Dinner party at Trizest 6 August 2011 ( Detroit area)
15 CH friends met tonight at Trizest for a very eclectic and best efforts authentic Sizchuan menu and we finally got to have real DanDan noodles! I will let others complete the comments. Menu posted on previous Trizest post. Not all the dishes are on the American menu but the Chinese name will get you through to the kitchen (pixel density not really that good for Chinese characters).
I must say the squirrel-shaped fish (whole fish cut in squirrel tail shapes) was very well done and the sequencing of hot to cool to hot to cooling was very nice.
Varied dishes and good concensus on the spice level, appearance and presentation. Good service and organization.
Thanks to all.
Went to frizzed for dinner...had spicy noodles to start, then twice cooked pork, spicy chicken (la zhi ji) and crunchy eggplant.....
1. Spicy noodles were ok, with a decent balanced sauce of soy and vinegar. Decently spiced. Though the noodles were more noodle like than sheet like, which results in a less than favorable texture 4/5
2. Spicy chicken (la zhi ji): ok, this dish is my favorite dish and I use this dish to judge most Sichuan places. A few problems....1. It's coated boneless chicken, 2. Garlic is missing, 3. Could've used more time in the dry fry mixture.....but on the plus side, the spice mixture is correct, with Sichuan peppercorns and dried red chiles as the main flavoring. So I give it a 4 out of 5 due to the mistakes listed above.
3. Crispy eggplant: this was the worst dish I ordered. I imagined it to be like the dry fried eggplant of tasty china (of atl). Crispy lightly coated eggplant with a creamy interior dry fried with the spices of #2 and cilantro. Spicy, numbing, savory, garlicky, crunchy, cilantro-y deliciousness. Instead I got heavily coated pieces of eggplant drenched in a sweet n sour like sauce that drained the crunch from the dish. No acid, no freshness from green herbs to balance out the sticky cloyingly sweet sauce. 2 out of five....no egregious failures such as undercooking, but the dish was conceptually from the start.
4. Twice cooked pork: basically thinly sliced bacon/pork belly with sautéed with cabbage and some other stuff. Not too bad of a dish, missing a few details....too much oil, floppy cabbage, not enough flavor/complexity on the pork. I usually see this dish with a ton of green onions...3/5...missing oomph, complexity, details to earn a higher score.
Overall, a good meal, not memorable... still my goto Sichuan place around here. Wish there were more choices...and some more interesting menu items.
Thank you 'Hounds & the staff at Trizest. Excellent menu, food, service & company.
I loved the cold mushroom/garlic appetizer and the dumplings in chili sauce.
For me, the surprise dish of the night was the eggplant. For me, eggplant is
always one of the 'meh' items on a menu ... not tonight.
I also noticed a very different vibe from the staff than the prior ShangriLa
visits - more engaged/interested.
Looking forward to the chicken crawl. Thinking about maybe an ad-hoc
taco crawl on a nice Saturday afternoon.
Thanks everyone for an enjoyable evening. The food and company were wonderful. As most said, some hits, some misses, but overall good. I too enjoyed the dumpling. Could eat a plate full. I'll definitely try to make another of these events. Nice pics jjspw, good write up too.
Agree with the sentiments so far -- this was an excellent dinner, and I was surrounded by excellent company!
Like boagman, the dumplings and squirrel fish were two of my favorites, and i was pretty disappointed with the eggplant (way too much batter, IMO). But the dumplings were great, as was the fish. I also loved the lobster (but I've never met a lobster I didn't at least like). The squid was another favorite--the crispy-chewy texture combination was great, and I really like food that has a little sprinkle of a spiced salt (e.g. chaat masala on chaat) that leaves you wanting another bite that will tickle your tongue with that burst of flavor.
I did a slightly more thorough writeup, with some photos, here: http://t.co/AWP3AmL
It was great meeting everyone, and thank you so much to goatgolfer for getting this organized!
I had a great time, and enjoyed the food tonight far more than the Shangri-La dinner night. My top two dishes would be the dumplings in chili oil, and the squirrel tail-shaped fish dish. Both were really great to my mouth. Many other dishes were very good, too, but those two stood out.
As you can imagine, not every dish struck a chord with everyone, but almost every (all?) dish scored with someone. Example: I didn't think much of the eggplant at all (fairness in reporting: the very best eggplant dish ever made would probably be only "okay" to me), but several others were really enjoying it. I'd say that's a sign of a well-made dish.
In fact, out of the 15 or so dishes that were served (including the dessert soup), only two were ones I wouldn't eat again. Everything else ran from decent to downright wonderful.
Even better? The service was great, too. Water glasses never ran empty (at least, not mine), they were only too happy to bring lots of extra napkins for those of us (like me) who have noses that run at the slightest hint of spice, the dishes came out nicely presented, and the general attitude wasn't one of "serving the outsiders", but one of "Hey! These people want the good stuff! Let's deliver!" They did, with great attitudes. A pleasure to pay their asking price, along with the tip. Well done.
Company, as always, was great, too. Saw some familiar and some new faces, and enjoyed myself once again.
Oh...those dumplings and the fish dish. WANT. NOW.
I'll be back.
Went back tonight and had those same pork dumplings in chili oil, with a side order of white rice. I actually had to ask the owner to be sure I got the right ones, and she remembered me from our dinner there! Needless to say, there wasn't any problem getting her to remember what it was that I wanted.
Suffice it to say that, yes: I left very happy, and filled, and was out the door after a very nice tip for $10. I'm still happy thinking about it right now!
Great place, and FYI: I was the only non-Asian in there tonight.
Are the dumplings in chili oil that you had at the dinner different than the dumplings on the menu that come with dipping sauce that has chili oil in it?
Because of all that I have read here on Trizest, I went there for lunch on Monday. Loved it.
Had the dumplings (off the menu) and the Szechuan Lamb. When I was finished eating, I felt a bead of perspiration running down the back of my neck.... never had that happen to me before!
Loved the heat, but have to admit it was starting to push the upper end of my heat envelope <g>
Don't know if they're different or not, BobRe, but the dumplings I had were served in a bowl (12 of them) with the chili oil all over and around them. Served with a large spoon, you can stir the sauce around and coat the dumplings as often as you wish.
They're very, very tasty things.
Thanks boagman. If not the same, they sound very similar, although the dumplings I had weren't served in the chili oil, but the dipping sauce did have chili oil it. And I think there were 6 to a serving.
Liked them a lot though.
I'll have to ask more about them the next time I go.
Missmind has the pics in a post further up. Thank you. The individual dishes were downsized as we had 16 courses so the pic is of a downsized portion.
JJPSW also has some pics in her post a couple of notches down.
You will find the chili dumplings in both posts of individual portions. Nice camera work to both friends.
I have posted the menu again with the Chinese characters so there will be no confusion.