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Szechuan's Dumpling Is Amazing, Lucky Arlington

s
Swankalicious Feb 21, 2013 03:58 PM

Mr. Swank and I were passing through Arlington Heights this evening and saw a large "OPEN" sign at SD. Turns out the grand opening was tonight! We decided on takeout. The dining room was fairly busy with a good assortment of olds, youngs, families and so forth.
OK, so -- we got the mini juicy pork buns. Rivals anything I've eaten in Chinatown. Perfectly explosive-in-your-mouth juiciness.
Also got shrimp and vegetable dumplings: same sensation. Both came with a yummy hot chili sauce.
I ordered beef tendon and shank in chili sauce, a specialty for me. This dish was somewhat ma la and tingly. I wish the tendon had been a bit softer, but it certainly beats the odd Jello-ish goo I've had elsewhere, plus the tingle factor earns points in my book.
Also ordered beef noodle soup (with flat noodles). WOW. Just wow. First of all, I'll be feasting on this for a week. Secondly, the broth is just rich, tangy, a bit sweet...absolutely delicious. Could've used some scallions, maybe, but in general really amazing.
Mr. Swank got pork with mustard greens and is currently moaning with delight.
The service was very nice, and the menu is enormous -- with an emphasis on soups. The house specialty list is small and focuses a lot on seafood. I did notice clams in black bean sauce with basil on the menu. There are many spicy options, too, which suits me just fine. There are also rice plates for just 6.95, including the often hard-to-find beef with tomato sauce. I'll be back to try this, as well as their oyster pancake appetizer.
The dumplings were on par with Gourmet Dumpling in Chinatown.
In general, a hearty endorsement!!

  1. digga Feb 21, 2013 08:17 PM

    I walked by earlier today but didn't have time to stop in...did you happen to notice if they have beer?

    4 Replies
    1. re: digga
      a
      AtownEatz Feb 21, 2013 08:59 PM

      They have Heineken and wine. We haven't seen a list, so I don't know if there are other options. They have a wait now and haven't worked out the timing so it's slow going for opening night.

      Just finished an amazing meal. The Mini Juicy Pork Dumplings, Hot and Sour Soup, Eggplant with Basil, and Boneless Spareribs (not something I usually eat) were phenomenal. Authentic Chinese food comes to Arlington!

      1. re: AtownEatz
        b
        bear Feb 21, 2013 10:50 PM

        Do you happen to know if there's an on-line menu, especially for takeout?

        1. re: bear
          s
          Swankalicious Feb 22, 2013 08:37 AM

          I couldn't find one and ended up snagging a to-go menu displayed in a case near their entrance.

          1. re: Swankalicious
            b
            bear Feb 22, 2013 08:42 AM

            Thanks, Swank. I'll stop by and grab one when I'm in the area. I feel those pesky five pounds that I've managed to scare away creeping back with this place being so close...

    2. l
      lossless Feb 21, 2013 11:08 PM

      Thank you for the review. I guess I know where I'm eating lunch tomorrow.

      1. g
        gourmaniac Feb 22, 2013 10:24 AM

        thanks for this. Was the pork with mustard greens, braised pork belly with preserved mustard greens?

        1. g
          grant.cook Feb 22, 2013 11:22 AM

          Thx for the review.. I drove by and saw them open, pretty crowded. I look forward to trying the dumplings.

          I do hope they bring the ma la on ma po tofu and twice cooked pork.. it would be nice if they could rival Chilli Garden in Medford

          1. l
            lossless Feb 22, 2013 01:57 PM

            Very much enjoyed the beef noodles (I tried the flat noodles too) and the xiao long bao. The XLB was tasty, with moderate temperature and skin thickness. You won't burn your mouth on these.

            1. n
              nategold Feb 22, 2013 02:01 PM

              I went there today and had dumpling noodle soup with rice noodles. Got a huge bowl (think Sapporo Ramen size) with about 10 or 12 *large* dumplings and a lot of noodles. The broth is a vegetable broth, which I was not used to but suspect is highly authentic - Chinese people please chime in here. Therefore it is not as rich as a meat based broth but was very good. And the whole deal set me back $6.25.

              They have a really huge menu, and it looks pretty authentic to me. Items like spicy shredded pork ears, okra with sa cha sauce, sliced pork kidney w spicy sauce, etc. but also dishes more familiar. My hope is that if indeed it is authentic they keep it that way, keep it spicy, and don't water down to some idea of a suburban restaurant. I suspect this could become our favorite Chinese restaurant outside Chinatown, Mary Chung's in Cambridge, and Shangri La in Belmont.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nategold
                Ferrari328 Mar 23, 2013 02:17 PM

                Interesting, I had the same dish today and it was six dumplings in a Chicken/Seaweed broth with some pickled veggie bits on the bottom.

                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

              2. l
                lossless Feb 22, 2013 02:04 PM

                Quick photos of the takeout menu for your perusal.

                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                3 Replies
                1. re: lossless
                  b
                  bear Feb 22, 2013 02:13 PM

                  Awesome. Thanks so much!

                  1. re: lossless
                    Nab Feb 22, 2013 02:31 PM

                    Happy to see they adhered to the template !

                    1. re: lossless
                      a
                      antimony Feb 27, 2013 03:45 PM

                      Thanks! Wow, so many dishes I want to try.

                    2. m
                      morecheesejer Feb 22, 2013 03:09 PM

                      Wow...lots of early love for these guys, and deservedly so. I just got back from a tasty lunch there. I got the XLB and the beef noodle soup. The XLB had outstanding flavor and texture - the broth was really exceptional. My only small bone to pick is that the dumpling construction could use improvement, one or two were leaking when they got to me, and another 3-4 sprouted a leak on their way from the steamer to the spoon. It wouldn't be a big deal if the broth weren't so delicious.
                      The soup was good, but I wouldn't have minded a spicier kick to it. Next time I might ask for it to extra spicy.
                      The space is nice, clean, friendly waitstaff. I'll definitely be back

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: morecheesejer
                        u
                        UnclePH Feb 22, 2013 06:43 PM

                        We ran in this afternoon after reading your report. Really fantastic. Had the Shang Dong Dumpling, XLB, Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings and Housemade KimChi. Definitely will be back. Thanks for posting!

