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Sichuan Gourmet

My new addiction is the spicy fried chicken wings.

I've also enjoyed lunch specials of cayennne chicken and chicken with asparagus.

Anyone else have any takeout faves from any of their outposts? I'm intrigued by the fresh bamboo.

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  1. Fresh bamboo are great there! I like Wonder sauce, but it's quite spicy, just so you know. The Sesame sauce is probably excellent as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Trumpetguy

      framingham? i think we have done this before.
      -double cooked bacon,
      -shredded duck with fresh bamboo shoots
      -dandan noodles
      -spicy wontons in chili sauce,
      -Kung Boa chicken with extra sauce,
      -the Chengdu Spicy lamb.
      -cold cucumber with garlic,
      -beef tendon with spicy wonder sauce,,
      -spicy wood ear mushrooms,
      -chengdu spicy rabbit,
      -sichuan style green beans,
      -duck tongues with dry chili, and
      -jingdu frog legs

      1. re: hyde

        My favorite is the Old Sichuan Chicken. Fu qi fei pian (roast beef and tendon with chili sauce) is excellent, as are the bamboo shoots, dan dan noodles, green beans, and more. I have enjoyed Sichuan Gourmet many times in Framingham and Billerica, but had two very dissapointing (watered-down, Americanized) meals in Brookline, and so I haven't been back to that location.

        1. re: lipoff

          Of the last 5 times I ate at the Brookline one, I had 4 terrific meals. Last night was really off: food too sweet, heavier saucing, everything with that thick Americanized sauce. I attribute this to bad luck: I ate at Fuloon recently and it was obviously Chef Zhang Wenxue's day off because the food looked the same but was genuinely bad, with everything in the same, salty brown sauce of the kind you expect from a greasy takeout joint. (I assume that chef prepares the much-reviled luncheon buffet.) This kind of inconsistency is a problem in these restaurants. I think it's partly because the quality of the food depends tremendously on the sauces and those take skill, partly because these places don't have a deep bench of secondary cooks.

          When the food at SG is good, I like their cabbage in spicy sauce, family style tofu, dan dan noodles - which were okay last night but not up to par - and ma pa tofu.

          At least with Fuloon, I know the chef's name so I can call ahead now to make sure he's working that night. I doubt he takes many nights off but that last meal sat very badly.

    2. Thanks everyone. I will definately order the Old Chicken and bamboo in wonder sauce on the next pass. Has anyone had the pea tendrils in garlic? I loved it awhile back in Chinatown, or are there other veggie dishes that anyone likes especially. I have been visiting the recent outpost in Sharon. Also do the dan dan noodles travel well? Thanks everyone for the feedback.

      Edited, of course the cabbage and beans are good veggie recommendations to consider.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Bellachefa

        Well I must admit that the Old Chicken was a big miss for me. Tasted like tiny nuggets of thigh meat wrapped in chicken skin, breaded in salt and deepfried sprinkled with a handful of diced dried chili. with a side of bland and slightly overcooked steamed broccoli. The woman taking my order warned me it was fried chicken - no sauce- in a way to confirm that I knew what I was ordering, but with a bit of a 'really?'

        I also ordered the bamboo with wonder sauce. She told me that it was spicy, and I confirmed, yes spicy please. Although I think it is interesting, it was certainly not that spicy. And a few bites satisfies. Kind of like a really nice cole slaw - a few bites adds a nice counterpoint to the other dishes, but without a party of 6 to share it, I wouldn't want to eat a bowl of it.

        To confirm my intent for authentic, I ordered the green beans spicy. They were decent, but not exceptional with an extra toss of the chopped dried chili.

        I don't think I would crave any of these dishes again, but will continue to explore their menu. Thank you everyone again.

        1. re: Bellachefa

          Hard to believe you didn't find the wonder sauce hot?! Either you've got heat chops or you were served a dumbed down version! Which locale?

          1. re: Trumpetguy

            Again the Sharon outpost. I just took another bite for you - dug down deep and it just tasted like a spicy chili oil that they use on other dishes. I was trying to not be dumbed down by ordering everything spicy. And no, I really don't have heat chops - but I do have about 30 chopped dried chils left on my plate. Thanks trumpetguy

            1. re: Bellachefa

              try the framingham or billerica location

          2. re: Bellachefa

            wow. the spicy wonder sauce has always been super spicy for me. maybe they gave you the bamboo shoots in sesame oil by mistake?

            1. re: galangatron

              If I have a chance I will bring the bamboo in wonder sauce back to confirm with them.

