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May 17, 2012 07:02 PM

Sezchuan Spice

I am going to Sezchuan Spice for the first time tomorrow night. Does anybody have any good recs or dishes I shouldn't miss. Also, has the food been up to par lately? Thanks in advance!

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  1. we like the soup dumplings, dan dan noodle. saw a dish in a big pan on a warmer, it was one of the whole fish dishes. had the mooshu pork and the pork peking style. all great.

    1. I always want to branch out whenever we eat (take out) from Szechuan Spice, but I always return to the cumin lamb or the Ma Po Tofu. The Ma Po is not quite as good as Little Szechuan in St. Paul, but it's still very good and a lot easier to get to from our Uptown neighborhood. My wife also likes the orange-flavor chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob s

        Coincidentally, I had dinner there on Saturday with my wife and son. We ended up with Dan Dan Noodles, Mini Soup Buns, the Orange Chicken, and Szechuan Green Beans. All were very good. The Dan Dan Noodles were a little sweet for my taste and the Green Beans were a bit thick and and a little mealy but that's not the restaurant's fault. I think that the sauce on the beans was also a little sweeter than I like as well but that's personal preference. Having said all that, the bottom line can be found in the result: there were no leftovers!

      2. The Kung Pao Chicken Chili is really good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tda

          The Szechuan Stirfry is nice, and if you are a fan of the kung pao, I would recommend doing a dry chili dish there, the chung king I think they call it, flavors are cleaner, and spicier, imo... The chengdu shrimp is nice, as is the whole fish with bean curd. My fall backs are the chicken with double chili and the stewed pork over crispy rice, which is essentially a braised belly over crispy rice. I am always pretty happy with the szechuan regional dishes and the "chiefs" specials. The owner is always manning the desk with the phone, and she's usually a good one to ask for recommendations.

          1. re: mitch cumstein

            We read this thread and went out for an early dinner. Overall Impression: Great food, great prices, very sophisticated cooking.

            The dan dan noodles and the soup dumplings were on par, or slightly behind, the TeaHouse. TH introduced both dishes into the Twin Cities area and have relied on them as signature dishes to draw in the crowds. TH's dan dan noodles were more flavorful, but Szechuan Spice's version was a lot more authentic.

            Then we had the three cold dish platter, where you get to mix and match. The beef tendon was wonderfully done, sliced paper thin and perfectly spiced. The sliced pork with the sinful section of fat, prepared dry and just a little sweet, was also perfect. The sauteed cucumbers, very lightly sauteed, served as the perfect contrast.

            We also ordered the eggplant in garlic sauce. Although we were already full when it arrived, the dish was clearly the highlight of the meal. Presentation of this dish, like the others, was exquisite. By quickly frying the eggplant before stir fry, the skin stayed gorgeously purple and crisp to the tongue.

            If it seems like I'm raving about Szechuan Spice, it's because I am. I spoke to the owner, who pointed out that the two chefs in their kitchen are professionally trained. Many of the Chinese restaurants have very good cooks, but they are not professionally trained. The training comes through in the way the meat and vegetables were sliced, the delicacy of the flavoring and particularly in the presentation.

            The bill for two of us, including most of the eggplant dish, was under $40. We eat out a lot and most of the Chinese restaurants in this class would have cost $6 - 10 more.

            Finally, a restaurant good enough to take my presents!

        2. We had a pretty good lunch at Szechuan Spice this past weekend (it was our second visit this year).

          Very good: the ma po tofu; the steamed flounder w. scallions, ginger, soy sauce.

          Quite good: the house special crispy beef; the hot sliced chicken.

          Fine: green beans; dan dan noodles.

          Okay: the fish with chopped chilli pepper, couple's beef (called something else on the menu).

          They must do a lot of business at dinner and through take-out--they weren't very busy on either visit. They're a good alternative to Grand Szechuan (though with a much more limited menu) and I hope they stick around.

          Full review here:

          2 Replies
          1. re: My_Annoying_Opinions

            I find myself liking this place more and more. I regularly go to Grand Szechuan but lately have been defecting to SS.

            1. re: kriminalrat

              As I say in my first review (linked in the one linked above) their versions of some of the things on both menus might be superior. It's just that Grand Szechuan has so much more plus we have years of loyalty to them (and they're 15 minutes closer to us).

          2. My 'go to' meal there is Boiled Beef in Szechuan Hot Sauce. Excellent flavors, with the red chiles floating on the sauce. Also, their Hot Sour soup is very tasty with a high level of rice vinegar, compared with other H/S soups in the area. Hope they do well and become a fixture in the Chinese restaurant scene near Lyn/Lake.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Maggie19

              Yeah--it would be nice to see more people there the next time. Then again, they may be packed at dinner.