                        1. re: UnclePH
                          b
                          bear Feb 22, 2013 09:06 PM

                          Can you describe the Shang Dong Dumpling?

                          1. re: UnclePH
                            l
                            lossless Feb 22, 2013 09:39 PM

                            Yes, as well as the salt and pepper chicken wings? Curious about that one too.

                            1. re: lossless
                              u
                              UnclePH Feb 22, 2013 10:10 PM

                              Oh yes! The Shang Dong dumpling is much more reminiscent of a classic potsticker, however the wrapper is much thinner. The filling is a combination of ground pork, dried shrimp and Chinese chives. Also a bit longer than a typical dumpling. I have to confess, I liked them better than th XLB.

                              As for the Chicken wings it's an enormous portion for the price. ($6.95 maybe). Super crisp coating but very light and not a hint of greasiness. Then tossed with salt, pepper, chilis, fried shallots and green onion. Loved them!

                        2. g
                          grant.cook Feb 22, 2013 09:05 PM

                          Has anyone had a dish that traditionally really brings the ma-la heat and numbing? Like Twice cooked pork? I would love it if this place weren't hesitant to crank up the intensity.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: grant.cook
                            s
                            saria Feb 23, 2013 04:14 AM

                            Twice-cooked pork isn't a dish where you would look for ma-la, though. It isn't typically made with Sichuan peppercorns. It's also not a super-hot dish, at least not in comparison to some others.

                            1. re: grant.cook
                              s
                              Swankalicious Feb 23, 2013 01:44 PM

                              I found the beef tendon in chili sauce to be sufficiently ma la.

                            2. e
                              Edokko Feb 22, 2013 10:14 PM

                              Word is getting around on this place. We went tonight (Friday) and there was a bit of a wait. Then the wait for each dish got longer and longer as the evening wore on. Orders were getting mixed up left and right. We were brought a fish and then a chicken dish that we hadn't ordered. But I won't hold that against them yet, since they just opened a couple days ago.

                              We had fish fillet with Szechuan sauce, mapo tofu, stinky tofu, pork mini juicy dumplings, and steamed shrimp & vegetable dumpling. The standout in this bunch was the steamed shrimp & vegetable dumpling. Fresh hand-made dumpling skin, juicy filling with a touch of sesame oil. I don't have much comparison to go on with stinky tofu, but I liked it well enough--a generous amount of minced garlic and pickled spicy cabbage on top. The mapo tofu, with which I have much more history, was a disappointment. No "ma" and the sauce had a gloopy texture--too much corn starch, I guess. I'll stick to Chilli Garden for my mapo fix.

                              The soup dumplings were decent. The fish fillet in Szechuan sauce had great flavor, strong on ginger and black bean, with a good balance of "ma" and "la" (although the sauce was rather watery, probably due to the large amount of Chinese cabbage in the dish).

                              Overall, a very welcome addition to Arlington, where we have lacked a decent Chinese joint (besides the hot pots of LIttle Q).

                              1. Ferrari328 Feb 26, 2013 03:57 PM

                                Went there for lunch today and of course I had to try the Pork Mini Juicy Dumpling! 8 dumplings and there was really nothing mini about them. They are served with a Black Vinegar/Soy/Ginger sauce. Somebody else reported that you got a chilli sauce with them but this is what I got and the dumplings were really good and don't just bite into them, you will get soup all over you. The trick is to carefully bite the top off, slurp off some soup and then add some of the sauce and then carefully take a bite. The pork was nice and juicy but the soup was overly salty but I haven't heard any complaints about that anywhere so this might just be opening jitters. My main lunch dish was the Shredded Pork with Bamboo Tips and Hot Chilli. This was marked as spicy on the menu (Yeah!) but didn't look very spicy but after tasting it it was nice and hot with a good amount of heat from the bird eye chillis. The pork was tender and the bamboo shots had been properly soaked so I was very happy with this dish. There is Calamari, Squid, Pork Kidney, Okra among other things available on the lunch menu! I'll be back for more of the good stuff.

                                Szecuan's Dumpling (Aren't there something wrong with the grammar here?)
                                1360 Massachusetts Ave.
                                Arlington, MA 02476

                                781-648-8882

                                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                 
                                1. Ferrari328 Mar 1, 2013 03:57 PM

                                  I couldn't wait to get back there and try more interesting dishes. The lunch menu has 55 items listed. Decided to start with Steamed Sliced Pork Belly in Garlic Sauce appetizer that did look a bit fierce but was only mildly spicy and did lack the garlic punch that was expected. The pork itself was delicious! There is a mound of lettuce underneath the pork to make it look bigger than what it is but this is also very common and almost expected. Next was Pork Legs Noodle Soup and I selected Shanghai White Noodle from the choice of six! different noodles. This soup is a bit mislabeled, it should really be called Pork Feet Noodle Soup but I kind of expected that this was what I would get. Not sure how the feet were cooked, they almost looked red braised but what you could gnaw off had a delicious gelatinous richness in abundance. The Shanghai noodles and the soup itself was also really nice. All this for a whopping $6.25! Warning, there is no way to eat this gracefully!

                                  http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                   
                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Ferrari328
                                    StriperGuy Mar 4, 2013 02:34 PM

                                    I need some of that!

                                    1. re: StriperGuy
                                      Alcachofa Mar 29, 2013 10:49 AM

                                      Dammit! I saw that appetizer on the menu yesterday, and somehow "lost track" of it before ordering. Yeah, I need to get back soon for that.

                                      Had the Shang Dong dumplings which were excellent. What does "shang dong" mean?

                                      Lo mein had an interesting funky taste, like no lo mein I've had before. Just noodles, nothing mixed in. DC said "menthol"???

                                      Pork and bamboo was also excellent, but was listed as a spicy item, but was absolutely mild. Do I need to give the secret handshake there for them to bring out the spice?

