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Wow, Fantastic Sichuan in Billerica, Ma. - Sichuan Gourmet

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lexpatti Dec 31, 2008 05:05 AM

This place has been on my "to go" list since joining Chowhound and having others rave. Thank you Chowhounders!!!
It's in a little strip mall next to the K-Mart Plaza on Boston Rd. (rt. 3a). We decided to go on xmas eve - place was packed and a good 20 min wait (so well worth it). I'll start with the service - excellent. The hostess was very nice, kept coming to our table to check if we were ok (since we ordered some hot dishes). She was surprised "you can handle that?" Several waiters, waitresses made sure we always had what we needed. The food - omg, out of this world phenominal. I loved the little bowl of pickled things at the table as we looked at the menu - great beginning. We started with Dan Dan Noodles that were sooooo tasty and hot, I couldn't stop eating them. I believe they had a ground pork mixed in a few vegies - flavors I can't describe except Fantastic. We also got the spring rolls , also fantastic - piping hot just out of the oil. We proceeded with Xiang La Dry Fish because teh table next to us had it and looked fantastic. It lived up to it's looks. It was very hot, had flecks of pepper throughout with a nice mix of huge chunks of celery, peppers too. We ended with Old Sichuan Chicken (again two pepper hot) but sooo good. The coating on the chicken was almost a bit sweet like they used crushed vanilla wafers as the coating. A wonderful side to the chicken was a sweet marinated cabbage - excellent at cooling my mouth off.

It's wonderful food like this that I wish I could just keep going but we had to take some home. I can't wait to go back.

http://www.laosichuan.com/en/menu.php...

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  1. whs RE: lexpatti Dec 31, 2008 07:19 AM

    Glad you enjoyed it--it's my fave place for Chinese! My office is 5 minutes away, so I go there often.

    2 Replies
    1. re: whs
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      lexpatti RE: whs Dec 31, 2008 10:39 AM

      what is lunch like? Hubby used to work close by too, many went there but he hadn't. Same with step daughter, went for lunch wth co-workers many times and loved it - she hadn't realized that we never been.

      Can't wait to go again with a bigger crowd to try more.

      HNY

      1. re: lexpatti
        whs RE: lexpatti Dec 31, 2008 12:45 PM

        Avoid the lunch combo specials--they have to compete with Rick's down the street, so the offerings are pretty ordinary. Order off the regular menu--the hot and sour soup is special--very different and aromatic. Love the dried chicken with chili sauce and the chicken with spicy chili sauce. The sichuan double cooked bacon is great too.

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      lexpatti RE: lexpatti Sep 3, 2009 06:28 AM

      We have been back a couple times but Tuesday night, WOW!! My future daughter in law had a sore throat so ordered the Wonton Soup for 2. I cannot wait to go back to have my own - it was soooo fantastic. We got our normal Dan Dan noodles (starting to crave this stuff), my son ordered this excellent dry beef and scallion pancakes. I love this place, great customer service skills too.

      30 Replies
      1. re: lexpatti
        whs RE: lexpatti Sep 3, 2009 04:27 PM

        FYI, the two ladies running around are sisters. It's my Friday lunch go-to place, always packed. Smokey cayenne chicken is great.

        1. re: whs
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          lexpatti RE: whs Sep 3, 2009 06:18 PM

          yum, thanks, we keep trying new stuff but still love our very first visit with dan dan noodles and that dry fish Xiang but now I'm adding that soup. we need to go with a crowd so we can try more. :-)

          1. re: lexpatti
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            hargau RE: lexpatti Sep 4, 2009 06:08 AM

            Yea we always get the spicy hot&sour wonton soup for 2. Good stuff. Most likely going tonight!

            1. re: hargau
              whs RE: hargau Sep 5, 2009 05:30 PM

              Had the Ma Po Tofu yesterday--a good version but think I will stick with the smokey cayenne chicken.

              1. re: whs
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                hargau RE: whs Sep 5, 2009 05:43 PM

                Yea im not a big fan of ma po tofu.. My favs are the dried chicken with chili peppers, Spicy wontons in chili oil, Dan dan noodles, hot/sour wonton soup, beef/chicken or pork with spicy chili sauce,meatball sichuan style or the double cooked bacon..

