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Jan 15, 2013 11:22 AM

Sichuan Cottage Marlboro

Grand opening this week in the plaza with the post office in it on rt 79. As usual, I had to try it right away, but for a change I'm glad I did.

I went for lunch and decided to try an order of soup dumplings and a lunch special. Well, the soup dumplings and the wonton soup that came with the lunch special were both ordinary so I didn't have high hopes for the rest of my food. Fortunately I ordered a Sichuan dish called Chicken with 3 Peppers. This was really good, bordering on great. A real Sichuan dish like I haven't had in a long while. The plate was good sized, loaded with bite sized pieces of chicken and so many peppers. There were fresh jalapeno, dried red chinese peppers and a liberal use of hot pepper oil. By the time I finished I was sweating, wiping my runny nose, and trying to feel my tongue, and loving it.

I hope that the rest of the Sichuan dishes on the menu are as good as that one and I plan on trying some soon. If anyone else locally loves the heat like I do, help me out and post about it. I have my fingers crossed that dishes like Fresh Bacon and Leek in Sichuan Hot Sauce live up to this one.

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  1. Nice, I might have to try this!

    i just got back from vegas. One of my clients took me to China town for some "real" Schezuan food. He is from China. I was the only non asian guy there and the menus aren't even in English. I had some frog legs, for the first time, and a bunch of other great dishes he ordered for the table. I am definitely into this style of Chinese! its much different than the watered down flavoring at most local chinese spots.

    Would you say this is more "authentic" Chinese style than most places?

    15 Replies
    1. re: corvette johnny

      Not at all. Like any smart local chinese resto they have the usual americanized stuff on the menu. But, there are quite a few dishes in the Sichuan section, and I am hoping those are all as good as mine was today. I look forward to your review and I'm sure you will compare it to your Vegas experience.

      As far as what authentic means, I still have no idea. There was another recent thread that argued the point. Personally I like the food at Temple and Peking Pavillion as much as Shanghai Bun and Westlake locally. I also had an amazing meal at Mission Chinese in NYC recently and my Chinese companion, who also enjoyed his dinner, told me that the food was not at all like anything he had ever eaten anywhere in China. Go figure.

      1. re: seal

        Are you telling me we have an actual Sichuan restaurant in Monmouth county? I am SO STOKED!!

        1. re: joonjoon

          Sitting in this place right now as I type this, because someone at an event I'm attending doesn't know what "gluten sensitive" means. Was going to get the soup dumplings, but alas, the wrappers are made of wheat. Ordered off the Sichuan menu, double sautéed pork, no rice. Will let you all know how it is/was. Shoulda come here first, kinda wish I had ordered the spicy beef casserole. :)

          1. re: MarlboroMan

            This dish was great! It was subtitled as "fresh bacon with leek in hot Sichuan sauce". I ordered it medium. It was spicy enough for me. There were fresh jalapenos in it.. I avoided most of them.

            At first, I thought the prices were kind of high. But after receiving the dish, I thought the amount of meat in it was more than fair. It also tasted "homemade" and not at all like typical Chinese food.

            Dining room was mostly filled. Kinda glad my dinner was botched up.. this was a nice time!

            1. re: MarlboroMan

              There's no soy sauce in that dish?

              1. re: MGZ

                I always forget about that. Yeah it was pretty salty. My guts were hurting this morning but I figured it was the spiciness. Guess I Need to be more careful.

                1. re: MarlboroMan

                  I have a cousin who has trouble with gluten, but loves spicy Chinese food. I'm always on the lookout for her.

                2. re: MGZ

                  Pic of double sautéed pork from Sichuan Cottage in Marlboro.

                3. re: MarlboroMan

                  Looking at Page 2 of the online menu (!page-...) I can't help but be curious about the few selections that are listed with absolutely no English descriptions (#902, #942 & #943)...

                  1. re: equal_Mark

                    Well, whatever they are, they're probably what my husband will order when we go, as his rule is "always order what is not translated".

                    1. re: equal_Mark

                      The characters are really hard to read but I think #902 is Spicy Rabbit and #942 is some sort of hot fried intestines, perhaps with green peppers. The first two characters for #943 mean "hot fried" and the last means "flower". Can't read the third one.

                      The Chicken with 3 Peppers dish mentioned above is of course titled that on the menu in English, but the Chinese characters are actually "3 Cup Chicken" and that is what it is traditionally called.

                      1. re: kamiosaki

                        So.. 1 Chicken, 3 Cups? :)

                        Who wants to go in on an order of hot intestines with me?

                        1. re: MarlboroMan

                          Never mind - it is 3 Pepper Chicken. I misread it. The other ones I am still pretty sure of.

                          There is actually a 3 Cup Chicken, and it has hot peppers in it.

                        2. re: kamiosaki

                          #902 and #942 sound right according to what Mark got from THE EATER'S GUIDE TO CHINESE CHARACTERS by James D. McCawley (ISBN 0-226-55591-7). #943 seems to be "Fire Pepper Cashew Kidney" or something like that.

              2. Wish I had seen your post earlier. Swung by Shanghai Bun earlier today to find they are closed on Tuesdays (not the first time, nor the last that I will forget this). Will definitely check this place out.

                1. ooh, ooh, ooh!!! Do you have the address? I don't know where the post office in Marlboro is. Would LOVE to try it! Thanks!

                    1. Is this it? I couldn't find a menu maybe someone else can.
                      My husband loves spicy and will be thrilled. I can not handle any spice, so hopefully there will be something thing for me too, otherwise I'll just be starving as he smiles!

                      If I can only get past Shanghai Bun we'll try it. I am so addicted to that place. It offers menu items we love for both our tastes and we haven't found any place we like as much. It would be so nice to go somewhere else at least once in a while! I am unfortunately my own worst enemy!

                      Thanks for the great post Seal!

                      Sichuan Cottage
                      8 S Main St
                      Marlboro NJ 07746
                      (732) 577-8146

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: EL7

                        Wow, this one slipped completely under my radar, and I live in Marlboro! Oh well, been in Jacksonville for the past week, (and still here!).. just starting to catch up. Will put this place on my go to list for sure!

                        1. re: MarlboroMan

                          Went back to pick up take out for dinner last night. This is getting weird. Starting with the mediocre, we had an order of boneless spare ribs, an order of chicken in garlic sauce, and an order of shanghai rice cakes and they were all less than average. I may have to give up ordering anything but Sichuan dishes there.
                          So, on to the good. We got a Spicy Beef Stew Casserole. Nice sized pieces of beef belly and leeks over a bed of glass noodles all in a good amount of sauce that was full of hot oil. I liked this a lot.
                          Scoresheet - 2 for 2 on the Sichuan dishes and 0 for 5 on everything else. Looking forward to a second opinion on this as I know I can be very picky.