                                      Salt and pepper chicken wings were very good, perfectly fried. Though again, not spicy at all.

                                      1. re: Alcachofa
                                        g
                                        grant.cook Mar 29, 2013 11:30 AM

                                        I ordered a take out dish as "Extra spicy" and got the "are you sure you know what you are asking for" discussion with the owner. It was good, but I could have handled hotter. They seem light with the peppercorns too.

                                        1. re: Alcachofa
                                          MC Slim JB Mar 29, 2013 11:47 AM

                                          Shang Dong is a region of China famous for its doo-wop combos.

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            Alcachofa Mar 29, 2013 12:35 PM

                                            Not a fan of the oldies radio format, but these dumplings were good.

                                      2. re: Ferrari328
                                        StriperGuy May 21, 2013 03:14 PM

                                        Just ate that for lunch! With rice cake. Wow. Ate the whole darned huge bowl of soup. Fabulous soup! I swear after they braise the pigs for I think they then char it over charcoal. Great stuff.

                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                          digga May 21, 2013 05:10 PM

                                          Gotta try their rice cake soon...We've enjoyed the Sichuan fish filets, salt-and-pepper calamari, Chinese broccoli, B loved the mini juicy pork dumplings (he gave me one to take a bite off the top of the dumpling and found it dried out...it may have been because we were eating at 4:30pm-ish one Saturday? Maybe the dumplings were not as fresh as can be at that weird eating hour?).

                                          We're grateful that this place is within walking distance. There's much more we need to try.

                                      3. a
                                        antimony Mar 3, 2013 01:08 PM

                                        Probably going to head there tonight -- anyone have any recommendations out of the vegetarian dishes? I'm tempted by all the bitter melon dishes, but really any recommendations would be great.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: antimony
                                          a
                                          antimony Mar 3, 2013 11:54 PM

                                          And we did go -- it was already hopping but no wait at 6pm on a Sunday. Vegetable dumplings were wonderful -- filled with spinach or similar green vegetable and tofu. I got the "stir-fried bitter melon" which was in a clear, heavily gingered sauce and it was lovely, and my husband got "braised tofu and vegetables", which was sweet and smoky but not Americanized-sweet. Really good, very inexpensive, and their take-out menu claims they deliver to our house, so I expect I will be trying more of it.

                                          Service was slow -- it took forever to get our orders put in, but once in they came out quite quickly, and water was refilled/we were checked on often enough. And everyone was very pleasant.

                                        2. s
                                          Swankalicious Mar 3, 2013 08:16 PM

                                          An update to my earlier review: We dined at the restaurant last night. Oh, wow. We had a 25-minute wait and the experience lasted about two hours. Amazing service but they were slammed with dine-in and takeout orders. Had clams in spicy sauce, and they don't lie -- the dish was incredibly hot. Clams were fresh and excellent. Mr. Swank had salt-and-pepper shrimp, which he enjoyed, and Young Swank enjoyed his chicken fingers. HOWEVER, I also ordered an oyster pancake, which was somehow forgotten in the shuffle. It arrived about an hour into our meal. It was succulent, coated in a plum sauce, but by the end of the meal I was almost too full to enjoy it. Service was distracted (had to flag waitress down to beg for water), but apologetic. It seemed like the whole town was there, popping dumplings like candy.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Swankalicious
                                            l
                                            lossless Mar 3, 2013 08:55 PM

                                            I'm glad to hear the place is doing well. Can't wait to go back this week. Thanks to everyone here, I have too many things to try.

                                            For cheap laughs, check out their Yelp page for the one-star review.

                                            1. re: lossless
                                              v
                                              VintageMolly Mar 3, 2013 09:51 PM

                                              Oh dear. That yelp review is . . . . something.

                                          2. KWagle Mar 4, 2013 05:44 AM

                                            Interesting. The picture on the Yelp page suggests its Chinese name is 蜀香園 or Shu xiang yuan, which roughly translates as "Sichuan flavor garden". The first character,
                                            according to Pleco, refers to the Chengdu region, which is a promising sign. I'm looking forward to trying this place when i get back.

                                            I have to wonder, why has the word "dumpling" become common in the American names of restaurants that aren't really so much about dumplings?

                                            And, Googling that Chinese string brings up some pictures of delicious looking food from other restaurants with the same name.

                                            1. d
                                              Dinsdale45 Mar 4, 2013 12:54 PM

                                              Ha! Some pinhead on Yelp was complaining that the chicken fingers and crab rangoon weren't on a par with the place SD replaced. One star! AVOID!

                                              Can't wait to get down there.

                                              1. GretchenS Mar 4, 2013 05:30 PM

                                                Friends and I had dinner here Friday night. About a 15 minute wait at 6:30. Our bottom line was that we liked everything we ordered and would order them again, but with two notable exceptions, we liked them just a notch less than the same things down the street at Taipei Gourmet.
                                                We ordered two orders of the mini juicy pork buns. One arrived and was neither very hot (temperature-wise) nor very good. The second batch was both very hot and very good, but the quality of the wrapper, to us, was not as good as that at Taipei Gourmet. We also got the steamed veggie dumplings, again very good but just a titch below TG's. Peapod stems and salt and pepper pork, same story. Ma po tofu was quite a lot better than TG's (it is something I do not care for at TG) but not a patch on the ma po tofu at Chilli Garden. The twice cooked pork arrived way after everything else, just a bit more than lukewarm (it had clearly been looking for a home for awhile) and was nonetheless extremely good -- and Ferrari328 it was pork belly!! Service was pleasant as can be although harried. I will be glad to go back but will probably dine more often at Taipei Gourmet.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: GretchenS
                                                  Ferrari328 Mar 4, 2013 06:39 PM

                                                  Thanks, looking forward to try the twice cooked pork now! I asked at TG if it was soup dumplings that was on the menu and she said No so I never tried them. Next time.

