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Is Cuisine Szechuan still good?

A couple of years ago, it was the best Chinese in the city, and now, it's hardly mentioned anymore? Has it lost it's game?


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    1. re: catroast

      Agreed, very good the last few times I went.

      1. Definitely good, but give KanBai in that area a try- I think it eclipses CS.

        9 Replies
        1. re: wokhei

          I only went to Kanbai once but in no way I thought it was even close to Cuisine Szechuan! Except for the mapo tofu which was great the rest was sub par and not comparable.

          1. re: humbert

            I've been to Kanbai four times and I still can't figure out what the big deal is.

            1. re: humbert

              I agree CS is superior to Kanbai. I have been to both a number of times.

              I also enjoyed Niu Kee tremendously but I've only been once and I was starving so maybe everything tasted extra delicious for me that day. I have to go back, stat.

            2. re: wokhei

              I carry the banner for KanBai, but have to say their food is uneven at times.
              Also, KanBai=alcohol License.......... Cuisine Szechuan=no license........ Porker eat @ KanBai

              1. re: porker

                I thought they had beer now at CS?

                1. re: The Chemist

                  I wouldn't know.....too busy drinking wine and sake @ KanBai - hehe.

                  1. re: porker

                    Off the top of your head, know any good Szechuan like CS in Boston? I'm getting a bit exasperated with a lack of authentic anything.

                    1. re: The Chemist

                      Ahhh, not really off the top of my head...
                      I've been to Boston 3 times, the last being about 12 years ago. I was too busy swilling craft beer out of hand pumped taps to look for Szechuan joints. Maybe check the Boston board?

                  2. re: The Chemist

                    It's been far too long since I've been to CS, but I'm pretty sure they've had beer since almost the beginning.

                    Agreed about KanBai being uneven... I am sure there is a chef's night off when everything falls apart and those who are truly in the know stay far away.

              2. I was there a few months back, and was quite disappointed. CS is my Szechuan fix a few times a year (when I am not in London chowing down at No.10).

                This was a mid-week lunch of cumin beef, green beens w/pork, and twice cooked pork. Each dish was nowhere near as good as usual. Strangely, the restaurant was almost empty - usually full from memory.

                I will definitely head back when the lure of a hot wok, chillies and peppercorm becomes too great - and I will report back. I hope it was just a single off day.



                1 Reply
                1. re: mattlane

                  I hope tonight was a 'chef's night off', because the food was not nearly as good as previously. Our shrimp dish contained cold shrimp - a couple still had ice on them, the dumplings were watery. Only the hot and sour soup and cumin chicken were still good.

                2. what are the best dishes to order for take-out?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: canadiandina

                    Most of the tofu dishes stand up well to take out, and most meat dishes with sauce (ie - cumin beef). Chili chicken will lose some of its crispness, but none of its flavour. I don't think they will do any of those large bowls of chili broth with varied ingredients for takeout, though (but they will do the wonton in hot soup, as it fits in a small-ish container).

                  2. yeah its still quite good...went last week at abuot 9pm on a friday...was packed and food was amazing! had the dumplings in spicy broth and twice cooked pork.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mtlfoodguy

                      I had a really disappointing lunch there today, had to send back two cold bowls of rice, eggplant was burnt, hot and sour soup was sweet, mosquitoes in the bathroom. Am really hoping I just hit a bad day so I might have to be careful to only go back on a busy night. Seems to be a fair number of us hitting a bad day fairly often though. I wish we could keep track of our great chefs in Chinese restaurants the way we do in other places.

                    2. Went for the first time today.I can't imagine it was ever good.

                      1. I had the Szetchuan Dumplings in Chile Sauce.It had absolutely no flavour.

                        Hot and Sour Soup was good .

                        Mistake to order Dan Dan noodles.Same sauce as dumplings .No flavour.Zero Spice and I ordered spicy.

                        1. The hot and sour soup is amazing; there's something in it I've never tasted before in h&s soup that gives it an extra edge - cumin, I think.

                          The lamb with cumin was great, too. The kung pao chicken was very good, better than most. Beans with pork was pretty good.

                          1. I ate there tonight, and two weeks ago. It's still good. But it's lost that loving feeling. Portions also seem a little smaller than in those heady early days.

                            The former chef has gone (temporarily) to Palais Imperial in the West Island - more here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9246...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: nochainsplease

                              That too bad, because portion size was the one little problem for me when I was first going there in late 2012, early 2013. I wouldn't say they were small or I left hungry, but they weren't huge portions that left me completely stuffed like most Chinese restos. So if they're noticeably smaller now, I would probably leave hungry.

                              1. re: Shattered

                                I was there last week and the hot and sour soup is not at all what it used to be, far too much soy sauce and not much hot. The eggplant dish was not bad, the spicy beans still pretty good but I noticed they have a new menu and most of the other customers were having selections from that, with individual burners on each table. I guess it is time for change.

                            2. The original chef, Andy, left CS last year to our great dismay. Happily, he has just opened a new place on Monkland in NDG, called Gia Ba. Same tasty food, more inviting setting. Here's the thread about it.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: nochainsplease

                                That sounds promising. Just wanted to add that I went back to Cuisine Szechuan recently and it was good, a lot better than it was in February. The place was freshly painted, the staff attentive and the dishes we loved, hot and sour soup, eggplant, spicy green beans, were all very good.