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Truly authentic Sichuan food in Manhattan/the Boros/N.J.

jnk Oct 29, 2013 01:36 PM

Our son and his college roommate from Chengdu will be home for a week around Thanksgiving. His roommate will have been living in Ohio for the past three months and I'm sure he would enjoy some authentic home style Sichuan food. Any suggestions you all can make will be appreciated.

Home style Sichuan food.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. el jefe RE: jnk Oct 29, 2013 03:14 PM

    Chengdu Heaven in the Golden Mall or Little Pepper in College Point. Both are written about extensively here.

    1. h
      hafnerd RE: jnk Nov 2, 2013 09:15 AM

      la vie en szechuan in manhattan, 33rd & madison...used to live in China, this place is as authentic as the places in Flushing (Btw, Chengdu Heaven is only a food stall...and not very good anyway)

      3 Replies
      1. re: hafnerd
        el jefe RE: hafnerd Nov 4, 2013 10:45 AM

        la vie en szechuan may be fine. I've never been. But the NYT review described it as "elegant" and it's relatively expensive. Not sure if it's "home style" or not.

        The OP just said "home style" and didn't specify how big a restaurant they were looking for. While Chengdu heaven is a food stall in the Golden Mall they do have 5-6 tables.

        if the OP does a search on this board they'll find dozens of positive reports for Little Pepper, Grand Sichuan House, and Chengdu Heaven.

        1. re: el jefe
          jnk RE: el jefe Nov 4, 2013 11:33 AM

          OP here. I said home style because I wanted my son's friend to feel at home and to be able to order food that he's very familiar with. Ideally I'd like him to be able to order whatever he wants that will "bring him home" if only for that meal. As I stated, he's from Chengdu and has been living in Ohio for the past 4 months now. Besides this meal, we will be taking him to a Nets game in B'klyn, a tour of Manhattan with assorted museums and tourist attractions. We'll be taking him for good bbq, good Jewish food and assorted other cuisines that help make up the melting pot that is NY. I have no problems going to Flushing if that's where we can fulfill this quest.

          While la vie en Sichuan sounds as if the food hits the spot, it may be too opulent. Thank you all for your advice.

          By the way, is there anyone answering my query that is from Chengdu? Thanks


          1. re: jnk
            Steve R RE: jnk Nov 4, 2013 02:41 PM

            I'm not from Chengdu, but from Brooklyn, so I have an opinion on everything. If you want to trek out to Flushing, that's great. I do that reasonably regularly and Little Pepper would be the best if you have a car. As down home as it gets. The stalls in the malls are good as well, with New World Mall being the more clean, approachable place. Spicy and Tasty is also a good choice.

            However, Manhattan now has several places that, if you are there and want to stay there, probably fit the bill very nicely. My favorite would be Lan Sheng (60 W.39th St, betw. 5th-6th Aves) and its been written up on the Manhattan board enough for you to get a feel for it. Legend (88 Seventh Ave, between W.15-16th Sts.)is also a good choice but, since its menu is all over the place, it may not be apparent that the chef's best stuff is the Szechuan food… again, plenty written on the Manhattan board. Neither is too upscale nor are they dives… they both attract middle class folk, including Asian 20-30somethings.

      2. j
        jpiglet RE: jnk Nov 3, 2013 03:19 PM

        Grand Sichuan House in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and/or Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove, NJ. Both far better than anything I've had in Manhattan.

        1. a
          AubWah RE: jnk Nov 3, 2013 06:29 PM

          My friends from Chengdu run a stall in New World Mall in Flushing. I love the food

          4 Replies
          1. re: AubWah
            jnk RE: AubWah Nov 4, 2013 09:22 AM

            Since I've never been to the New World Mall (though I lived near flushing for almost 20 years),are there tables? Parking I guess in muni lots? Thanks

            1. re: jnk
              scoopG RE: jnk Nov 4, 2013 09:52 AM

              Here's a guide:

            2. re: AubWah
              squid kun RE: AubWah Nov 4, 2013 01:51 PM

              Which Sichuan stall?

