Dinner at Trizest Restaurant in Madison Heights with chowhound friends
Last night we had a wonderful dinner at Trizest. The food was great- my favorite was the squid. I tried something I never had before - jellyfish- interesting , but didn't care for the consistency. The service couldn't have been better considering the size of our group.
If you like hot and spicy food Trizest is the restaurant for you.
The squid with soup sauce was extraordinary and a fine end to the 12 course meal. 20 Hounds and 4 guests and lovely food sharing stories. Trizest does a great fixed price menu if you plan it in advance and are flexible for authentic Sichuan. P.S. the Wontons in Chili oil are worth the trip alone.
That squid really was a revelation, wasn't it? I mean, *perfectly* cooked...not a bit of rubber consistency *anywhere* in it, with a lovely sauce and still-crispy snap peas. That it came so late in the game and still got polished off was a testament to its wonderful taste and preparation.
Once again, everything was very, very good. The only thing I didn't really enjoy was the dessert soup, but that's, what, one dish out of 12-15? Once again, they surely impressed the heck out of me, with the pork dumplings in chili oil, their fantastic way with fish (and, incidentally, all things seafood), even lamb and beef were nicely prepared.
I actually liked the jellyfish, though at the time, I didn't know that that's what it was. I'd eat it again in the future based on this experience being my first time having a go at it.
It's always a pleasure getting together with the locals and meeting new people as well. I sat next to Kieran, a teenage guy who was about as adventurous an eater as I've ever seen, and extremely gracious, too. I'm absolutely sure that I wouldn't have been as gracious as he was at his age...I'd have been eating a good deal more than my share of certain things, but he was well disciplined in the group dynamic. There's no food he shied away from trying, which to me is impressive as all get out.
Service was just fine, thank you. I still enjoy going there, as once you establish that, yes, honest, I really don't want the established Americanized junk, you'll actually get the good stuff. The owner now knows me, and I'm sure at least some of the staff can recognize me, too. Makes it easier to know that my money's going to a place that treats me right.
Another great night, indeed!
I loved everything -except the osmanthus flower dessert soup, which was not to my liking, perhaps an acquired taste?
also don't forget, the Trizest group has restaurants in Midland, Lansing & Ypsilanti, so if you aren't near Sterling Heights, you can have most of the same delicious foods in the other locations.
Thanks again, GG.
You would think that ownership with three+ preexisting restaurants would have hit the ground running at nearly full speed, a couple years ago when Trizest opened in Sterling Hts. But, my perception is that they've actually since steadily improved over this time. Half the dishes I order each time are not my regulars, and the winning percentage of those just seems to grow.
This isn't a place which throws onto a Cantonese dish a scoop of jarred chilies and calls it done. Nor is it even a Sichuan place which simply throws dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns and MSG onto whatever substrate. Some of the chefs (however modest their wages) were FORMALLY trained in Sichuan, and the signature dishes seem to benefit from a true expert touch. I've often had better Sichuanese food in China, but I've sometimes also had food in China that didn't quite measure up to Trizest. If a diner comes and asks for a few authentic Sichuanese dishes, I'm confident that even a really tough customer will get at least one dish which indisputably pleases.
The restaurant was overwhelmed with Saturday eve prime time customers (interestingly, we were the only white guys), so service suffered a bit. But thankfully the chefs refused to compromise. My fav's of the eve were cucumber salad, Sichuan lamb, the regular ubiquitous Sichuan fried string beans, pepper squid (curry-ish), and of course the subtle "simple" dumplings. Oh, and the great company of fellow DTW Chowhounders. One day we're even going to get nearby CHer ConeywithEverything and her auto enthusiast hubby to join us.
PS--I thought the eggy, flower herb, rice wine dessert soup was really worth it. Never had something like that before.
PPS--dishes seasoned with pickled Sichuan vegetables almost always are a winner here. Granted, probably a lot of Chinese chemicals aid in the preservation, but..... Yum! Will be back soon.
A late review of this fantastic event.
I’ll open by saying I took my 15-year old food-adventurous son with me. Not just to enjoy a culinary adventure, but to ensure that there were no leftovers.
And there were none. He seen to that!
The highlight of the starters was the spicy jellyfish salad. It was interesting, tasty, and different. Translucent, slightly chewy, a very faint fish taste with a nice little spicy kick. Certainly worth a go (my son had seconds – which would be a recurring theme). Along with this was a cucumber salad – a little peppery, but refreshing nonetheless. Pork was also served – both types were scrumptious as ever – you can’t go wrong with sweet & sour chewy pork!
The meatball soup was good – I assume it was pork meatballs, but whatever it was, it went down well; there was a lot of slurping. Trizest has got spice/flavor balance nailed down, and this soup was a fine example of that. The Sichuan Lamb was a hit – I’m a big lamb fan, and to have it cooked as it was with Sichuan peppercorns and little rockets-of-fire chilies was wonderful. Add in that the lamb was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and we had a contender for Dish of the Evening.
But that was before we had the Spicy Fish.. battered fried flounder with a bunch of spices! Crispy and Fishy and Spicy. Delicious! Both my son and I agreed that this was up there with the best of the evening.
However, for me, the squid stole the show. Squid can be a pain to get right – undercooked or overcooked = chewy. Not here. Trizest had it bang-on. The sauce it came it, with also bang-on, with a balance of sweet and tart and, of course, heat.
A table favorite was the dumplings… I wish there were more, and that I had the space to contain them!!! The dumplings by themselves were just great, but with their spicy chilly oil sauce, even better! (The sauce was also really good with rice).
The big ‘ol shrimp can’t go without a mention – the cooks at Trizest sure have a knack of cooking seafood to perfection! You know, when you bite into a shrimp, it should have a snap, then be succulent and juicy… it was!
Beef with tea-tree mushrooms – nice and tasty while warm, but more than any other dish – eat it while it’s warm!
I can’t say there was any dish I didn’t like – I would order everything again. Even the flowery dessert (which had a few mixed reactions) went down well. Being not a big fan of dessert, nor sweet stuff in general, I approached with caution. Thankfully, this was not too sweet, and had some very different little rice ball in it – which had the initial consistency of bubblegum – this was all new to me, and surprisingly good.
Service was good – fast, and efficient considering our group size. Well done, Trizest!!!
Being the first time with this group, I was concerned that we would feel like outsiders. We didn’t and we had fun. I was proud of my son – he tried and enjoyed everything without hesitation– and wants more!
Overall, this was the best Chinese food I’ve had outside of China. We will be back!