          2. re: whs
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            lexpatti RE: whs Sep 27, 2009 11:00 AM

            Went today, omg fantastic: dan dan noodles of course, that smokey cayenne chicken was great, we also love that fish xiang, had a new dish (Sichuan Beef Kung Bao) that was fantastic too and general gau's chix.

            I love this place - it's going to be our once a week fix!!!

            1. re: lexpatti
              whs RE: lexpatti Sep 27, 2009 01:15 PM

              Is it busy on the weekend? Went there Friday at lunch--there was a line out the door.

              1. re: whs
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                lexpatti RE: whs Sep 27, 2009 04:05 PM

                We met at noon today, only one or two other tables - but within an hour a good 6-8 more parties came in. I'm really going to eat my way through that menu - Wow, Fantastic Food. I'm eating leftovers right now. :-) Dan Dan Noodles are to die for. Next time I need my fix, I'm literally going to post it on Facebook and get a group to go - I need to try more stuff.

                1. re: lexpatti
                  whs RE: lexpatti Sep 28, 2009 06:41 PM

                  Double cooked bacon is my new addiction

                  1. re: whs
                    whs RE: whs Oct 2, 2009 05:11 PM

                    had the dandan noodles and hot & sour soup today--it was a little less crowded at 1:30--want to try the beef tendon next time

                    1. re: whs
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                      lexpatti RE: whs Oct 3, 2009 05:24 PM

                      mmmm, I keep eyeing that one!!

                      1. re: lexpatti
                        Keithel RE: lexpatti Oct 4, 2009 09:13 AM

                        I can attest -- beef tendon is just like the others you mention -- excellent, excellent, excellent. If you like their Dan Dan noodles, you'll no doubt love their Jia-Jiang noodle soup (I'm probably butchering the romanized spelling).
                        The eggplant is also excellent.

                        1. re: Keithel
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                          lexpatti RE: Keithel Oct 5, 2009 05:21 PM

                          it's om my list for next time

                          1. re: Keithel
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                            lexpatti RE: Keithel Oct 12, 2009 05:50 AM

                            Is that a cold dish, because I tried to order it and she actually made a face and said "that's cold, you might want this" and pointed to another beef dish. I didn't order it for that reason but next time I'll push through her face. No bacon dishes Fri night but we did try 4 new dishes - working our way through this fabulous menu. We can't seem to find a great shrimp dish. Any suggestions? We've tried tang and Yu Xiang Sauce (w/broccoli, mush). The spicy wings were fantastic this time and of the 4 dishes, fav was the Sichuan Kung Bao Chicken. We had a really nice pork dish, shredded beef with peppers and shrimp dish.

                            1. re: lexpatti
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                              hargau RE: lexpatti Oct 12, 2009 06:13 AM

                              I have not had much luck finding a standout shrimp dish there. The Tangerine ones are decent as are the garlic steamed ones on the original creation menu on their website. http://www.laosichuan.com/images/menu... No real spicy shrimp dishes though.
                              Those wings are nice. Have you tried the (chicken,beef or pork) in spicy chili sauce? Its like a boiled meat with cabbage in a large bowl, nice and spicy. Here is the beef one http://www.laosichuan.com/images/menu...

                              1. re: hargau
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                                lexpatti RE: hargau Oct 12, 2009 07:12 AM

                                I kept eyeing that - next time (or over the next few times since I cannot completely hog the ordering) will be the 1) eggplant 2) a bacon dish 3) that beef tendon 4) dish w/ spicy chili sauce and the only 3 pepper dish (GinGu Fish Filet)

                                I wish they had a buffet to try everything. I'm the one eyeing everyones table to get ideas.