                                                  http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                2. Ferrari328 Mar 9, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                  The good news is that they serve from the lunch menu 7 days a week.
                                                  Today's lunch soup was Seaweed Soup, it was OK but not very exciting. I decided to try the Chili Chicken hoping for something authentic but what I got was your standard chicken in brown sauce with celery, peppers and a few onions cooked with some chilies. The only redeeming feature was that it was actually spicy! Not overly so but better than what it looked like. Portion size was certainly adequate. Oh well, we are learning so no big deal.

                                                  http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                   
                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Ferrari328
                                                    b
                                                    bear Mar 9, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                    Thanks for all the reports and pics, Ferrari. I find them really informative.

                                                  2. l
                                                    lossless Mar 9, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                    I made another trip too. Hot and sour soup (small) was fairly big, served in a bowl. Very good flavor - I ate all down to the last drop which I don't do very often since I get somewhat bored of even a cup. Not very spicy but I didn't mind at all. Spicy shredded pork ears was nicely chewy, somewhat mild in flavor. Salt and pepper whole shrimp with head was crunchy and thankfully not greasy.

                                                    What I liked was that the flavor of all the dishes was good without being very strong in saltiness or spiciness. Sometimes, when I want to get punched in the mouth, I like to head over to Chilli Garden. Over here it seems more subtle.

                                                     
                                                     
                                                     
                                                    1. Ferrari328 Mar 13, 2013 01:16 PM

                                                      Went back for lunch today to try something different and my choice was the Beef Stew Noodles Soup. I didn't specify the type of noodle and got the Taiwanese Egg Noodle. The size is much similar to thin spaghetti but I think I would have liked a thicker noodle. The bowl is HUGE! The broth was delicious, beefy and very fragrant but despite the red hue it wasn't very spicy at all. Both the manager and the waiter asked if it was spicy and looked surprised when I said no. In fact a lady at the next table who had the same dish also mentioned that it wasn't very spicy. Again, no big deal. The beef was served sliced rather than in the chunks you normally see. Since I like this place I will say that the beef was pleasantly chewy but also very tasty :-).

                                                      http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                       
                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Ferrari328
                                                        g
                                                        grant.cook Mar 13, 2013 01:22 PM

                                                        I had the pork with spicy szechuan sauce for dinner. I asked for it extra spicy, and upon pickup, the owner and I got into a "arre you sure? Its really spicy...." conversation. She was very polite and enjoyable to talk to, and I told her I was glad to see the place doing well.

                                                        When I got home and ate, it was spicy, but not blow the doors off heat - I enjoyed it. Very healthy portion size as well. Perhaps they held back a bit just because of the American palette. I'll have to remember to ask for them to amp it up on dishes - maybe over time they'll trust me to handle more heat.

                                                        1. re: Ferrari328
                                                          h
                                                          heypielady Jun 7, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                          Oof, I should have looked at that picture first. I just had the beef stew noodle soup. The broth and noodles were so tasty but the beef! I don't mind the chewiness but the really hard cartilage-y tendon-y gristle-y parts that can only be swallowed whole are just not for me.

                                                          Also, as others have said, not spicy at all.

                                                        2. p
                                                          pedxing Mar 15, 2013 09:21 PM

                                                          Thanks to the many Chowhounds here for alerting me to this great place. To my taste it's the best Chinese food discovery in the area since Fu Loon a few years back.

                                                          Four of us, including two Chinese speakers went a few days ago. Interestingly, the owner who was very friendly and seemed wonderfully on top of things (reminding me a bit Diane at Fu Loon) grew up in Vietnam (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City). We ordered the pork mini-juicy dumplings and shrimp/vegetable dumplings for appetizers. The steamed mini-juicy dumplings were great with a really fine pork broth providing a great burst of flavor. The other dumplings were nicely fried and flavorful - the wrappers were delicately browned. The sauces were great compliments.

                                                          Garlic eggplant was nicely browned, cooked wonderfully - texture and flavor were spot on. The pork bits were a delicious compliment.

                                                          The szhechuan crispy fish was served with loads of cabbage and red peper in a very spicy broth. It was a little light on szechuan pepper for my taste - especially given the intensity of the spice. The owner said it was the spiciest item on the menu. It provided a lot of heat, but would need a little more complexity of flavor to be on a par with the other items. It's the only item we had that I am not eager to try again.

                                                          Crispy chicken with basil was also fried just right and it achieved what a quick frying should, sealing in fresh chicken flavor. It was winner!

                                                          Hot and sour soup had some real character - less heat than the standard, but definitely more interesting.

                                                          In the long run, Fu Loon even though its a few minutes away will likely remain my first choice. But for the moment I am quite enamored of Szechuan Dumplings.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: pedxing
                                                            p
                                                            pedxing Apr 22, 2013 04:31 PM

                                                            On repeat visits, I've still enjoyed the food and found it well above average - but have not had a meal as wonderful as I had on my first visit (above) in which everything seemed to have been done with just the perfect touch.

                                                          2. g
                                                            grant.cook Mar 16, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                            Still closed.. walked by today at noon, plumbing sign still up

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: grant.cook
                                                              l
                                                              lossless Mar 16, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                              Thank you, please let us know if you happen to pass by again + they're open.

                                                            2. Ferrari328 Mar 20, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                              Another successful lunch at this delightful restaurant. Todays soup was the pork and seaweed and I kind of wished that they did the normal H&S soup, this one isn't very exciting but the rest of the lunch was.
                                                              Finally got to try the Twice Cooked Pork from the lunch menu. First of all, this is done with Pork Belly so I was happy right off the bat. There was a lot of cabbage and some sliced hot green peppers and some black beans and all of it drizzled with chili oil. This is a very nice rendering of this classic dish but I kind of missed the smoked tofu that you normally see. It had some heat especially if you mixed in the green peppers with the cabbage. There was also another bean in there that was spicy but I have no idea what it was and I finished all of them before thinking about asking the staff. I continued to eat the rice and cabbage even after the pork was gone so this was a really good dish. And then when I was really stuffed the owner brought out a sample of Beef Tendon and Shank in Chili Sauce appetizer for me to try! This was delicious. The tendon was perfect and the beef was tender and flavorful and the chili sauce covered everything. It was not overly spicy but she said that they keep the heat down and could make it more spicy on request.

