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Decent "new" Sichuan restaurant option - Sterling Hts., MI

v
vtombrown Jul 8, 2010 09:40 PM

As long advertised in the local Chinese newspaper, this week the Trizest Sichuan Restaurant Group took over the old China Garden Cantonese restaurant on the NE corner of 14 Mile and Dequindre (consistent with chowhound Coney with Everything's observation that this stretch of Dequindre is a nice international gateway). The sign from the previous place hasn't yet changed. These are the same people who own the Hong Kong restaurant in Lansing, which is somewhat known for its Sichuan dishes.

Extrapolating from my meal, 85% of the food is blah. The trick is to get the 15% which is pretty authentic and good. Avoid the non-Sichuan dishes (generally stick with sections M and Z on the menu). I personally also avoided the scary dishes, so perhaps JanPrimus will go and report on them-- Pig's blood curd, Pork kidney, Cold pig's ear salad, Pig stomach, Pig intestine, frog, etc..

First, I recommend the Sichuan cold noodle salad appetizer (Z01), which is giant and which does "noodles in a light simple spicy sauce," as well as it can be done. May be too simply plain for some (Boagman?), but this is the real deal. Inform the waitperson you like VERY spicy---extra chilies and extra Sichuan peppercorns. Not that the Cantonese waitperson very well understands English, or Sichuanese for that matter; but, at least the chef is from Sichuan and he'll like your spirit if he does get the message.

The fresh green beans fried with dried chili flakes and a little ground pork was also a very good and authentic dish (P02). Lastly, the Double Cooked Side Pork (salted but unsmoked bacon), with spicy oil and cabbage was a WINNER (M04), even though the pork could have been pre-sliced a little thicker and been less salty. Average entree pricing is $10, and I found this reasonable, considering the big sizes and the freshness of the vegetables.

The one disappointment I had was the Spicy Chicken (M18). This was cubes of chicken breast battered with a packaged "almond boneless chicken" breading to which the chef added a little of his own chili and peppercorn powders. Some people will like this, but if you're not gross, then you shouldn't order it. FYI--I also ordered Mu Shu Pork (M01), which had lots of tender pork in it though not much else; not to mention, that it was literally served with Meijer Mexican tortillas. For this, I only blame myself.

Still brining were the homemade Sichuan pickles, so I AM SOON going to have to go back.

  1. b
    boagman Jul 8, 2010 11:54 PM

    Sounds at least intriguing. And even if I did find the Z01 to be a bit plain, I can almost guarantee that Donna would enjoy it. Heck, if it's got regular noodles or white rice, Donna's probably fine with it.

    1. JanPrimus Jul 9, 2010 09:41 AM

      Hahaha I did get out to Asia City in Ypsi on Monday and did have Pig Stomach and Frog...

      I may have to slide over soon...

      4 Replies
      1. re: JanPrimus
        m
        moose734 Jul 9, 2010 03:51 PM

        Were those specials or are they on the menu regularly ? I haven't had anything but Dim Sum at Asia City since my very first visit.

        This place sounds interesting. Sichuan food is completely in my wheelhouse , so I'm thinking a combo trip of this and one of the Madison Heights BBQ places would be good.

        1. re: moose734
          JanPrimus Jul 9, 2010 05:10 PM

          There were part of the Dinner buffet. It has gotten better as the months go by.

          Moose if you are looking for someone to travel that far (Sterling Heights) with give me a holler.

          1. re: JanPrimus
            m
            moose734 Jul 10, 2010 12:54 PM

            More authentic stuff on the buffet ? I need to pay them another visit.
            Alas, it'll probably be a hot sec before I get out there. I'm imposing a Chinese food ban on myself til I get to Chicago next month.

            1. re: moose734
              JanPrimus Jul 10, 2010 01:03 PM

              Well it is still missing the cold dishes. I still think the Dim Sum side of the place is better but I again had the little ones with me.

      2. d
        donbui82 Jul 24, 2010 02:58 PM

        went for lunch today with a mate. She loves good asian food as much as myself.

        Inside, typical cheesy chinese interior, but very clean and respectable.

        We ordered the boiled beef, twice-cooked pork, and the yibin fire noodles.

        one word: AWESOME. All three dishes were excellent. This has now bumped Best China as my fav asian restaurant in SE-MI.

        Boiled beef: A semi-viscious soup with chunks of beef inside as well as cabbage and celery. Simply amazing. Hearty, great flavors. We ordered it "extra-hot" and it lived up to the bill. The most unique aspect of Sichuan heat is that it doesn't sear and cause pain exactly. Its this mellow, rich just heat that envelopes your mouth and changes the flavor of everything.

        Double-cooked pork. Also very good. Thinly sliced pieces of pork belly (I think that's what it was). Large slivers of meat and fat. Very dry with excellent flavors, cooked with cabbage and jalapenos. Again, absolutely delicious. Great heat, flavors and textures.

        Yibin noodles - our least favorite of the trio, but still delicious. Ramen-esque noodles mixed with a slightly sour soy sauce. Topped with lots of cumin, some other unidentified seasoning and chives. Good, but not great. I'll try the sichan noodles salad next time.

        will be back soon!!!

        don

        2 Replies
        1. re: donbui82
          v
          vtombrown Jul 24, 2010 08:19 PM

          Cool! Thanks for the info, Don. My wife is going there early this week, so I'll make sure she orders that boiled beef. Sounds very good, as you describe it.

          1. re: donbui82
            b
            boagman Jul 24, 2010 08:40 PM

            "...changes the flavor of everything"? And that's a *compliment *? To me, that's foodie heresy. Am I understanding your meaning here, or did you really mean that it can enhance the flavors that are already present, which I could certainly see as a good/desirable thing? Because I gotta tell ya: I still want my beef to taste like beef.

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