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New Sichuan + Hot Pot Place in Denver (Ocean Forest Cafe)

eade Nov 28, 2010 01:27 PM

Just in case it got buried in the last post. . .

One more authentic Sichuan place has sprung up in Denver:

Ocean Forest Cafe on the corner of Kipling and Jewell in Lakewood.

Ocean Forest Cafe is not new, but their Sichuan menu is new. There are also some Shanghai and other style dishes on the menu too, and four types of hot pot. (To my knowledge, until now, the only other kinds of hot pots obtainable in Denver were Cantonese or Fujianese.)

Ask for the Chinese menu. Now it is only written in Chinese, but I've listed some dishes below in English and also they will help you there with other dishes. If you get an English menu with the usual Chinese-American and Thai dishes on it, that is the wrong menu.

For those of us on the west side of town, we no longer have to schlep to China Jade. Also, it could be that Ocean Forest Cafe beats China Jade.

Sichuan Spicy Cold Noodles
Sichuan Spicy Fish and Vegetable Stew
Sichuan Spicy Fish Soup with Pickled Vegetables
Pea Shoots and Garlic
Water Spinach and Garlic
. . . and four different kinds of hot pot which we have not tried yet, but it looked good on the tables of others we've seen order it

  1. tatamagouche Nov 30, 2010 04:31 AM

    Again, thanks for this—do you know the background of the owners?

    9 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche
      eade Nov 30, 2010 10:47 AM

      The husband and wife are there everyday and their son also pitches in. The husband is the chef; he attended culinary school in Beijing. Most chefs of Chinese restaurants in the U.S. have no culinary school training. The type of Sichuan food served at Ocean Forest Cafe is hard to find even in places like NYC. I hope it succeeds in Lakewood.

      1. re: eade
        tatamagouche Nov 30, 2010 11:14 AM

        Gonna try to get there this week.

        1. re: tatamagouche
          tatamagouche Dec 8, 2010 06:13 AM

          Made it there last night. What a trip that place is! I only wish I knew exactly what I had—the waitress was having trouble with our questions so we finally just went over to the next table and said we'd have exactly what they were having, because it looked good—and it was.

          1. re: tatamagouche
            eade Dec 8, 2010 09:32 PM

            Oh that's too bad about the waitress. There is usually a student working there who is fluent in English. I'm glad you found a table that had the good food, whatever it was!

            1. re: eade
              tatamagouche Dec 9, 2010 11:25 AM

              I'll definitely be back for the cold noodles...

              1. re: tatamagouche
                eade Dec 9, 2010 03:54 PM

                Maybe the student only works on weekends. The hostess in front speaks English well; you could ask her for the Sichuan menu.

                If you are stuck with the incomprehending waitress and you want cold noodles, print these characters out and take them with you: 四川凉面
                Or say "sichuan liang mian".

                The characters for Sichuan spicy mapo tofu are (they can make it vegetarian, but you have to ask): 麻婆豆腐
                Sichuan fish soup: 四川鱼肚
                dou miao (pea shoots) (ask to have it made with garlic): 豆苗
                Sichuan cold noodles: 四川凉面
                hot pot: 火锅

                1. re: eade
                  tatamagouche Dec 9, 2010 04:44 PM

                  Yeah, I talked to the owner and his wife a little after the meal. Sweethearts. They gave me a Chinese menu and starred the dishes I had, which weren't unfamiliar to me: spicy cold sliced beef and fried chicken chunks on the bone, water spinach with garlic, red-chili dumplings...

                  I'd say the dumplings were better than China Jade's (which I was actually disappointed by), on a par with Chopsticks', and almost as good as Lao Wang's...although the sauce might have been better.

                  China Jade
                  12203 E Iliff Ave Ste D, Aurora, CO 80014

                  1. re: tatamagouche
                    spudbake Dec 13, 2010 02:21 PM

                    They recently added an English translation of the Chinese menu, so you can just download it here:

                    1. re: spudbake
                      tatamagouche Dec 13, 2010 03:26 PM

                      On Saturday, they still hadn't. Good to know, thanks!

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