                                                              http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                               
                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                l
                                                                lossless Mar 22, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                Your pictures looked inviting so I tried the same dishes earlier today. I agree the flavors in the twice cooked pork were very good - I had no problems finishing all the veggies. The pork was a bit uneven - some bits were too tough, beyond the good sort of varying textures. The beef appetizer was ok; I prefer the ones from, say, Thailand Cafe. Meh on the soup for me too - it was the clear one with daikon cubes - barely warm.

                                                              2. t
                                                                TechieTechie Mar 23, 2013 06:31 PM

                                                                I just ate here, and I am on the fence. Some great food, some mediocre. Shang Dong dumplings were excellent, on par with the best in Chinatown. Sauteed Chinese water spinach (with garlic sauce) again, very good. Beef Chow Fun was good, a little light on both the sauce and the meat, but with full flavor.

                                                                However, my holy grail dish was disappointing. I base my love affair with a Szechwan restaurant on one dish....salt and pepper pork chops. They are hard to find (since they are a non-Americanized dish) and hard to do well. The old Jumbo Seafood and Peach Farm in Chinatown are the best I've had in Boston....Medford's Chili Garden have a bit of a preservative/fish taste and Qing Dao/House of Chang both use a breading that is heavier than Peach Farm.

                                                                At Szechuan's, it was decent, but not great. The pieces were too small, so some of the meat was overcooked. The oil had been overused, so the pork had a slightly off putting flavor. And, they did did not use bone-in pieces, so the pork was dry and without that small amount of fattiness that makes salt and pepper pork savory. And finally, there was not nearly enough pepper.

                                                                I was hoping for a perfect meal. Twas not to be.

                                                                I miss Medford Square's Szechuan place (now a organic sushi place, next to Modern Pastry) that was open all of about 6 months. It was the best I'd had outside of Peach Farm. *Sigh*.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: TechieTechie
                                                                  GretchenS Mar 23, 2013 07:36 PM

                                                                  Have you tried the salt and pepper pork chops at Mulan in Waltham or Taipei Gourmet on Mass Ave in Lexington? I love both but am relatively new to the dish. I did think both renditions were better than SD's, would love to hear what you think.

                                                                  1. re: TechieTechie
                                                                    itaunas Mar 24, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                                    TechieTechie you are comparing Sichuan restaurants based on a Boston Cantonese gold standard -- Peach Farm (and Jumbo). Also Wonder Taste in Medford was primarily cantonese, but like many of the restaurants in the area did prepare dishes from other areas. In any case, if you order salt and pepper dishes in a sichuan restaurant the sichuan pepper is likely to be more prominent (which doesn't seem to be the case here). That is definitely the case with Chili Garden, who also uses chili oil. Peach Farm seems to use more black pepper, along with the sliced chillis.

                                                                    I would suggest you try Sun Kong in Malden -- although its primarily known for Dim Sum, I had a very nice salt and pepper squid there (not certain about the pork, although I can make other suggestions in Chinatown). New China Pearl in Woburn also does nice salt and pepper seafood dishes and seems to be firing all cylinders now, but its been so up and down over the years. Would probably do pork chops on request. Wangs spiced salt and pepper spare ribs are also quite good.

                                                                  2. Ferrari328 Mar 30, 2013 03:41 PM

                                                                    Went back for another lunch today and started with the Shang Dong dumpling that was excellent with a really tasty and juicy filling in excellent wrappers that had a nice sear on the outside. I also tried the Salt and Pepper Wings and while not being that spicy they were nice and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. HUGE amount of wings.

                                                                    Second Mulan for the Salt and Pepper Chops. Also the Pork Chop Noodle soup is outstanding and served with a plate of pork chops on the side.

                                                                    http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                     
                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                      opinionatedchef Mar 31, 2013 02:14 AM

                                                                      ferr, are these pork--- like peking rav filling? what lovely house made wrappers.... Tomorrow/today is Easter so prob no one will be there, right? (kiddddding) Guess we'll try it soon, next wk instead! thx again for your reports and esp your excellent photos..

                                                                    2. t
                                                                      T.B. Apr 8, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                      Stopped in for dinner last night around 7:30. There was no wait for a table, service was fine, and the food came out quite fast. We started with an Oyster Pancake, which was good and nicely-cooked, neither greasy nor dried out. The bed of greens it was served on was an especially nice touch. Anybody know what the red sauce on top might have been? It was a bit sweet but not plummy.

                                                                      Also had the Shang Dong Pan-Fried Dumpling, a fine version of peking ravs with nice wrappers. I'd have preferred a bit more flavor in the dipping sauce, though.

                                                                      For mains we went with three dishes marked as "hot & spicy": Crispy Chicken with Basil Leaves, Pork with Tofu and Yellow Chives, and Garlic Eggplant (in Hot Pot). Sadly, the chicken was too salty, though there was a hint of heat in the coating mix. I much prefer Mulan's version. The pork & tofu was a solidly hearty rendition, much like the one from Wang's and not at all spicy.

                                                                      The garlic eggplant was outstanding, unctuous and flavorful with a bit or warmth from the chili oil. I'd come back just for that dish, which is different from the versions at Fuloon, Sichuan Garden, or Mulan but just as tasty.

                                                                      I think the reports of under-spicing for this place are consistent and that asking for "extra-spicy" might be the way to get more standard heat levels. SD isn't going to displace any of my current Chinese standards. I wouldn't call it amazing, exactly, but it's a great addition to Arlington and another good place to eat when I'm meeting friends there.

                                                                      (Cell phone pix of oyster pancake and garlic eggplant, sadly a bit out of focus.)

                                                                       
                                                                       
                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: T.B.
                                                                        s
                                                                        sciaccagirl Apr 9, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                        Stopped by for lunch last week. Ordered a lunch special pork with bamboo shoots. Must agree the soup of the day lacked flavor and ingredients. The lunch portion was very generous and tasty though not the spice level I would have liked - needed more chile peppers. All in all enjoyed my lunch and will go back to try the dumplings. The best part of my time there was my conversation with one of the owners, Kwan(?sp).
                                                                        No language barrier here. Very interested in opinions of customers. Offer feedback, help them be successful.

