that is the norm? The had a whole section of other meats on the menu that the cosisted of stomach, brains tongue and other assorted animal parts.

          1 Reply
          1. re: adamlu

            You mean the bones in the dry chili chicken? Yes, that's the norm at San Xi Lou, and also anytime I've had this dish in China. I had the dish once in North America made with sliced boneless chicken breast, and it was just plain weird. The whole point is fishing around in the mountain of chili and hua jiao for little morsels...