                                1. re: lexpatti
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                                  hargau RE: lexpatti Oct 12, 2009 08:47 AM

                                  Then when you finish that menu you can start on Sichuan Palace in Chelmsford. We go there quite a bit too. http://www.sichuanpalace.net/ We find it more relaxing and less hectic and still really good food. They have many of the same dishes too and you can relax in a nice booth.. My only complaint with Sichuan gourmet in Billerica is that sometimes you feel rushed because of the crowds and the tables/chairs are so on top of each other that i feel like im sitting with strangers. A couple of the front tables by the cashier are especially bad as the people waiting, paying or getting takeout have their butts in your face and tend to bang your chair alot.

                                  1. re: hargau
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                                    lexpatti RE: hargau Oct 12, 2009 09:12 AM

                                    thanks, I'll have to give that a try - we do Sukura's in that same strip mall (I believe)??? Is there another Sichuan place in Chelmsford? Hubby turned his nose up when I mention one in Chelmsford - but I think he may have thought about another one.

                                    1. re: lexpatti
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                                      hargau RE: lexpatti Oct 12, 2009 09:19 AM

                                      Yes it is the same strip mall as Sakura. Not sure if there is another in Chelmsford or not. This one has only been around for about a year i think. We find most the dishes are on par with the other Sichuan places around. You can also get hot pot there as well, looks good but we have not tried it. Some of the dishes i prefer at Sichuan Gourmet though, like the dumplings in chili oil. They have alot of different stuff on the menu.

                                      1. re: hargau
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                                        lexpatti RE: hargau Nov 7, 2009 06:31 AM

                                        We did try the one in Chelmsford and agree that ambiance can be better but still love Sichian Gourmet better. We went again last night and got a new dish - eggplant =great. I still haven't gotten the twice cooked bacon dish (only weekends) or the beef tendon - next time. We really do love the ambiance, we end up making friends with the folks next to us so we do enjoy that closeness. The servers are starting to know us, always a welcoming feeling.

                                        1. re: lexpatti
                                          whs RE: lexpatti Nov 7, 2009 03:53 PM

                                          I tried a new dish yesterday-beef noodle soup. Sounds boring, but huge flavors. Like pho, but much richer stock. This will be a go-to dish on cold winter days.

                                          1. re: whs
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                                            lexpatti RE: whs Nov 8, 2009 05:19 AM

                                            was that at SG??

                                            1. re: lexpatti
                                              whs RE: lexpatti Nov 8, 2009 01:55 PM

                                              yes--soups are a part of the menu I haven't really explored.

                                              1. re: whs
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                                                hargau RE: whs Nov 8, 2009 02:32 PM

                                                I have had that beef noodle soup at the Chelmsford Sichuan Palace. At SG i cant resist getting the Hot and Sour Wonton so have never made it to any of the other soups.

                                                1. re: hargau
                                                  whs RE: hargau Nov 9, 2009 03:00 PM

                                                  will have to try!

                                      2. re: lexpatti
                                        Dinsdale45 RE: lexpatti Nov 9, 2009 10:54 AM

                                        There's another one in town (N. Chelmsford) called Szechuan Chef, and I submitted a review in this forum. This is my #1B Chinese place in town, with SP being #1A. Not the "typical" Sichuan cuisine you see at SG, SP, et al, but very flavorful standard dishes and some interesting specialties from the Chinese menu.

                                        1. re: Dinsdale45
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                                          hargau RE: Dinsdale45 Nov 14, 2009 04:53 AM

                                          So we tried the Szechuan Chef. We got 3 dishes all off the "chinese menu" plus some dumplings. They ranged from horrible to meh... People were very friendly though and room was very nice and clean looking. I certainly would not recommend it to anyone seeking Sichuan food for sure. We left saying that if we lived 5 minutes away we would try some more of the menu and give it another shot, but for driving 20-25min to get there we wouldnt go again and would pick another place. There were several Asian families dining which is always a good sign to me, perhaps they knew something we didnt.

                                          1. re: hargau
                                            Dinsdale45 RE: hargau Nov 16, 2009 05:18 AM

                                            Sorry you didn't like it. As I said in my earlier posts, the name of the restaurant is misleading and I wouldn't call this "Sichuan" style cooking, but I would call it a cut above the bland Americanized suburban Chinese restaurants around here. The chicken with sour cabbage and the roast pork lo mein (I usually steer clear of this at other places, but I bought it once for the kids) are two favorites. I've tried other dishes that are very good, too. Maybe your expectations were too high, when I first ate here, I was pleasantly surprised.

