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Truly authentic Sichuan food in N.J.

jnk Oct 30, 2013 12:48 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. We are in Union County and are willing to travel 45 minutes to an hour for this meal.

Thanks in advance.

  1. jetermacaw Oct 30, 2013 01:46 PM

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/922167

    1. Curlz Oct 30, 2013 01:55 PM

      Closest is Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove. I assure you this is the real deal!!

      www.chengdu1.com

      1. b
        BrianYarvin Oct 30, 2013 03:52 PM

        Dragon Palace in Edison will also do the trick. You can give the guy a slam dunk by first taking him to Chnegdu 1 and then Dragon Palace the following day. He will be one lucky Chinese food fan.

        I would like to suggest that you try the cold rabbit with chili sauce and stir-fried bacon with leeks.

        Dragon Palace
        1635 Oak Tree Rd
        Edison, NJ 08820

        1 Reply
        1. re: BrianYarvin
          Curlz Oct 31, 2013 10:48 AM

          JNK, if you Google Brian Yarvin, you'll see that the man has just a touch of experience when it comes to Chinese food.

        2. z
          zhelder Oct 30, 2013 04:43 PM

          Chengdu 1 is great, but four miles North on 23 brings you to Chengdu 23, which is just about as good. And they have coupons on their website!

          I'm still wondering why in 2013 we have no decent (or even indecent) Sichuan restaurants in Bergen County.

          1. o
            OGguy Oct 31, 2013 05:14 AM

            You can get into NYC in an hour.
            Szechuan Gourmet at 21 West 39th is mighty good......

            1 Reply
            1. re: OGguy
              e
              eleeper Oct 31, 2013 08:44 AM

              But by the time you pay gas, tolls, and parking, that's a mighty expensive meal....

            2. i
              imprylfsh Oct 31, 2013 08:52 AM

              Grand Sichuan in Jersey City

              1. Tapas52 Oct 31, 2013 09:50 AM

                If you really want the "Real Deal Sichuan experience"
                make the ride to Cherry Hill and go to Han Dynasty..
                just Amazing!! I cant wait to go back.
                FYI they now have a NYC location also.

                http://www.handynasty.net/

                enjoy

                1. s
                  sadiefox Oct 31, 2013 10:42 AM

                  Others have suggested some closer options, but Szechuan House in Hamilton is very good and as far as I know very authentic.

                  1. f
                    foodeenj Oct 31, 2013 10:55 AM

                    Love Chengdu 1. Also really like Authentic Chengdu in Watchung. Service can be spotty but make sure you order from the authentic Chinese menu, rather than the Americanized dishes.

                    1. j
                      joonjoon Oct 31, 2013 12:06 PM

                      You have a couple of excellent choices. Dragon Palace is good, but Cheng Du 1 in Cedar Grove is better. I've heard good things about Cheng Du 23 but haven't been.

                      I would consider taking him for a trip to Chinatown anyway...everyone needs to experience NYC at some point! Or take him around the Chinese parts of Queens/Flushing.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: joonjoon
                        b
                        BrianYarvin Oct 31, 2013 12:29 PM

                        I'd like to take JoonJoon's comments a step further; blow the kid's mind completely by first taking him to Dragon Palace, then to the place in Cedar Grove, finally take him for a whole day in Flushing. He'll remember you with joy forever and you'll be hooked on Sichuan food for the rest of your life.

                      2. Curlz Oct 31, 2013 12:35 PM

                        For the record, Chengdu 23 in Wayne (in the West Belt Mall strip behind Willowbrook where Home Goods is) is my OTHER go-to for authentic Sichuan in NNJ. It's more upscale in atmosphere and (some stunning) presentation than Chengdu 1 (and no, they're not related)--but I suspect that C1 would make your son's roommate very happy!

                        1. jcmods Nov 4, 2013 09:25 AM

                          China Chalet in a shopping plaza in Florham Park NJ is the best Chinese food I have ever eaten in my life. The real deal as everything is drowning in those red sichuan peppercorns.

                          1. j
                            joonjoon Nov 4, 2013 10:35 AM

                            Thumbs up also has a good selection of Sichuan fare. I keept getting the hot pot but I plan on trying the regular menu soon.. http://www.thumbsupnj.com/menu.html

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: joonjoon
                              f
                              fourunder Nov 4, 2013 11:12 AM

                              thumbsup on the pictures of those who may have been arrested...

                              1. re: fourunder
                                l
                                lemarais Nov 5, 2013 12:30 PM

                                Dup.

                            2. m
                              maryanne06 Nov 8, 2013 04:23 PM

                              We just came back from Chendu 23 in Wayne. It's still just wonderful. Here's their website and a couple of coupons for dinner for your son and his friends. They will love it. http://www.chengdu23.com/coupons/

                              1. 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.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: jnk
                                  b
                                  BrianYarvin Nov 24, 2013 04:56 AM

                                  I'm wondering why you started in Manhattan. You would have had much better food in the New Jersey places we recommended.

                                  What's the story?

                                  1. re: BrianYarvin
                                    Curlz Nov 24, 2013 07:31 AM

                                    DITTO.
                                    And frankly, if you're ordering chicken and eggplant or General Tso's, I wonder if you're really looking for authentic Szechuan food! If you really want to give this guest what he wants, you should try some of the suggestions made on this thread.

                                    1. re: Curlz
                                      jnk Nov 24, 2013 08:46 AM

                                      We were in Manhattan yesterday so that was the best place to start. By the way our guest was the only one of us who is from Sichuan Provence and was thrilled with both his dish and the double cooked pork belly that I had ordered along with the dan dan noodles. All three dishes were deemed authentic by the one person in our group that would know so I would suggest you try this restaurant if you're so inclined when you're in Manhattan.

                                      As we all know by now what is "best/better" is truly subjective and this is a restaurant that was suggested by someone on another thread.

                                      Again, I appreciate all of the advice and most of these restaurants will be tried.

                                      1. re: jnk
                                        MGZ Nov 24, 2013 09:09 AM

                                        I have enjoyed both the dan dan noodles and the pork belly at that restaurant as well. It's close to Penn Station and therefore, in many ways, a lot easier to get to from the Shore than most of the places worth eating at in NJ.

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