              1. re: Bellachefa

                I dont find the spicy wonder sauce spicy either.
                The Old Sichuan chicken usually comes with a mild slaw not broccoli, maybe they do it different in Sharon. But yes it is basically fried nuggets of thigh meat and a VERY popular dish so no reason the waitress should have had the reaction you think she did.

                Some of our favorites are:
                Dan Dan noodles
                Wontons in spicy chili sauce
                Xiang La dry fish fillet (again this is a dry/deep fried dish/no veggies)
                Fish Fillets with Spicy Chili Sauce (this is a wet dish over napa, also available with any protein you want instead of fish, we like the chicken version too)
                Zha Jiang Noodle Soup with Pork & Spicy Sauce (this is perhaps our favorite dish, so good)
                Sichuan meatball (lions head, not spicy but so good)

                1. re: hargau

                  i cant believe the fish fillets over napa did not make my list above!

                  what was i thinking?
                  i do not care for fish overall (leave em all in the ocean, i say), but this may be my favorite fish dish.

                  anywhere.

            2. re: Bellachefa

              if you come back a few times and tell them that you are a regular who wants authentically hot sichuanese food; they are more accomodating.

              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                I know this ain't how it works, but I shouldn't have to do that.

                1. re: jgg13

                  At least you *can* do it. Trying to get authentic Thai food is much harder.

              2. re: Bellachefa

                I prefer the dry fried chicken with chili sauce (not really a sauce) to the Old Sichuan chicken, myself. You might want to try that one and see if you like it better.

                As far as the bamboo shoots go, I like the spicy wonder sauce, but I tend to order the bamboo shoots with the sesame oil instead. They use that same spicy oil in so many other things that we order that it's nice to have the counterpoint.

                You had asked about the pea tendrils too - they're one of my favorites but they don't always have them.

              3. re: Bellachefa

                Their family style eggplant is good though not spicy...it's more of a Yu Hsiang sauce (a bit sweet)

                The Billerica location is the spiciest for me...the Framingham one is good but not as spicy. Haven't tried the Sharon one...

              4. omg, I love everything in SG Billerica. We go at least weekly, sometimes more. We try everything....most recent is pigs stomach, and shaved tenden...both awesome. Can't ever go without getting dadan noodles and wonton in chili sauce. We love xingla fish, mala lamb, everrything! Our last visit was mushroom hot pot w/ porkbelly (written special). I could eat here all the time, I never tire of it or all the people working there

                1 Reply
                1. re: lexpatti

                  some good new year specials right now. including the mushroom hot pot, also nian gao with vegetables, and several others that we didn't have a chance to try (yet)!

                2. some of my favorites are spicy wontons in chili sauce, pig ears in chili sauce, dan dan noodles, fuqi feipian, spicy cucumber with garlic, bamboo shoots in sesame oil, bamboo shoots in spicy wonder sauce, beef tendon in spicy wonder sauce, green bean noodles in chili sauce, spicy wood ear mushrooms, chengdu spicy rabbit, sichuan style green beans with pork, double cooked pork belly, duck tongues with dry chili, and jingdu frog legs

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: galangatron

                    hey, did you copy my list above?

                      1. re: galangatron

                        i actually ordered almost all of those dishes in two goes after reading that post (well, rabbit, duck tongues, tendon and frog) . so sue me. i was already on board with the bamboo and dan dan.
                        also think that the baby bok choy dish is great looking and a nice respite from my meat-centric favorites.

                        1. re: hyde

                          glad you found my original list so helpful

                          1. re: galangatron

                            If you like the spicy wontons, and are eating at the Billerica location, ask for Chen Du dumplings, they had it as a special once, and will make it on request. They stick together less than the regular Sichuan wontons (if you're taking out), and , for me, have a little less sweetness. And I found the Sichuan wontons a little too sweet.

                            1. re: justbeingpolite

                              "Cheng Du Spicy Dumplings" (or similar spelling) were on the Billerica specials menu as of yesterday. I remembered your post, ordered them, and found them quite tasty. Next time I'll get an order of the Sichuan wontons too and compare side-by-side.

                              Another new-to-me special was Smoky Bacon with Snow Peas (not hot), also available with Spicy Black Bean Sauce (rated at two chili peppers). We ordered the former since SG's one-pepper rated stuff is usually hot enough for us. The smoky pork was quite good, but since I was using leftover dumpling sauce to perk things up, I may risk the spicy version next time.

                  2. We ate the the Brookline location on Friday and had a lovely and somewhat spicy duck with black tofu. I don't see it on the online menu, but it was on an insert at the restaurant.