                                            1. re: Dinsdale45
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                                              hargau RE: Dinsdale45 Nov 16, 2009 06:34 AM

                                              My expectations were actually not very high cause i read your disclaimer on it not being Sichuan style cooking.. I like just about any chinese food from the mall food court to the most authentic stuff. This just didnt sit well with either of us. I ended up throwing out all the leftovers which is very rare for me, im tyically eating them cold for breakfast the next day.. The worst dish for sure was what they called "szechuan noodles (hot)".. Listed on the chinese menu and on the app menu. We expected something like dan dan noodles or something similar. What we got was an overcooked bowl of what looked like angelhair pasta. It had some sort of sauce which was creamy sort of like peanut suace you sometimes get but no peanut flavor.. main flavor was vinager. Not very good at all.

                                              Then we got one of the spicy chicken dishes off the Chinese menu. It was all very poor cuts of grisly dark chicken with basically a sweet sticky general gaus type prep.. Not very spicy at all either, despite several verbal warnings and "are you sure you want this" type questions.

                                              Pan fried dumplings, nothing special.

                                              Best dish was a crispy tofu with soy sprinkles dish off the chinese menu. Very simple/plain but interesting.

                                              I really wanted to love it cause the people were so friendly and nice.

                                              1. re: hargau
                                                Dinsdale45 RE: hargau Nov 16, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                I had those noodles, too, and I agree that they were not what I was expecting. I never ordered them again. I once had the chicken with chile dish that was pretty good, "extra heat" apparently was just a liberal dose of sambal oelek or other vinegary chile paste. I once tried to get into a discussion of "ma la" with them but the gist was lost in translation. Most of the other dishes I've had are well above average (I didn't say great), it's close by, and the kids like this stuff more than Sichuan Palace. Again, try the pork lo mein next time. Never had better.

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                lexpatti RE: lexpatti Nov 15, 2009 02:12 PM

                mmmmmm mmmmm mmmm, got our fix of Dan Dan Noodles tonight and finally got the twiced cooked bacon dish - wowsa - fantastic. We also tried a new shrimp dish that was great - Shrimp with Sichuan Chili Sauce.

                This has definately become our "once a week" dining fix!!!!

                I'm anxious to try the only 3 pepper dish - Jin Gu fish fillets and that whole fish dish looks excellent too.

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                  lexpatti RE: lexpatti Jan 16, 2010 06:46 AM

                  Oooo, ooooo New menu - sooooo fantastic. We got our Dan Dan noodle fix and the spiced wings and tried 2 new things from their new menu: fish/tofu cubes deep fried with a Yu Xiang sauce on the side - really fantastic appetizer. We also tried a cumin/chili lamb from the new menu - wow!!!! Place was hopping, we met John (had a wonderful chat with him about the Framingham location, new menu, etc). As usual, the staff was fantastic - they really know hospitality. Did I say, I love this place!!! I could eat here several times a week but I'm settling for once a week and miss it badly when I can't make it.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: lexpatti
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                    hargau RE: lexpatti Jan 17, 2010 03:35 AM

                    New menu! Interesting. Is this in addition to the old menu, like a new specials menu to replace the one they had for a long time or is it a total replacement of both of the menus they had?

                    1. re: hargau
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                      lexpatti RE: hargau Jan 17, 2010 07:48 AM

                      new specials, old GREAT menu still in tact. Lots of great new stuff to try. I never tire of this place. Our problem is we fall in love with a new dish each time we go but still want to try new. A buffet of EVERYTHING would b fantastic!!!!! (or go once a week at least). This is one of those places that my "favorite dish" keeps changing. Good problem to have I guess.

                      1. re: lexpatti
                        whs RE: lexpatti Jan 20, 2010 03:13 PM

                        ok, help me get out of my rut. I order the same things every week, the smoky cayenne chicken, the double cooked bacon, the dan dan noodles, the hot and sour soup. What's your fave rave?

