One of my favorite Sichuan restaurants is Szechuan House at 133-47 Roosevelt Ave in Flushing, Queens (not to be confused with the nearby Szechuan Mountain House). I’ve dined there so frequently and created so many posts on Instagram that I decided to make a single page here featuring some of the best dishes I’ve enjoyed over the years. Everything you see was delicious and they’re presented here in no special order; I simply felt the need to mount a rogues’ gallery of some of my faves.
(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)
Delicious and just what it sounds like: slices of tender pork stir-fried with fresh green chili peppers, scallions, and suffused with indispensable garlic.
The menu calls it “Poached Chicken and Crispy Soy Beans with Chili Sesame Sauce” in English, but the Chinese reads 口水雞, “Mouth Watering Chicken”, the classic name for this dish; IMO both are equally descriptive.
Nothing is more traditional to the Chinese New Year banquet than food-word homophones. The Chinese word for fish (魚, pronounced yu) is a homophone for abundance. Generally served whole, we opted for fillets – hope that doesn’t cut our surpluses.
The name dan dan refers to the pole that street vendors shouldered to carry their noodles and sauce as they walked about hawking their wares. The long noodles represent heartfelt wishes for a long life and are de rigueur at the Chinese New Year table.
Dumplings are another sine qua non for the holiday meal. Crafted to resemble Chinese gold or silver ingots, dumplings symbolize wealth and prosperity.
Decidedly delightful with a presentation to match. Do note that there’s a bit of pork lurking within, so this is not a dish for vegetarians (it’s listed in the Pork section of the menu). Cabbage never tasted so good. (Probably the pork. 😉)
Szechuan House has a number of beef tendon dishes on their menu; I suggest this cold appetizer of splendidly spicy tender tendon to apprehensive first-timers.
Find this one on the Specials menu. Organ meats rule in this nose-to-tail era of sustainability; this example has a delicate, velvety texture but expect a proper kick from dried red chilies. (Note that the peppercorns are not the numbing and spicy málà variety.)
You may have marveled over the uncanny affinity cumin and chili have for lamb in certain northwestern Chinese dishes (and if not, you need to try some posthaste). I’m pleased to report that the piquant duo stands up to fried tofu with as much aplomb – pleased, particularly, because it gives my vegetarian friends the opportunity to savor the flavor combo in an excellent application. The tofu is fried to precise crispy crunchitude and the spice level is ideal.
The herbaceous supple cilantro is a perfect foil for these crisp beauties. Yes, eat the shells; yes, eat the heads. You won’t know what you’re missing if you don’t.
Also known as Shredded Dry Beef with Spicy Sauce from the Specials menu. This one is a must-eat for the flavor, the texture, and just the sheer pleasure of it – highly recommended.
Those are moderately spicy longhorn green preppers keeping company with the squid and baby bamboo shoots. Good stuff.
A flavor profile of a very different stripe. The taro was a doppelganger for potato in this context, but it was the sauce that was unique, at least to this meal: I detected cinnamon sticks, star anise, galangal, garlic, a little sweetness and perhaps five spice powder and cloves although I couldn’t verify any of it. I liked the change of pace.
“Are we going to order Cumin Seasoned Lamb with Red Chili Pepper?” I was asked more than once. But of course. It’s that spicy cumin lamb combination that seems to have a universal following that’ll keep you coming ba-a-a-a-ack!
Yes, that’s sugar on top and yes, its works!
For those who demanded a green vegetable.
Also known as wood ear mushrooms, cloud ear, tree ear fungus, and a raft of other names. From the Cold Appetizers section of the menu.
Leg of lamb, roasted to tender perfection not in paper but rather in aluminum foil. A treat.
Mei Cai refers to preserved mustard greens.
And now for something completely different:
Szechuan House is located at 133-47 Roosevelt Ave in Flushing, Queens.