                    1. For the past two weeks they have been offering a special Lunar New Year menu with 8 to 10 items on it. It's written in Chinese only but the waitstaff will give you rough translations of each item. We tried a braised mushroom dissh which came in a small wok with a small burner underneath to keep it warm. We also tried a smoky bacon with black bean sauce that was outstanding too. One my all time favorites in the fish and tofu in a black pepper sauce. This is not spicy but the flavors and textures are great.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: RoyRon

                        We went today looking for duck with black tofu and they said they didn't have it, and speculated that perhaps it was duck with moyu (魔芋) from Sichuan Garden. (What I was hoping for was 黑豆花.) We did find the braised tea tree mushrooms (干锅茶树菇) also including mu-er (木耳) which were excellent, and had the surprise of including a few whole Sichuan peppercorns, which provided an occasional blast of mentholated goodness. On a previous visit we had the bacon with black bean sauce; I enjoyed it a lot but my DC prefers the twice-cooked pork. The 干锅牛 (gan guo beef) was also excellent, though i probably wouldn't rush to order it again--i have a lot of favorites that i enjoy more. We also had rice cake with Sichuan sausage, which was enjoyable but light on the rice cake. And we had the red-cooked pork (红烧肉) chunks of pork belly in a mild broth. It was okay, but I felt it was missing something flavor-wise. All in all, I continue to be happy with the work of the Brookline kitchen, though for the most part these dishes aren't the ones I'd order again.

                        1. re: KWagle

                          My fault - we were at Sichuan Garden, not Sichuan Gourmet. Sorry to mislead!

                          1. re: gini

                            Just to clarify, you're writing about Sichuan Garden in Brookline Village?

                      2. Ok, so I finally ordered the infamous dan dan noodles. It's one of those dishes that I didn't love at first bite but by third bite I was won over. So, what it the brown stuff on top?

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: galangatron

                            mmm, I thought it was a bit of pork and a bit of ginger and garlic and another few secret ingredients. I liked it. Thanks for all who recommended it to me. I no have hogs breath!

                        1. I haven't been to the Billerica location for a while since I really hate Rte 3A but took Rte 3 and then just cut across. Had the Spare Ribs Noodle Soup and it's excellent. Another outstanding meal here.
                          Looking at my fellow lunchers dishes it looks to me that the rice portion has increased and the meat serving have shrunk somewhat.

                          http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                           
                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Ferrari328

                            SG Brookline has a great new dish that doesn't appear on the menu, mentioned only on a piece of paper taped to the wall near the entrance. I think it was called 'Cheng Du Style BBQ'. Pieces of fish and chicken mixed with sliced potato, onion, pepper, and lotus root, all coated with a smoky/hot spice mixture. Dry-rub texture, for those who are put off by the chili oil you often get in sichuan dishes. Highly recommended.

                            1. re: nightsky

                              We had this tonight, and it was quite good. It's oven-cooked so it has no oil. Delicious. Wayne describes it as "street barbecue." Even though it's not literally cooked using the techniques of a street vendor, that's the idea they're trying to capture. I really like this place.

                          2. After my pretty miserable attempt at Chinese food earlier in the week I decided to go back to a place that have a nice Sichuan lunch menu albeit quite limited. Sichuan Gourmet Billerica is one of the leading restaurants in the NE area when it comes to Sichuan cooking. You need to get here early or late because they are always packed and they are doing so good that they don't serve from the lunch menu on Fridays.
                            Decided to go for the Smokey Hot Shredded Chicken w. Cayenne and it's HOT! Really really good and I thought previously that the portions was getting smaller but not today. Packed with Chinese customers and with people ordering the good stuff from the menu..

                            http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                             
                            1 Reply
                            1. Amazing mushroom dish off the Billerica specials menu (which is not the one currently online): braised dry mushrooms with pork belly. A varied assortment of unfamiliar (to me) dried fungi arrives bubbling away in a woklet perched over a flame. It's in a soy-flavored broth that seems fairly plain--until the sichuan pepper kicks in. Deep mushroom flavor and what a texture-fest! Chewy-springy, chewy-crunchy, slippery, meltingly tender... The pork is in thin little slices and is hardly central, I think you could just leave it out without damage. What a great seasonal dish.

                              The waitress tried to discourage me, said some Americans found it "too hard--not soft." So glad I persevered! Also enjoyed spicy Chengdu dumplings from the same menu.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Aromatherapy

                                I've had that in Brookline as well--I think the mushrooms are mostly tea tree mushrooms. It's quite good.

                              2. FYI - new asian supermarket just opened below Sichuan Gourmet location in framingham ...

                                http://framingham.patch.com/articles/...