                        1. re: whs
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                          lexpatti RE: whs Jan 20, 2010 03:58 PM

                          Xiang La Dry Fish Filet, Sichuan Beef Kung Bao, spicy wings, scallian pancakes (not hot), that new fantastic app fish/tofu cubes deep fried with an awesome sauce on the side, the new cumin lamb dish and of course dan dan noodles.

                          the new special menu = more great items to try

                          :-)

                          1. re: whs
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                            hargau RE: whs Jan 20, 2010 08:29 PM

                            We really like those dishes you list but other good ones are the Fish fillets with spicy chili sauce, Old Sichuan chicken or dried chicken with chili sauce which is very similar but small bits like popcorn chicken on crack. meatball sichuan style (not spicy). I will have to disagree on the scallion pancakes. (my gf gets them every time to fight the heat on some dishes and every time we think they are way undercooked, even though we always ask for them extra well done)

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                      lexpatti RE: lexpatti Jan 30, 2010 05:45 AM

                      another wonderful evening at SG, tried two new dishes: the owner John brought over the Sichuan Wonton w. Spicy Chili Sauce appetizer for us to try (knowing we hadn't gotten that yet) - said it's the most popular dish! AND I KNOW WHY - SOOOOOO FANTASTIC. It's hot and sweet. Also got a new lamb dish on the new menu, seasoned lamb cooked perfectly tender (I'm always amazed and how tender the meats are, many places it's dry). We invited my cousin & hubby and they brought some of their friends -8 total (all from Billerica and never been - crazy) - although majority do not like spicy or are adventurous eaters - they enjoyed but maybe next time we get together with them, we'll do a steak place because I really want a group that's going to order ALLLLLL the things I want to try! yes, selfish of me. I have another group in mind, after a recent party and of course me talking about my favorite restaurants - Hubby's HS classmate chimes up and says "OMG, I do the SG once a week" - she works in Billerica. Small world! Got to coordinate that group together for a SG field trip!

                      If you haven't been, go!!!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: lexpatti
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                        hargau RE: lexpatti Jan 30, 2010 06:05 AM

                        we get those alot too but never when we get the H&S wonton soup since they are the same wontons. We tried a new to us fish dish last time that was great, forget which one but it was one of the ones served in the metal pan. The "new" menu wasnt really new to us, we have been getting that specials menu for quite sometime now. Perhaps last fall

                        1. re: hargau
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                          lexpatti RE: hargau Jan 30, 2010 06:14 AM

                          yes, same flavors - I love that soup too. Maybe I was wrong but I thought they agreed that new items were added. I still want to get the 3 pepper fish dish. Have you done the fish/tofu cubes, fried? flavors are hard to pinpoint but delish.

                          1. re: lexpatti
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                            hargau RE: lexpatti Jan 30, 2010 06:55 AM

                            I have not done that but saw it on the table next to us last time. Where is the fish? Looked just like tofu cubes from what i could see across the room

                            1. re: hargau
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                              lexpatti RE: hargau Feb 1, 2010 05:45 AM

                              yes, looks like tofu but it's tofu and fish mixed, then made into cubes - consistency is more like tofu, but fantastic fish flavors. really good.

                      2. MC Slim JB RE: lexpatti Jan 31, 2010 12:20 PM

                        I so love the Billerica Sichuan Gourmet. You've tried many of my favorites, but I don't see anyone mentioning fresh bamboo shoots with spicy wonder sauce. That's a great starter to share, makes you want to drop-kick any plate with canned bamboo shoots in it out the window.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: MC Slim JB
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                          hargau RE: MC Slim JB Jan 31, 2010 02:06 PM

                          I have not tried that yet but i think i saw it at another table last time i was there. Looked like noodles at first but then i figured it was those. Is it served cold?

                          1. re: hargau
                            MrsCheese RE: hargau Jan 31, 2010 03:27 PM

                            It's cold (or at least not warm), and awesome. The version with sesame oil is very good too if you want something non-spicy to counteract all of the other dishes with chili sauce.

                            1. re: MrsCheese
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                              lexpatti RE: MrsCheese Feb 1, 2010 05:46 AM

                              OM goodness, another one to add to my "have to try" list.

