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Is Cuisine Szechuan still good?

sweettoothMTL Jun 20, 2012 07:31 AM

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. c
    catroast RE: sweettoothMTL Jun 20, 2012 07:36 AM

    still good

    1 Reply
    1. re: catroast
      Plateaumaman RE: catroast Jun 20, 2012 10:19 AM

      Agreed, very good the last few times I went.

    2. s
      sweettoothMTL RE: sweettoothMTL Jun 20, 2012 02:00 PM

      Great, thanks.

      1. wokhei RE: sweettoothMTL Jun 20, 2012 02:49 PM

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

        9 Replies
        1. re: wokhei
          humbert RE: wokhei Jun 20, 2012 06:59 PM

          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
            SnackHappy RE: humbert Jun 20, 2012 07:16 PM

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

            1. re: humbert
              mainsqueeze RE: humbert Jun 22, 2012 01:47 PM

              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
              porker RE: wokhei Jun 21, 2012 05:00 AM

              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
                The Chemist RE: porker Jun 21, 2012 05:02 AM

                I thought they had beer now at CS?

                1. re: The Chemist
                  porker RE: The Chemist Jun 21, 2012 05:23 AM

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

                  1. re: porker
                    The Chemist RE: porker Jun 21, 2012 05:27 AM

                    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
                      porker RE: The Chemist Jun 21, 2012 05:40 AM

                      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
                    Mr F RE: The Chemist Jun 21, 2012 06:59 AM

                    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. m
                mattlane RE: sweettoothMTL Jun 21, 2012 04:23 PM

                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
                  DDD RE: mattlane Jul 24, 2012 07:28 PM

                  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. c
                  canadiandina RE: sweettoothMTL Aug 15, 2012 09:13 AM

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: canadiandina
                    cherylmtl RE: canadiandina Aug 15, 2012 05:24 PM

                    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. m
                    mtlfoodguy RE: sweettoothMTL Aug 16, 2012 04:12 PM

                    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
                      Plateaumaman RE: mtlfoodguy Aug 27, 2012 08:06 PM

                      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. l
                      Lolaray RE: sweettoothMTL Dec 15, 2012 03:01 PM

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

                      1. l
                        Lolaray RE: sweettoothMTL Dec 16, 2012 07:22 AM

                        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. s
                          Shattered RE: sweettoothMTL Dec 16, 2012 09:21 PM

                          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. nochainsplease RE: sweettoothMTL Feb 17, 2014 05:06 PM

                            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
                              Shattered RE: nochainsplease Feb 17, 2014 08:18 PM

                              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
                                Plateaumaman RE: Shattered Feb 20, 2014 07:28 PM

                                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. nochainsplease RE: sweettoothMTL Jun 3, 2014 04:29 PM

                              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
                                Plateaumaman RE: nochainsplease Jun 5, 2014 05:36 PM

                                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.

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