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Dec 5, 2011 04:40 PM

Need authentic Szechuan recommendation for Amsterdam guest who wants a repeat of Chuan Xiang Ge

I took my friend from Amsterdam last year to Chuan Xiang Ge in Richmond and he absolutely loved it. He's back this week and specifically wants to go back. But alas, it is closed. I drove by S & W Pepper House today on No.3 Road (my alternate) and it looks like it has a new Chinese name (?changed owners) and I don't want to chance it unless if any hounds can attest that it is still good.

Any other suggestions? We are after the super spicy authentic "ma la" taste (not the Chongqing or Shanghai/Canto style). Preferably in Richmond but Vancouver is fine too.

Thank you!

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  1. CXG is sorely missed. I heard that the S&W in Richmond may have closed down very recently and now you have partially confirmed it.

    For 'mala'...try
    -S&W in Burnaby (Guizhou, Sichuan, and some Hunan),
    -Alvin Garden (Hunan with some Sichuan),
    -Nine Dishes (which has some really good renditions of a number of Sichuan dishes. It is a board favourite here)
    -Lucky Noodle (Hunan - very spicy)
    -Beijing Garden on Cambie - specifically for the most authentically 'mala' laziji in town. Order from the green half of the menu where they have all the Sichuan dishes
    -Golden Spring (Richmond) - not stellar, a little pricey, but has a couple of really good dishes (eg its fenzheng paigu, and fuqifeipian).
    -Bushuair (Hunan with some Sichuan. Also a tad more pricey, but can serve you some very spicy food)

    The most 'mala' I have experienced in the last little while have been at Sichuan Hotpots. Specifically:
    -Hot Lady Hotpot or Spice Girl Hotpot depending how you read the Chinese (Alexandra Rd Richmond). Ask for it "extra spicy" and the mala can kill small animals.
    -Spicy Legend
    Note that SIchuan Hotpot places usually serve only hotpot (with a few sides) so you will not find some of the classics (laziji, fuqifeipian, etc) there.

    11 Replies
      1. re: LotusRapper

        Oh yeah Hotluck has a couple of decent dishes. I would probably put it in the lower-midrange of the list I posted.

        1. re: fmed

          Thank you for all your suggestions. I really want to try Alvin's but Burnaby might be too far for us. So Beijing Garden or Bushuair. Which is better?

          1. re: zackeroo

            I would choose Beijing Garden but not necessarily because it is "better." It will provide with with more of the mala that you seek.

            1. re: fmed

              Here are what to order to get your mala fix: the laziji and the shuizhuyu. The laziji, in particular, is piled high with Sichuan peppercorns and Dried red chilies. Plenty of Ma and plenty of La.

              1. re: fmed

                Will do. I trust this board even though the menu is half Cantonese which worries me. will report back.

                Nine dishes is intriguing too. But is it too divey?

                Btw any chowdowns coming up? My husband and I find it so hard to go out for Chinese with just 2 of us and wanting to order everything. We are game for anything especially spicy!

                1. re: zackeroo

                  The chef is HK-born but the food is surprisingly authentic at BG. I love Nine Dishes. It isn't divey at all....I consider it "quirky" rather than "divey."

                  Re: Chowdowns... Have a look at my profile here and go to my blog and join the Forum. We have chowdowns planned, but nothing posted yet. We can't discuss Chowdowns on Chowhound ( ).

                  1. re: zackeroo

                    Agree with fmed re Beijing Garden. Just stick to the Sichuan dishes, reiterate your love for ma la, double check that they've got the right numbers for the dishes you ordered and you'll be fine. They do my second favourite rendition of water boiled fish (first is at Nine Dishes). The la zi ji is pretty great too with a hint of cumin (!) that really works.

                    Another dish with a lot of huajiao at Nine Dishes is the house made Sichuan-style sausage at Nine Dishes. Though their menu is somewhat limited, it is a fun, non-threatening place to hang out and eat good food. The rest of my short list there is the cucumber, the ribs and the lotus burger (the latter two are not Sichuan). They also do a very decent fire-exploded kidney, almost as good as CXG's was, though more rustic. Add a few lamb skewers and a raft of Yanjings and you're good to go :-).

                    Have fun and hope to see you at a Chowdown soon!

                    1. re: grayelf

                      Our friends enjoyed Beijing Garden. We ordered the Peking Duck - I was skeptical at first but it was actually quite good. A bit fattier than I would like but still very tasty. The laziji was the best dish of the night.
                      Thanks again everyone for your help.

                      1. re: zackeroo

                        When did you have the dinner there? I heard reports that they had removed all the Sichuan dishes from the menu.

                        1. re: fmed

                          Our dinner was Dec 8th. That would be a shame if they discontinued the Sichuan dishes. I was going to go back and try more.
                          Sigh, why do they keep closing?