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Sichuan House on Spadina

ziggystardust Jan 21, 2010 06:09 PM

I just noticed this place, has anyone tried it yet?

  1. Teep May 14, 2010 08:06 AM

    Went for Dan Dan noodles, two thumbs down. Yes I asked for no meat, but that doesn't mean it has to come with nothing but a few boiled napa leaves, two pea sized bits of preserved veggies, and 1/4 teaspoon of scallions. The sauce is flavourful and tingly with szechuan pepper, but too much sesame paste and the spiciness level is maybe 1 out of 10.

    1. z
      ziggystardust Apr 20, 2010 07:14 PM

      I finally tried the place on the weekend. We got a beef and green onion dish that was good, but the mapo tofu was killer. My dining companion was raised in Beijing and I've lived in China, so between the two of us, we've eaten a lot of authentic Chinese food and we had to stop eating it about a 1/3 of the way through the dish because our mouths had gone numb. I'm not sure if that's a selling point or not but it was impressive.

      9 Replies
      1. re: ziggystardust
        munchieHK Apr 20, 2010 10:10 PM

        It means they used too much Szechuan pepper. The pepper should be used to accent a dish, not overwhelm it. What is the point of paying for a dish you can't finish? I would have sent it back.

        1. re: munchieHK
          Marimba Apr 21, 2010 05:07 AM

          Have you tried it?...Marimba!

          1. re: munchieHK
            ziggystardust Apr 21, 2010 07:13 PM

            We got the rest in a doggie bag and have been enjoying it this week. When I lived in China, I ate many dishes in many restaurants that would qualify as a fail according to your standards. It's definitely not for everyone though.

          2. re: ziggystardust
            chalenegirl Apr 21, 2010 12:40 AM

            i can't wait to try out that ma po tofu.

            1. re: ziggystardust
              skylineR33 Apr 21, 2010 07:53 PM

              Do you mean it was impressive because it numbs your mouth to the level that you cannot continue eating the dish ? If you want this effect, just add lots of szehuan pepper, it is easy to make.

              Just a note that Beijing and Szechuan are very far from each other, it is even more further apart than going from Spain to Italy, and they have their own cuisine.

              1. re: skylineR33
                ziggystardust Apr 22, 2010 07:27 PM

                Thanks Skyline, as I said, I've lived in China and am very familiar with the geography. Although I've visited Beijing, I've never lived there. I did live in Xi'an for a year and a lot of restaurants had chefs from Sichuan. I also lived near Xiamen in Guangdong and a lot of restaurants were based on Hunanese cuisine (which I've yet to find in Toronto). In my experience in both places, having eaten at both high end as well as street restaurants, the food was often spicier than what I found at Sichuan House. Perhaps all these cooks were poorly trained in your opinion?

                1. re: ziggystardust
                  skylineR33 Apr 22, 2010 08:30 PM

                  I suppose you are talking about Sichuan cuisine. Yes, I do find there are not too many good chef in Sichuan cuisine here. There are many immigrants from China nowadays and a number of them just want to open up a business here to fulfill the requirement, they may work as a cook in China but I don't think many of them has lots of experience or even formal training.

                  1. re: skylineR33
                    ziggystardust Apr 22, 2010 08:44 PM

                    Any idea on where to find good Hunan cuisine in Toronto?

                    1. re: ziggystardust
                      skylineR33 Apr 22, 2010 08:48 PM

                      There is one in the plaza near Pacific Mall, it is opened not too long ago, but I have not tried it myself.

            2. ekim256 Apr 20, 2010 10:37 AM

              Closed on Tuesdays, FYI

              1. j
                jonathanfung Mar 28, 2010 06:06 PM

                Sichuan House on 394 Spadina

                I reign from Hong Kong and am raised to a family of food critics so naturally i am an extremely fussy person when it comes to food and don't take any nonsense for example, seeing people at Sichuan House ordering general tsaos and spring rolls(you will never see a chinese person order spring rolls at a chinese restaurant regardless of the kind of region the cuisine hails from). I would tell those people to pack their bags and go to "spring rolls" chain restaurant so they can eat their "north americanized asian food" Sichuan House is by far the most authentic Sichuan experience i have had in toronto and all their regional dishes are superb.

                My top picks: 1. Spicy Beef Salad 322. Net Catch Fish in Spicy Broth 501. Fried lamb with cumin, onion and soy sauce 808. Cold noodle salad with shredded chicken in hot sauce 806. Dragon wontons in spicy sauce 814. sesame beef pancakes

                this is probably the only joint around chinatown that i will give two thumbs up but it isnt for everyone; sichuan cuisine is very firey and has strong flavors compared to other regions in china

                4 Replies
                1. re: jonathanfung
                  Brain of J Apr 7, 2010 10:38 AM

                  But is General Tso Chicken on the menu at Sichuan House? GTC, when done right, is a beautiful thing.

                  1. re: Brain of J
                    Minister of Kebab Apr 8, 2010 05:27 PM

                    Fried lamb with cumin, onion and soy sauce 808...

                    OK Jonathanfung....this sounds very promising thanks for posting...so share..how good was the lamb..not often that you get a good cumin lamb...

                  2. re: jonathanfung
                    szw Apr 21, 2010 09:06 PM

                    My favourite sichuan is Ba Shu Ren Jia....how does this compare? Worth the trek to Spadina? Currently I have no reason to ever step foot in spadina chinatown because I live uptown and eat in Markham/scarborough/Richmond HIll.

                    1. re: jonathanfung
                      Crispier Crouton Apr 30, 2010 10:18 AM

                      jonathanfung, I don't know what you're talking about, it's not uncommon at all for Chinese people to order spring rolls when they're having dim sum.

                    2. ekim256 Feb 26, 2010 02:28 PM

                      do you mean Sichuan Garden Restaurant? I've never seen Sichuan House

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ekim256
                        ziggystardust Feb 27, 2010 06:12 AM

                        Nope. Sichuan House is a new place across the street from Sichuan Garden.

                        1. re: ziggystardust
                          ekim256 Mar 1, 2010 07:13 AM

                          hmm! Okay, so it's around Dundas & Bay then? I couldn't find it on google, but I'll add it to my list. Also hunting for a hot pot place downtown :-) Thanks!

                          1. re: ekim256
                            Underdog Rally Mar 1, 2010 09:22 AM

                            It's on the western side of Spadina. I'm not sure of the address, but I think it's between 370 and 400, visible from Sichuan Garden. I did a double take, thinking that Sichuan Garden had moved.

                            I couldn't find it on Google maps or streetview either, so I'm guessing it's new enough that it hasn't been recorded. If you're in a hurry to check it out, just walk south on Spadina from College. If not, hopefully someone has a picture of what to look for!

                      2. t
                        timmychanga Feb 17, 2010 04:08 PM

                        I was there last weekend. We had 3 dishes, the shanghai noodles, the seafood noodles, and the diced chicken with dried chilies. The noodles were disapointing, and tasted undercooked and store bought. The diced chicken was good however, lots of chilies, quite spicy. Im considering going back for the hotpot. Seems if you go for the sichuan food your gonna get your moneys worth, just dont wonder far from it as only 1 or 3 dishes was good, and it was the sichuan one. I say aproach with caution.

                        Also if anyone's tried their hot pot I'd like to know how it is. Cheers.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: timmychanga
                          ziggystardust Feb 17, 2010 06:31 PM

                          I'm curious about the hot pot as well. Ever since the decent hot pot place on Baldwin in Kensington was replaced by yet another tattoo parlour, it's been lacking around here.

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