HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure

Your favorite dish at Grand Sichuan Saint Mark's?

hungrycomposer Aug 24, 2009 08:57 AM

We're having a big multi-generational family meal at Grand Sichuan Saint Mark's. I love the opportunity to try new dishes and order lots of food! Our tastes range from the most adventuresome eaters to Italian ex-pats who are nostalgic for old fashioned Chinese American food.

I love the soup dumplings, crystal dumplings, cucumber with scallion sauce, spinach with ginger sauce, smoked tea duck, spicy Chinese broccoli, red cooked pork and chestnuts, and double cooked pork... (I'm sure there are many dishes I'm forgetting)

But I'm always looking for something new.

  1. alkonost Aug 21, 2012 10:04 AM

    Has anyone tried any of their frog dishes? I was wondering about them, I've never eaten frog prepared Szechuan or chinese style- only deep fried or french. My curiosity is buzzing :)

    1. janethepain Oct 9, 2009 12:13 PM

      Went here with the fam yesterday for a birthday. Ordered a bunch of dishes, but I noticed they were all a bit too salty - has anyone else had that problem? We had:

      dan dan noodles - family enjoyed this, though there wasn't enough peppercorn. that sauce is SO salty

      cucumber with scallion sauce - cool dish, but again, too salty

      soup dumplings - fine

      crystal dumplings - fine

      ox tongue and tripe on hot chili oil - ok now there were enough peppercorns --> family amused by the numbing

      mixed vegetables in bubbling hot pot - actually pretty good, though again, salty. It's a lot of non-American root-stalk-fungus vegetables in a sizzling brown sauce

      pumpkin braised in ginger and scallion - tasted like pumpkin... mom liked it but not sure why it costs $11

      chongqing chicken - i've had this before, and enjoyed it more the first time. the dish was 70% dried peppers. the chicken was salty

      tea-smoked duck - too much smoke, way too much salt. Ridiculously salty. And how is one full mantou bun going to suffice for a platter of duck?? Tasted like ham to me. Disappointing.

      Good thing we didn't order any more, we were stuffed. The waitress had tried to push a soup on us in addition to this feast. Obviously you're supposed to eat it with rice (of which only one small bowl is included with every family-sized platter), but damn, everything was startlingly salty.

      6 Replies
      1. re: janethepain
        penthouse pup Oct 9, 2009 01:04 PM

        The last time I ordered from them, it was the same thing: far too much salt (and I like salty food.)

        1. re: janethepain
          hungrycomposer Oct 9, 2009 02:15 PM

          I haven't been there for a few weeks, but my last meal was delicious. When they printed up their fancy new book-style menu, they hiked up their prices and the cost has gone up considerably, even for a meal for 2.

          1. re: janethepain
            Lau Oct 9, 2009 02:28 PM

            they can be overly salty, i think they might have different chefs sometimes b/c their food can be somewhat inconsistent although their dan dan noodles and wontons in hot oil sauce are the best in the city and maybe NYC (including flushing) when they are on.

            try their cumin beef next time, its the best dish on the menu i think. also, i always ask for more mantou (they give it to you with the cumin beef, but not enough)

            1. re: Lau
              Pan Oct 11, 2009 12:12 AM

              I find the cumin beef very tasty, but it's ALWAYS pretty salty, even if other dishes aren't, so I doubt Jane would like it.

              1. re: Pan
                janethepain Oct 12, 2009 06:51 AM

                I've had the cumin lamb from Wu Liang Ye (I think - either that or another Grand Sichuan that delivers to Murray Hill) and it just wasn't my thing. It seemed overly dry/tough to me? I prefer a moister meat. But good to know to beware of the cumin beef at Grand Sichuan...

                It was funny because it seemed like the non-Chinese clientele ordered the same set of dishes, including the dan dan noodles and the cucumber. Oh, chowhounds.

                1. re: janethepain
                  Pan Oct 13, 2009 09:49 PM

                  I'm not convinced you'd find the cumin beef too dry or tough at Grand Sichuan, but I think you will find it too salty for your taste.

          2. l
            Lau Aug 25, 2009 03:19 PM

            - cumin beef (ask for extra mantou...which are the white buns it comes with): i think this is the best dish here
            - dan dan noodles: i think this is the best version in the city
            - wontons in hot oil: i think this is the best version in the city

            5 Replies
            1. re: Lau
              Pan Aug 25, 2009 10:47 PM

              I like all three. Really the best Dan Dan Noodles in the city, though? Including Flushing, or not?

              1. re: Pan
                kathryn Aug 26, 2009 08:23 AM

                It depends what your preference is -- kind of like pizza. For example, I like more Sichuan peppercorns in mine so I favor the Sichuan Heaven version, but GSI on St Mark's is definitely respectable (but a little too peanut-y for my taste).


                1. re: kathryn
                  Pan Aug 26, 2009 02:09 PM

                  Where's Sichuan Heaven? I did a quick Chowhound search by relevance and found references to Chengdu Heaven but not Sichuan Heaven. Do you mean Chengdu Heaven?

                  1. re: Pan
                    kathryn Aug 26, 2009 02:17 PM

                    Sorry, meant Chengdu Heaven, in the Golden Shopping Mall.

                2. re: Pan
                  Lau Aug 26, 2009 08:26 AM

                  city = manhattan

                  although now that i think of it, they maybe as i thought they were better than S&T or xiao la jiao, but there could very well be better ones in flushing

                  kathryn does bring up a good point though different places prepare dan dan noodles very differently...i once had it in china where it was like a peanut sauce noodle

              2. h
                hungrycomposer Aug 25, 2009 03:16 PM

                Thanks for the replies Our meal was delicious. We had some fans of old fashioned Chinese American food who love orange beef, kung pao chicken, things I wouldn't order myself, but a fun guilty pleasure.

                The smoked tea duck has a different presentation now, with steamed buns (mantou, I think) and hoi sin. The duck was fatty and luscious and the buns beat their old carrot flower by a mile. We also had the fried whole fish which was excellent - I never thought of GS as a seafood restaurant, but I'd definitely order it again.

                1. p
                  Pan Aug 25, 2009 01:26 AM

                  The dish I get most often from there is Fish with Sour Cabbage in a Little Hot Wok. It's quite spicy.

                  Here's a thread with lists of favorite dishes for you to consider:


                  I remember more such threads but can't find them now.

                  Here's an eGullet post from 2006 where I mention some favorite dishes:


                  I would still stand behind all the dishes I mention in that post, except that I haven't had the Dan Dan Noodles for quite some time (but figure they're still good). Unfortunately, they no longer make Steamed Turnip with Cut Spicy Pepper. It was a favorite of mine. The Steamed Fish with Cut Spicy Pepper is OK but I think some of the other whole fish dishes (like Hunan Whole Fish) are tastier.

                  1. jon Aug 24, 2009 10:07 AM

                    i eat here quite frequently. my favorites are the pork with home special sauce, beef (or chicken) with chili sauce, and the minced chicken with red and green peppers (which i order almost every time), and the spicy dry chicken. also love the wontons in spicy oil, sauteed pea shoots, chicken in little hot wok, and the dried string beans with chicken. most things are very good, even the americanized chinese food like sesame chicken and general tso's.

                    Show Hidden Posts