                              1. re: lexpatti
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                                hargau RE: lexpatti Feb 1, 2010 07:13 AM

                                I will have to try it too but the idea of an entire order of nothing but bamboo shoots does sound a bit strange to me!

                                1. re: hargau
                                  MC Slim JB RE: hargau Feb 1, 2010 09:00 AM

                                  It's cold, not gigantic, and still better shared than eaten solo.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
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                                    hargau RE: MC Slim JB Feb 9, 2010 03:54 AM

                                    Finally had the fresh bamboo shoots with wonder sauce. We both loved it. Also tried the fried fish/tofu app, not a fan of that one at all. Was very similar to vietnamese fish cakes. Odd texture, very fishy.

                                    1. re: hargau
                                      justbeingpolite RE: hargau Feb 9, 2010 07:08 AM

                                      If you like the fresh bamboo, try the shredded pork with bamboo shoots. Not a spicy dish, and it was hard to not get all spicy, but delicious, and a good contrast!

                                  2. re: hargau
                                    ScubaSteve RE: hargau Feb 1, 2010 09:03 AM

                                    the pork with bamboo shoots at Taiwan Cafe is pretty good too.

                            2. re: MC Slim JB
                              justbeingpolite RE: MC Slim JB Feb 1, 2010 09:34 AM

                              I'm with slim on the bamboo shoots. Why is no one else serving dishes with fresh, whole shoots like these? They're amazing, and the spicy wonder sauce is worth the "next day pain" they sometimes cause. I disagree with him below, though. Not gonna share my shoots.

                              1. re: justbeingpolite
                                whs RE: justbeingpolite Feb 1, 2010 04:02 PM

                                When I was a kid in Japan we used to dig up fresh bamboo shoots and my mom would steam them with soy sauce--nothing compares to the flavor of new shoots.

                              2. re: MC Slim JB
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                                lexpatti RE: MC Slim JB Feb 20, 2010 04:12 AM

                                Finally had those bamboo shoots last night, loved them. Its a nice balance with all the heat! Very interesting.

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                                lexpatti RE: lexpatti Feb 20, 2010 04:25 AM

                                Scheduled another "group Sichuan fix" last night and everyone was pleased - one friend had just been the day before for lunch (she too has an addiction)! got to try some new dishes, always soooo pleased - new ones were:
                                sichuan green beans (and I don't like beans but these were excellent)
                                non spicy veggy entree (excellent flavors, creamy sauce, nice crisp veggies)
                                sichuan gourmet bacon - very nice with peppers
                                bamboo shoots in a nice sauce - awesome and a nice change for heat

                                another non spicy was sesame chicken - very nice fresh flavors, sweet but tender chix
                                Love the old sichuan chix (haven't had that in a while) and we had our usual addiction (which is growing) of Dan Dan noodles, Xiang la fish, scallion pancakes, wontons in chili sauce (next time I'm ordering 2 bowls - this is just to die for), and cumin and curry lamb. I love this place, and love going with a group so I can try more and new.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: lexpatti
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                                  rcianci RE: lexpatti Feb 22, 2010 06:35 PM

                                  Went again tonight. Wanted to try the baby cuttlefish with pickled chili, but they were out. Had the steamed bacon with fresh garlic sauce (fatty but yum!) and the Xiang La fish. Must go again. Must try more. Have turned into Sichuan Gourmet Zombie.

                                  1. re: rcianci
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                                    qianning RE: rcianci Feb 23, 2010 06:45 AM

                                    don't know if it is still available, but last week they had a special "xiang la crab legs" (on the specials menu, but only written in characters) it was excellent.

                                    1. re: qianning
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                                      lexpatti RE: qianning Feb 23, 2010 07:12 AM

                                      I really wanted to get that crab but others at the table weren't interested in playing with shells. I used to go to this place in Wolfboro NH that was called East of Suez and you could go with a group (went once with 25) and we would just order "chef's choice" and this parade of wonderful food would come out family style. not sure they still do this but SG should do this. Just say "bring us 4 apps and 4 entrees - you choose"!!! The only thing is spice level so to make it easier "2 pepper - 4 app, 4 entree chef's choice". LOL Everything is sooooo good, they could really do this!