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        ScotchandSirloin Apr 21, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                        Made the long trip to Arlington to try SD. Really a great addition for Arlington. Was excited for the fish fillet with Szechuan sauce, but it was not their stongest dish. Good, spicy, somewhat numbing, but did nto have the depth of flavor of the GDH version (I swear they put crack cocaine in the dish at GDH. No one does it quite as well). I was really impressed by the ma po tofu, the pea pod tendrils with garlic and the twice cooked pork. The garlic eggplant was a little sweet for my taste, but very flavorful. Soup dumplings were nice and soupy, but the shandong dumplings had more flavor (maybe if they did a pork and crab soup dumpling, which are my favorite, there would be a little more going on in the flavor department). I was most impressed by the service. We had 4 adults and 5 kids/babies and everyone was so nice. Three major spills during the meal and the staff took it all in stride (giving my wife a full free refill on a glass of wine a toddler knocked over). Big tip. We never bring kids anywhere other than the 99, and almost backed out at the last second, but this place was so inviting and the food was way above average, so I would definitely do it again.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ScotchandSirloin
                                                                          opinionatedchef Apr 22, 2013 01:17 AM

                                                                          Great to hear that the kids were so welcomed.'kid friendly' is a topic that i haven't noticed much on this board, except from visitors. Good to have a place to rec to visitors w/ kids who might be staying in the lexington environs.

                                                                        2. rlh Apr 22, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                          Thanks for the heads up and details - have really enjoyed this new neighborhood spot twice for lunch as as a result - they are extremely friendly.

                                                                          The beef with longhorn chiles was great as were the soup dumplings on my first visit. The daily soup with fungus was fine but not a destination choice - it came with the lunch.

                                                                          Takeaway was the second experience - delicious shrimp and veg dumplings, great chicken noodle soup with wontons, and OK pork with bamboo tips (though mostly just heat, not a lot of flavor). Hot and sour soup was the only letdown - not bad, just bland and boring.

                                                                          Eager to try more of the menu and really glad that it's within easy walking distance! We need more of this type of place in the Heights - not a Panera clone or a new Uno's...oops, that's for another thread.

                                                                          1. w
                                                                            winmeover Jun 1, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                                            Made it there last night. Started with Mini Juicy Pork Dumplings and the Shang Dong Dumplings. Very good, just like everyone said. Then the Pork leg noodle soup with udon - the pork leg was well cooked and tasty but the soup was a little bland. Then we had Beef with long horn pepper (tasty but not fiery, could just be the long horn pepper being mild), Twice-cooked pork with added ma-la (again very tasty but the belly pork could do with a little more browning). The best dish of the night was the Sa-Cha Okra! The fine wok-seared Okra and the pungency of Sa-Cha with lots of black bean was so additive. I could have just eaten this dish with a plain bowl of rice!
                                                                            At last, I have some news to contribute. The young manager working on the floor and the head chef, both formerly of Gourmet Dumpling House, are both part owners of Szechuan's Dumplings as well as the lady at the front of the house. That's why the dumplings tasted so familiar and dishes came out similar to the Gourmet Dumpling House!
                                                                            Almost forgot, we were given a small plate of the Beef tendon/shank with chili sauce, compliment of the house. If you are a fan of ma-la, then this is the dish to go for! Perfectly cooked pieces of meat with just a little satisfying chew in a ma-la chilli oil. Certainly a good appetizer to open up anybody's appetite!

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: winmeover
                                                                              KWagle Jun 1, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                                              Ah, that explains why they can do passable versions of common Sichuan dishes. GDH was pretty good at those.

                                                                              1. re: winmeover
                                                                                StriperGuy Jun 3, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                                                Gosh I almost ordered that okra dish... I LOVE Okra

                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                  Aromatherapy Jun 3, 2013 02:45 PM

                                                                                  But was it "real" okra or Chinese okra, which is like a summer squash? (I like both.)

                                                                                  1. re: Aromatherapy
                                                                                    StriperGuy Jun 3, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                    Hmmmm very good point...

                                                                                    1. re: Aromatherapy
                                                                                      e
                                                                                      Edokko Jun 3, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                      They use "regular" okra, not Chinese okra. I had the shrimp and okra with Sa-cha sauce, and it was quite tasty.

                                                                                      1. re: Edokko
                                                                                        KWagle Jun 3, 2013 07:06 PM

                                                                                        Chinese okra is also called angled luffa. (There's also a smooth luffa; AFAIK both are edible, but only the smooth one is turned into bath accessories.) I didn't know why it was called "okra" until I saw both of them at Russo's.

                                                                                        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...

                                                                                  2. re: winmeover
                                                                                    opinionatedchef Jun 4, 2013 10:47 PM

                                                                                    FINally a dish that I would order. I looove okra; thx so much!

                                                                                  3. Ferrari328 Jun 5, 2013 01:49 PM

                                                                                    They seem to do good and was fairly busy today at lunchtime. They now only serve from the lunch menu Mon-Fri as opposed to 7 days a week.
                                                                                    I had the Wonton and Chicken Noodle soup for lunch today and I ordered it with Udon Noodles and even if the broth was a bit weak it was delicious! Good amount of tasty little wontons. There were some pickled veggies and some seaweed as well.

                                                                                    http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                     
                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      Swankalicious Jun 7, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                      FYI, Mr. Swank chatted with the owners the other day when picking up takeout. The owners mentioned that the house signature dish is Ma Po Tofu. Lucky me, that's what I'd ordered. And I've not had a better version anywhere! Absolutely perfect combination of spice and tang, and excellent quality of tofu.

                                                                                      1. re: Swankalicious
                                                                                        e
                                                                                        Edokko Jun 7, 2013 09:29 PM

                                                                                        Hmm, I tried the Ma Po when they first opened and I was disappointed. It had no "ma" and the texture was gloopy. Could they have gotten better? My fave version is at Chilli Garden.

