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Szechuan restaurant (old Cheung's Garden) - Calgary

ybnormal Nov 12, 2008 10:33 AM

Just wondering if anyone has tried Szechaun Restaurant which replaced Cheung's Garden.

I really miss Cheung's Garden...

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  1. d
    dknight Nov 12, 2008 12:53 PM

    God, I agree with you YB. I have no fallback Chinese place to go to now on a semi-regular basis.

    Although I have yet to try Golden Happiness (I think that's the name) and Dragon Dynasty that other people have recommended here.

    Part of the problem is I don't read Chinese that well although I can speak it well enough. That's why Cheung's Garden was great along with T. Pot and Peking Garden - gotta love the English menus to confirm what a dish actually is :)

    1. a
      alley Nov 20, 2008 02:18 PM

      I ate at the new Szechuan Restaurant on 16 Ave a few weeks ago with friends who moved to Calgary from China, and who acted as hosts for a table of 9 people. This is the real deal: the food is simply prepared, generally coarse cuts with bones and tongue and stomach and whatever, and the flavors are right in your face - very ma and la.

      I especially enjoyed the twice-stirred port and a spicy beef soup. We also had a whole steamed fish that had to be ordered in advance that was so mind-numbingly hot that I literally stopped thinking for minutes at a time, a cold spicy dish of beef parts, two different spicy chicken dishes, noodles, vegetable dishes and rice. Dessert was some kind of fermented rice porridge.

      The restaurant was packed on a week night, mostly Chinese families. You might need a Chinese friend to help navigate the menu and the cuisine, and be prepared for an assault on your senses.

      1 Reply
      1. re: alley
        a
        aktivistin Nov 21, 2008 09:36 AM

        Thanks for the report, alley. I am excited to try it! Are the menus similar to Cheung Garden's (one bilingual + a few Chinese-only)?

      2. m
        makan2 Dec 4, 2008 06:34 PM

        Just had dinner tonight at Szechuan Restaurant. For starters, a dish of roasted peanuts were brought out.

        The menu is written in both English and Chinese.

        We ordered these dishes:
        - Bamboo Fungus, Mushrooms, Sea Cucumber Soup - Delicious and a nice clear broth!
        - Green Beans with Minced Pork (Spicy) - So good!! Love the red chillies in the dish.
        - Hot and Spicy Chicken (Boneless) - it was cooked with light batter and fried with dried red chillies! Gosh! I love the chillies in the dish!
        - Pig's Blood, Tripe, Calamari Stew - Spicy as can be but so wonderful on a cold night!
        - Beef Fried Noodles - looks boring but so good with loads of garlic. The beef is so tender.

        If you like spicy and chillies, this is the restaurant for you.

        If you don't, try the non-spicy dishes.

        They also have hot pot - adults $23.95 kids $10.95 - the soup included is the clear broth but you can pay extra to get different soup bases. You also get a list to pick out what raw items you want to cook in your hot pot. We shall try the hot pot the next time.

        The owner of the restaurant came out to chat with us and she is originally from Szechuan province in China. She can speak Mandarin, Szechuan and English. She asked us if we could read Chinese and we said we're not that great and promised to write the special food items in English as well as in Chinese.

        1. a
          aktivistin Dec 7, 2008 10:53 AM

          I think I'm the lone dissenter here: I found Szechuan Restaurant disappointing. For the record, I've never been to Sichuan Province so I don't know what the food is supposed to taste like.

          We ordered (the names will not be exact) the sliced pig's ear, the "fish aroma" eggplant, and the fried green beans with bits of pork. The eggplant came in a generic Chinese thick brown sauce, no fish taste nor fish discernible. It could have been called soy sauce eggplant for all flavours that were in the dish.

          The fried green beans were adequate, but not by far--comparing them to the one from Han's, they were soggy and lacking in depth of flavour. Again, one-note and missing the contrast of crisp skin and tender bean I've come to expect from this dish.

          The pig's ear was not tender enough for me, too crunchy, but this may be how it is supposed to be prepared. Again, the flavour was, to me, a bit bland and simply a bit salt, nothing more.

          All in all, for a mediocre meal that costs a bit more than a similar one from Han's, I won't be going back to Szechuan Restaurant.

          6 Replies
          1. re: aktivistin
            John Manzo Dec 7, 2008 11:50 AM

            pig ear should be crunchy-springy, like thick rubber bands. Quite possibly the single most disgusting thing I've ever eaten but it sounds like they nailed it.

            1. re: John Manzo
              alau2 Dec 7, 2008 04:37 PM

              I love pig ears! Sorry, John. :-)

              1. re: alau2
                John Manzo Dec 7, 2008 06:29 PM

                Well to be fair it's been 23 years since I tried them- but that texture- hard to forget.

                1. re: John Manzo
                  fmed Dec 7, 2008 07:14 PM

                  I love pig's ear. Try it in terrine form...the ear becomes more of a textural contrast.

                   
            2. re: aktivistin
              pepper_mil Dec 8, 2008 08:06 PM

              Fish aroma (yuxiang) means things cooked with the same seasonings as fish would be cooked, not cooked with fish. In sichuan you can get fish aroma eggplant, pork slivers, canola, etc but none of these dishes contain actual fish. yuxiang still comes in a couple of different styles, some red, sour and garlicky and some very dark and sweet.

              1. re: pepper_mil
                a
                aktivistin Dec 9, 2008 07:54 AM

                Ah, that is good to know. I always assumed from the Cantonese pronunciation that was actually "fishy" (not that I know how to read the actuals Chinese). Thanks!

            3. MeXx Dec 8, 2008 03:07 PM

              So anyone got a map to this place? I think I passed by yesterday, but wasn't sure if that was the restaurant... For the record, I haven't been to Cheung's Garden, so that's why I ask :)

              5 Replies
              1. re: MeXx
                s
                Suzi Edwards Dec 9, 2008 11:02 AM

                I believe it's at 414 16th Avenue NW. Does anyone have a number? I want to call and make a reservation but googling Szechuan Restaurant isn't helping. And, of course, the old Cheung's Garden number hasn't been taken over by them. I'd really like to order the fish for tomorrow night, so a number would be great.

                1. re: Suzi Edwards
                  c
                  cancowboy Dec 9, 2008 12:40 PM

                  Szechuan Restaurant
                  414 16th Ave. N.W.
                  403-276-8876

                  Martini Boys has a little overview - http://www.martiniboys.com/Calgary/Sz...

                  1. re: cancowboy
                    s
                    Suzi Edwards Dec 9, 2008 09:15 PM

                    Fantabulous! Thank you!

                    1. re: Suzi Edwards
                      s
                      Suzi Edwards Dec 14, 2008 06:16 PM

                      They were (somewhat randomly) closed on Wednesday. Not sure if that's the usual state of affairs. Will try again next year.

                      1. re: Suzi Edwards
                        k
                        kiwilinda Sep 8, 2010 09:51 AM

                        I have only been to this restaurant once but I thought that the food was excellent. By far the best authentic Chinese food I have had in Canada

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