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Szechuan Gourmet/Flushing vs. Hunan Kitchen Grand Sichuan/Flushing

Looking for input, comments, suggestions on dishes on a dinner for about 10 people at either the Szechuan Gourmet in Flushing or the Hunan Kitchen Grand Sichuan in Flushing. Diners are very knowlegeable about sichuan cuisine.
Which one would you choose?
Thanks for any help

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  1. I haven't been to Hunan Kitchen but I was underwhelmed by Szechuan Gourmet in Flushing. (The one in Manhattan is terrific.)

    Spicy and Tasty remains excellent. If you have access to a car Little Pepper, on College Point Blvd, is excellent as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      thanks
      I've been to Spicy and Tasty and Little Pepper many times and love both of them. However, I was very impressed at the Hunan Kitchen a few months back and have wanted to get a group there but chinese friends are also high on the Szechuan Gourmet in Flushing where I have not been.

      1. re: IPcook

        Yea, I would go with Spicy and Tasty.. just had dinner there Sun. eve, and it was fab as always. Be aware however that they do not take credit cards....

      2. re: Bob Martinez

        Hunan Kichen has excellent food, some of the better decor to be found in Flushing, they take reservations, and they take cards. There's a NY Times review if you want some dish suggestions.

      3. These two are not directly comparable as they offer different cuisines: HKGS has a wide variety of Hunan dishes, while SG is a more mainstream, solid, if somewhat boring, Sichuan restaurant.

        An alternative to HKGS would be Hunan House, or maybe Spicy and Tasty.

        You have a lot of choice wrt Sichuan food in Flushing:
        - Szechuan Gourmet (Duo Yi) for competent Sichuan cooking, especially for their whole fish;
        - Spicy and Tasty (Shan Fang) for excellent cold dishes/appetizers and a wide variety of regional Chinese food in addition to solid Sichuan offerings;
        - Cheng Du Tian Fu Xiao Chi in The Golden Mal, if you don't mind dining cafeteria-style and don't expect to order live fish from a tank. In fact, this place would be my top choice for a regular (not festive) dinner and not just appetizers. IMHO, they have the best Sichuan chef in Flushing, but if you are planning a serious dinner pay them a visit a day in advance.

        1. Go to Hunan kitchen of grand Sichuan, it's a fantastic restaurant

          9 Replies
          1. re: AubWah

            Aub, what specifically do you like at HKGS? I've been pretty disappointed by the few dishes I've tried. And if there is a comparable dish at Little Pepper, how does the HKGS version compare?

            1. re: el jefe

              I like the steamed fish with pickled chili. The cumin lamb...I've been impressed by their menu, what did you order that was dissapointing?

              1. re: AubWah

                The most disappointing dish was the braised pork that everyone raves about. I was expecting a dish as IPCook described with "custardy" fat, but mine was a dish with chunks of pork so huge I had to ask for a knife. Nor would I describe the layer of fat as custardy. One of the other dishes we ordered was double cooked pork, which was nothing special compared to other places we order it. Since cumin lamb is now ubiquitous in all but Taiwanese and Cantonese restaurants (it's hard to make a bad version and we order it at several other restuarants, which is why I asked for the Little Pepper comparison) we tried the lamb with spicy salt. It was neither spicy enough nor salty enough and wasn't crispy as we thought it might be.

                As others have said maybe I didn't order well. Or maybe it was an off day.

              2. re: el jefe

                I've tried a large swath of the menu and haven't been disappointed. What didn't you like?

                1. re: el jefe

                  It was just two of us so we didn't try many dishes but I was very impressed by the Braised Pork Mao style which used pork belly and softened the fat to a beautiful custard consistency. Better than I've ever had this dish.
                  I noticed many of the fish dishes coming out of the kitchen looked lovely including the fish head dish

                  1. re: IPcook

                    I can also vouch for the integrity of the Braised Mao Pork

                    1. re: AubWah

                      The beef with white peppers is one of the best dishes I've had anywhere, Flushing or beyond.
                      P

                  2. re: el jefe

                    It's a cliche to say this, but: I don't think you ordered well. This is easily my favorite restaurant in Flushing.

                    And I would add that there is little common ground to compare Sichuan Gourmet and Hunan Kitchen -- they really do focus on two different cuisines. But to answer your initial question, I think for a large group, Sichuan Gourmet might be the better of the two (more room), and I might second some other opinions that Spicy & Tasty is even better.

                    1. re: BTaylor

                      If you make a reservation at HK you can get a large table that I'm pretty sure will hold 10.

                2. Hunan Kitchen does not focus on Sichuan dishes. You would be better off going to Spicy Tasty for Szechuan flavors. Hunan Kitchen is however, an excellent restaurant. You should consider Hunan House as well, which is fantastic, seats more people and has received less recognition than HKGS but is equally impressive.

                  1. thanks for all the suggestions. We're heading to Hunan Kitchen tonight (wednesday) and will report after the dinner

                    1. Well we had a wonderful meal at the Hunan Kitchen. Started with Sliced conch in hot oil and Sauteed spinach with ginger, both of which were freshly prepared and were perfect at getting the mouth watering. Moved to Big fish head with chili, BBQ fish, Sauteed string bean with chicken, lamb with cumin, white pepper smoked beef, spare ribs with bamboo shoot, pea shoots with garlic, Ma Po Tofu and three kinds bamboo shoots. The dishes were served at a reasonable pace and each was just off the wok, i.e. had wok breadth. Perhaps the most interesting dish of the evening in aprt because of its novelty was the white pepper smoked beef , the white pepper of which according to a chat with the chef is imported from fukien province in China. Others thought the two fish dishes were the highlight. Perhaps the only dish below excellent was the Ma Po Tofu , which is better done at little pepper and in my own kitchen.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: IPcook

                        I love that smoke beef white pepper dish. It's amazing. Your report and this thread are giving me a hankering to return to Hunan Kitchen - haven't been in a few months.
                        p.