                                                                                        1. re: Edokko
                                                                                          GretchenS Jun 8, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                                          Chilli Garden's Ma Po rocks, friends and I were just saying last night it is our hands down favorite.

                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                            e
                                                                                            Edokko Jun 8, 2013 01:09 PM

                                                                                            Ah, I need to get back there for a quick fix.

                                                                                          2. re: Edokko
                                                                                            justbeingpolite Jun 18, 2013 03:18 PM

                                                                                            I agree. Chili Garden, and also Sichuan Garden II in Woburn, and they have better Mai Tai's!

                                                                                      2. rlh Jun 8, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                                        So happy to have this in the neighborhood - love the dishes with bamboo tips and hot peppers as well as the soups, and the dumplings are OK but not as amazing as I would expect given the name.

                                                                                        Service for takeout is prompt and friendly - servings are adequate for the price but we don't have tons of leftovers like some other places.

                                                                                        We have enjoyed pretty much everything we have tried - next up are the Ma Pow Tofu and the Clams with Black Bean. The vegetable sides have also been good - pretty like the whole green pepper stir fry appetizer - several large, mildly spicy and flavorful peppeter.

                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                          rachgrn Jun 18, 2013 02:21 PM

                                                                                          I'm almost embarrassed to admit that we made two trips last weekend to this place from apple country outside of 495. Friday we went for lunch, tried the mini pork soup dumplings (or XLB) and had to go back Saturday for more. Off the lunch menu (all lunch items $6.95 includes rice and soup), we tried the Braised pork chop with spinach. YUM!! It was more like pork short ribs that were as tender as butter. Enough for 3 easily. Also tried the stir fried flounder with vegetables, also excellent and more than enough for 3 to try. Next, Sesame Chicken for an Americanized Asian food fan. It was really delicious! Very light batter, tender and all white meat. Kids wanted lo mein and I was embarrassed to even order it, but the server was so helpful and made no effort at making us feel funny. Taiwanese Egg noodles with chicken she said was like lo mein. The chicken was so soft and tender and the flavor in the noodles was like nothing I've ever had before, good enough to lick the plate! Kids also tried the Crab Rangoon and they were the best they'd ever had. Somehow there was not a drop of grease, it was almost as if they were baked. Service is excellent. Clean, single person restrooms. Great tea! Can't wait to go back.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rachgrn
                                                                                            StriperGuy Jun 18, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                            Heck Asian Gourmet in Concord is pretty darned good as well if you are coming from points West,

                                                                                            1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                              r
                                                                                              rachgrn Jun 18, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                                              Will have to try it! Have a slight addiction to the cookies at Lakota as well and its a nice ride out on Route 2 from here, but Concord much closer!

                                                                                              1. re: rachgrn
                                                                                                k
                                                                                                katzzz Jun 18, 2013 07:44 PM

                                                                                                Had the Clams with Basil off the lunch menu today. Wonderful. A bowl full of baby clams in a spicy black bean sauce For starters, split an order of Shang Dong pan fried dumplings, which I believe contain a mix of shrimp and pork. Also wonderful.

                                                                                          2. Ferrari328 Jun 21, 2013 01:40 PM

                                                                                            First, they now have free wifi. I tried the lunch Clams with Basil and it did come with a black bean sauce and the clams was delicious, plump and cooked perfectly but the sauce had some grit (sand?) and also broken shell fragments. The soup today was actually interesting with a white fungus (tomilla?) in a pork broth.

                                                                                            http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. MC Slim JB Jun 28, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                              Has anyone noticed that there are no Sichuan dumplings at Szechuan's Dumplings? More specifically, I expected to find Sichuan wontons with spicy chili sauce, a staple at other traditional Sichuan places around town. They seemed baffled by my question about it, which makes me wonder if the owners are perhaps not from Sichuan.

                                                                                              I really liked the shank/tendon dish, though it quite lacked the ma la quality mentioned here. Spicy pork with bamboo tips was huge, gloppy and very mild, a disappointment. I'll have to order around the menu some more, but I wasn't knocked over by my first visit, certainly wouldn't rate it alongside Sichuan Gourmet, Billerica or Sichuan Garden, Woburn.

                                                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                                e
                                                                                                Edokko Jun 28, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                I noted the irony also. It's better not to think of this place as a Sichuan restaurant--otherwise, expectations get dashed. Judging from menu items like "three cup" and "sa cha" I suspect the owners are from Taiwan. I enjoy those dishes more than the "Szechuan" dishes there. For my "ma" and "la" fix I go to Chilli Garden.

                                                                                                1. re: Edokko
                                                                                                  MC Slim JB Jun 28, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                                                  Taiwanese was also my working theory, based on the same clues. Haven't been to Chili Garden in a dog's age; must fix that.

                                                                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                                    justbeingpolite Jun 29, 2013 04:15 PM

                                                                                                    I spoke with the owner last night, while having very good XLB and good fried dumplins, excellent Hot and Sour Soup, and a nice fried chicken with Basil dish. She says the chefs she has are from Sichuan, Shanghai, and Shanxi.

                                                                                                    1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                                                                      KWagle Jul 2, 2013 02:52 AM

                                                                                                      Shanxi, or Shaanxi?

                                                                                                      (Yes, really. If the former, it would be interesting to ask the chef to prepare some Shanxi food.)

                                                                                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanxi
                                                                                                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaanxi

                                                                                                      1. re: KWagle
                                                                                                        justbeingpolite Jul 2, 2013 07:27 AM

                                                                                                        She didn't write it down, and that was just a guess based on our conversation.

                                                                                                  2. re: Edokko
                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                    antimony Jul 24, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                                                    The "taiwanese pan-fried tofu" also had me wondering that -- it's also very tasty. Everything I've tried had been good, really, although not a thing has been spicy. For that I, too, go to Chilli Garden.

                                                                                                  3. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    grant.cook Jun 28, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                                                                    Yes, if I want the ma la I head over to Medford.. I've ordered dishes that I wanted extra spicy, and they seemed as first to not trust that I could handle it, and then surprised when I said "meh... not that hot."

