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Szechuan - Toronto - Where to go

allanc Feb 14, 2009 12:42 PM

I would appreciate suggestions for Szechuan in Toronto.

I used to really enjoy Szechuan King on Bathurst (especially their lunch menu) but they have closed that location.
This brings me to question # 2 - does anybody know if the owner opened up at another location under a different name?

Thank you in advance.

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  1. JonasBrand RE: allanc Feb 14, 2009 02:28 PM

    Szechuan Legend is superb!

    Szechuan Legend
    3280 Midland Ave, Toronto, ON M1V, CA

    8 Replies
    1. re: JonasBrand
      allanc RE: JonasBrand Feb 14, 2009 02:58 PM

      Hi Jonas,

      Thanks for the suggestion.
      Two questions - do you recommend any specific dishes?
      I assume that it is true Szechuan (and not 'Americianized'). Correct?

      1. re: allanc
        Tatai RE: allanc Feb 14, 2009 05:27 PM

        allanc, if you really enjoyed Szechuan King on Bathurst, then it's Americanized Szechuan that you're after. I remember the dishes at Szechuan King as being excessively sweet and lacking in the spice and balance/depth of flavours that I associate with authentic Sichuan cuisine.

        1. re: Tatai
          allanc RE: Tatai Feb 14, 2009 06:47 PM

          I am definitely not an expert on Szechuan and will stand corrected.
          I was comparing it to other restaurants that I considered 'Americianized'.
          Now, you *really* have piqued my interest as to what authentic Szechuan tastes like. Seriously!
          Do you have any recommendations as to restaurants/dishes I should try?

          1. re: allanc
            JonasBrand RE: allanc Feb 15, 2009 05:12 AM

            There was a spicy eggplant dish with garlic and I think cilantro that was the tastiest version of the dish I've had. Also a dish of tiny fried piece of chicken tossed with szechuan peppercorns and big red chiles was fun.

            On word of caution: the way too spicy and vinegary glass noodle dish with rings of intestine I would avoid next visit.

            Definitely authentic (not westernized).

            In the same plaza is a fish market which is worth a quick walk through. They have huge live crabs and geoducks.

            1. re: JonasBrand
              childofthestorm RE: JonasBrand Feb 15, 2009 05:16 AM

              I would also recommend the Dan Dan noodles at Legend, as well as the cumin stir-fried lamb (provided you like cumin, pretty overwhelming in this dish).

              When I was there I was the only white guy in the room. It is definitely authentic.

            2. re: allanc
              Tatai RE: allanc Feb 15, 2009 05:55 AM

              Piquing people's interest in various foods is one of my favourite activities! Happy to oblige.

              You'll find the following, quite old, threads to be fabulous, and they'll tell you almost everything you want to know about which restaurants to go to for authentic Sichuan and other regional mainland cooking in the GTA, as well as recommended dishes at each. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/362881; http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/444481. I was introduced to authentic Sichuan cooking thanks to the thread that Royal Jelly initiated.

              Your taste buds are in for a real treat. Enjoy!

              1. re: Tatai
                allanc RE: Tatai Feb 16, 2009 06:39 AM

                Thanks so much!

                1. re: Tatai
                  allanc RE: Tatai Feb 17, 2009 07:45 PM

                  Thank you to everyone who responsed.

        2. Brain of J RE: allanc Feb 17, 2009 02:12 PM

          The below list comes from a Toronto Star article last year on Sichuan / Szechuan restaurants in the Toronto area.

          Ba Shu Ren Jia, 4771 Steeles Ave. E., 416-335-0788
          BackyardGarden, 3636 Steeles Ave. E., Units 113A-116, Markham, 905-415-8988
          Chilli Secret, 9021 Leslie St., Unit 9, Richmond Hill, 905-764-9119
          Chong Qing Ma La Tang, in plaza on northeast corner of Finch Ave. and Leslie St.
          Sichuan Garden, 361 Spadina Ave., 416-593-6265
          PALS WT International Restaurant, 376 College St., 416-929-1212

          2 Replies
          1. re: Brain of J
            Dimbulb RE: Brain of J Feb 17, 2009 02:29 PM

            Pals WT closed a while ago.

            1. re: Dimbulb
              Brain of J RE: Dimbulb Feb 17, 2009 02:46 PM

              Thanks for the update! Okay, scratch PALS off the list!

          2. d
            downtown RE: allanc Feb 19, 2009 08:33 AM

            Both Sezchuan Legend and Chili Secret are excellent. There is also an option named Hot Spicy Spicy at Leslie & Finch that is less atmospheric but not bad. All 3 are definitely authentic szechuan. If you are going to Szechuan Legend I would also recommend the tea smoked duck - unique and delicious, even for non-duck lovers. The dumplings in chili oil are also great.

            2 Replies
            1. re: downtown
              allanc RE: downtown Feb 19, 2009 01:03 PM

              Duck .... I love the taste. The only problem is that nobody that I dine with does.
              I guess I will have to eat as much as I want (or can) and take the rest home.

              1. re: downtown
                ekkridon RE: downtown Mar 10, 2009 07:35 PM

                I just came back from a meal at Sezchuan Legend and I heartily agree - everything was delicious. We had the lamb hot pot, the twice cooked pork, the chili chicken and the *hangs head a bit* kung pow shrimp. Leading the parade was the Sesame Pancake and the Wontons in Chili Sauce and we finished it all up with Deep Fried Milk, Red Bean Pancake and Deep Fried Cream Puffs. It was all fantastic - mouth numb and satisfied we returned to the downtown. I especially reccommend the hot pot and the twice cooked pork - Its well worth the trip out there. Total bill was only around $100.

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