                                      1. re: qianning
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                                        rcianci RE: qianning Feb 23, 2010 05:29 PM

                                        Now I am sorry I did not ask about the items (written in characters) at the bottom of the specials menu. Did you happen to ask what the others were? If not, I will ask them myself. I may stop by there tomorrow on the way home to Vermont.

                                        1. re: rcianci
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                                          qianning RE: rcianci Feb 24, 2010 07:05 AM

                                          i don't remember them all...one was "xin nian xiao chao", i.e. a nian gao-new year's cake-but they were already out of that for the day, so we couldn't get it. it is definitely a holiday dish, but they might still have it through the 14th day of the new year, around the 2 or 3rd of march.

                                          funny lexpatti mentions diners not wanting to play around with shells....originally i couldn't imagine why the folks at SCG hadn't bothered to translate the crab dish...now i know! it was a very taste dish, but definitely "high grapple factor" as Fuschia Dunlop would put it.

                                          1. re: rcianci
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                                            qianning RE: rcianci Feb 24, 2010 07:09 AM

                                            just one thing, nian gao is technically a "cake", and it is slightly sweet, but the texture is more like jelly beans than like genoise, and it is usually served with the meal, not after. and in this rendition, although i didn't get to try it, i'm pretty sure it is cut into strips/pieces and sauteed, served warm, not cold/room temp.

                                            1. re: qianning
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                                              rcianci RE: qianning Feb 24, 2010 04:41 PM

                                              Thanks much, qianning! Wound up having the fresh bamboo shoots in spicy wonder sauce (fantastic!) and the old Sichuan chicken (also great). Looks like the weather will keep me down here one more night, so tomorrow I will try something off the "characters" menu.

                                              1. re: rcianci
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                                                lexpatti RE: rcianci Feb 24, 2010 04:57 PM

                                                I'm soooo jealous, how many times have you eaten there this week? LOL I've been trying for once a week but unfortunatly Life gets in teh way!!!

                                                1. re: lexpatti
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                                                  rcianci RE: lexpatti Feb 25, 2010 09:35 AM

                                                  So far, three times. I'm in the area on business and the weather is keeping me from returning to Vermont. Tonight will probably be the last time for a while as I plan to return home tomorrow. Make no mistake though, SG is now my "go to" place for when I'm staying in the area. There's lots of menu left to explore.

                                                  1. re: rcianci
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                                                    lexpatti RE: rcianci Feb 26, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                    hope it was a great trip home, I came down from Lakes Region this morning (off and on, pouring). you should search the board for Lowell options next time too (not to pull you away from my fav, but Lowell/chelmsford has some great options for dining if you like diversity: portugese, vietnamese, cambodian, lots of asian options)

                                        2. re: rcianci
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                                          hargau RE: rcianci Feb 23, 2010 07:06 AM

                                          We love that fish dish

                                          1. re: rcianci
                                            KWagle RE: rcianci Oct 4, 2010 12:43 AM

                                            Oh MAN, I missed baby cuttlefish with pickled peppers? This really sucks. :-(

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                                          hargau RE: lexpatti May 8, 2010 09:30 AM

                                          Wow tried a new to us dish last night and loved it. If you love the hot& sour wonton soup, try this one next time. I know, I know, its hard to do but trust me! It is under Noodle Soup and is called "Zha Jiang Noodle Soup with Pork & Spicy Sauce"...
                                          It is basically the same broth and the same greens but instead of the wontons it has a ton of noodles plus what make the broth much better is a lot of ground pork. The soup eats like a meal. To get our fix on the dumplings we were missing in the soup, we ordered a order of the Sichuan dumplings in chili sauce seperate as an app. Also got the Xiang La dried fish fillets which are always great!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: hargau
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                                            lexpatti RE: hargau May 8, 2010 12:17 PM

                                            yummmm, got to try that next time. those ARE my flavors - thanks for reporting, I really need a fix soon

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