                                                                                                  4. Ferrari328 Jul 3, 2013 02:17 PM

                                                                                                    Had to go to the Meat House today so it was a good excuse to have some lunch here again. I tried the BBQ Baby Beef Ribs Rice plate. When I first saw this on the menu I had to ask if they meant pork ribs but they confirmed that it was beef and looking at the size of the bones even the Baby part seems right. What was not right was the BBQ part, they were more steamed/boiled than BBQ'ed. There were (mostly) tender and the rice plate had the standard Taiwanese Rice Plate additions. You can see the almost black marinated egg next to the sweet chopped mustard and, ick!, broccoli. I would have preferred something like bok choy instead. There was also braised ground pork on top of the rice and the cooking juices was soaking into the rice. Delicious!

                                                                                                    http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                      lurker77 Jul 10, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                      They're probably thinly sliced veal chops. They often show up on Dim Sum carts steamed in a brown or pepper sauce.

                                                                                                      1. re: lurker77
                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                        Chicken with a Capon Jul 10, 2013 07:51 PM

                                                                                                        Looks to me like cross cut short ribs, like the kind that are used for Korean kalbi.

                                                                                                    2. Aromatherapy Jul 11, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                      I really appreciate that they have lunch specials that aren't same old same old. So far it seems like a solid addition to the area.

                                                                                                      Calimari with sour mustard green: A stir-fry of finely cut squid and good-size chunks of greens, with thin slices of Thai-type green chili adding pretty considerable heat. I really liked this. The squid pieces were small enough that their often snappy/crunchy texture was a plus not an annoyance. I'm a sucker for sour and this was nicely so. Would order again, requesting more chili.

                                                                                                      Beef with water spinch in sa-cha sauce: Another stir fry. Only slightly spicy. It was perfectly nice, a bit oily, nothing very exciting but nothing wrong with it.

                                                                                                      1. Ferrari328 Jul 12, 2013 01:30 PM

                                                                                                        Back again for more lunch goodness! Todays soup with the lunch special was a white fungus soup that actually was interesting. But the big surprise was the "Braised Pork Chop with Spinach" from the lunch menu. This was not what I expected! A big heap of nicely (red?) braised very tender and tasty pork ribs. There were a few leaves of spinach underneath. The ribs were excellent and adding some of their delicious chili oil only made things better. They were pretty busy at lunch today with a lot of tables ordering the good stuff.

                                                                                                        http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        1. litchick Jul 12, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                          Others here have reported good experiences with the oyster pancake, but lordy the one I had the other day at lunch was inedible. Greasy, undercooked, and mysteriously covered in glutinous slime. I expect that had it been cooked properly, the coating would've crisped up.

                                                                                                          Moral: don't order it when there for late afternoon snack. Stick with the XLB.

                                                                                                          1. Ferrari328 Aug 7, 2013 01:34 PM

                                                                                                            I decide to try the MaPo Dofu for lunch today. I ordered it as a rice plate, it's also on the lunch menu but who needs the watery soup? I asked for it extra "MaLa" and it was spicy enough due to the finely sliced birds eye chillies that was added. If there was Sichuan peppercorns in there I could neither smell or taste them. There was a very small amount of ground meat in there. As a Ma Po To Fu (menu spelling) it was forgettable. They were just reviewed in the Boston Globe and they had the same comment as I and almost everyone else have, not enough heat. Bringing it to their attention get the comment, if we make it too spicy it gets sent back. I wonder if they have actually tried it?

                                                                                                            http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Ferrari328
                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                              grant.cook Nov 26, 2013 04:35 PM

                                                                                                              They never could bring the heat.. I've asked for it extra spicy, gotten the "are you sure??" questions.. and then gotten a dish with some heat but nothing that reminds me of eating in Shanghai..

                                                                                                              1. re: grant.cook
                                                                                                                Aromatherapy Nov 27, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                I was in recently after a few months and got the stir-fried rice cakes with [shredded] pork and chopped [fresh] mustard greens. Nothing revelatory but well-cooked (could have had more wok char), tasty, and a ton of it, and enough greens to make it feel almost healthy. There may have been a bit of funky dried something in there. (If I'm in the mood for heat I go elsewhere.)

                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                              Dinsdale45 Nov 26, 2013 02:13 PM

                                                                                                              After hearing so much about this place, I was in the area and got a chance to try it. The mini-soup dumplings were very good, but the pork w/bamboo tips and chiles was bland with zero heat, and the beef noodles w/sa cha sauce was also lacking any kind of full flavor. Serving sizes were a little skimpy, too. Not sure what all the fuss is/was about.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Dinsdale45
                                                                                                                StriperGuy Nov 26, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                It was great when it opened, it recently got a bit of a downhill report. I haven't been recently so can't really comment.

                                                                                                              2. Ferrari328 Nov 28, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                I spoke to them and they are not keeping up with the web and I told them that everyone, including me, is complaining about the lack of heat even when requesting extra spicy. If people are asking for spicy, give it to them was my suggestion. Not sure if it will help but suggest that if you go and ask for spicy and not getting it, complain in person. Their Chili oil is delicious but also lacking in heat.

                                                                                                                http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                                                                                                                1. digga Jan 18, 2014 12:21 AM

                                                                                                                  It had been a while so we went tonight with my parents (we all love that it's within 5 min walking distance!). Everyone enjoyed the fun of eating the soup pork dumplings (I did not try). The fish filets in Szechuan chili sauce was, as always, awesome and a HUGE portion. Shredded beef with tofu and black bean sauce was just the right amount of sour and oh so much like the best kind of comfort food. Came atop a sterno, so it was bubbling hot. Salt-and-pepper calamari rounded out our very large order - it was not what we were expecting (not deep-fried crispy, like the salt-and-pepper shrimp we've had there in the past), but we all loved it. Large, tender squid pieces in a tough-to-describe sauce with some type of scallion/allium scattered all over. Everything except the dumplings (which were all eaten) provided ample leftovers to spoon over rice for my happy camper parents. Just the right amount of spice, although we could have used a bit more. Great service, too. Mom and dad were already asking us to take them there again. We concur.

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