              1. re: squid kun
                diprey11 RE: squid kun Nov 5, 2013 05:30 PM

                There are a couple in the New World Mall: ok to none.

                I'd second El Jefe's recommendation for either ChengDu TianFu in The Golden Mall or Xiao La Jiao @18th & College Point. Lao ChengDu @Prince St is also fine--if you know what you want.

            3. c
              chasamark RE: jnk Nov 4, 2013 12:12 PM

              Well, Little Pepper, College Point, is wonderful, but you do need a car to get there if you are not close... worth the effort to go.
              Spicy and Tasty in Flushing was quite wonderful when I last went (sometime in the summer), I always love that place.
              And Sweet Yummy House on Broadway in Elmhurst is definately worth a visit .... if you live near their delivery is amazingly fast and delicious.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chasamark
                Peter Cuce RE: chasamark Nov 4, 2013 01:34 PM

                You don't "need" a car. There are a couple of convenient buses from the 7 train that take you right out front.

                1. re: Peter Cuce
                  Peter Cuce RE: Peter Cuce Nov 6, 2013 03:52 PM

                  Oh btw, nowadays Little Pepper is using a delivery service called Flushing Food that delivers to a very large swath of nearby Queens: http://order.flushingfood.com/littlep...

              2. jen kalb RE: jnk Nov 4, 2013 01:19 PM

                If you want to have a quickie in conjunction with your Nets game, a bare bones szechuan place with the improbable name of Tofu on Seventh is maybe a 20 min walk away. the chef is quite able - while without the extensive menu of a place like spicy and tasty, could provide some of the flavors this kid is seeking.

                1. l
                  Lau RE: jnk Nov 4, 2013 01:20 PM

                  Little Pepper, I've been to chengdu this is as close as you'll get

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Lau
                    diprey11 RE: Lau Nov 5, 2013 05:32 PM

                    ...Unless you want wontons. Beats White Bear hands down. :-) Or maybe I was just lucky... 10-15 times in a row.

                    1. re: diprey11
                      Lau RE: diprey11 Nov 6, 2013 06:00 AM

                      yah the quality of white bear's wontons are the best in NY. however the dressing is not true sichuan at all really as its not mala at all and not even really spicy (although not advertised as sichuan either)

                      1. re: Lau
                        Pookipichu RE: Lau Nov 7, 2013 07:50 AM

                        Do you know what is that black spice they put on the wontons? I wanted to buy some from them but they won't sell it.

                        1. re: Pookipichu
                          Lau RE: Pookipichu Nov 7, 2013 08:03 AM

                          hmm im not actually sure, but if anyone else knows here's a pic:

                          1. re: Lau
                            swannee RE: Lau Nov 8, 2013 01:54 AM

                            Could it be what the Indians call kalonji, a kind of black cumin-like seed that they often put on bread? It has a slightly bitter taste, a tiny bit like cumin and caraway, but much less pronounced. If so, it is easy to find in Indian groceries.

                  2. jnk RE: jnk Nov 24, 2013 03:29 AM

                    Well, we had our 1st Sichuan meal last night and went to Szechuan Gourmet on 39th street bet. 5&6 ave.. I've always wanted to try Dan Dan noodles and had the opportunity there. While our guest said they were good, I was somewhat disappointed. I don't know what I was expecting but this wasn't it. We had: Double Cooked Sliced Pork Belly (agaion not what I had expected as it was extremely salty but the leeks and ginger were delicious), Braised Beef Filets w/roasted chilies (our guest said it was very good), General Tso's Chicken (my son loved it) and Chicken w/baby eggplant (the best we've tasted). Good times and it was great seeing our son's roommate enjoying himself since that was the objective. Friday it's off to College Point Queens. Thank you all for your suggestions.

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