A Chinese restaurant outside Soho or Bayswater? Intriguing… Definitely needed to try this one. The Sichuan Restaurant is located on the City Road just off Finsbury Square the Square Mile.
Chef Zhang Xiao Zhong hailing from Chengdu leads the team in this Sichuan Restaurant which made it all the more interesting to try as my dining companion is also from the city of Chengdu in China.
Greeted by the friendly staff, we were ushered to a large sharing table as the restaurant was packed with diners and the air smokey from the spicy cooking that wafted from the kitchen. A warning to prepare your tongues for a fiery experience?
The menu was typical of most Sichuan Restaurants these days, pictorial so easy for anyone to choose. On this occasion we weren’t going to try their meat dishes, and were hoping to try their Crab with Fresh Chillies, but unfortunately crab was not available that evening. Nevermind… I am sure we will try this place again and will order extensively to make up for it.
There is a selection of tea, we asked rather than perused the menu to find out – we required something without caffeine, so fresh chrysanthemum flower tea was ordered.
I think we had a slightly different choice from most diners that evening, one being of course the stir fried bitter melon. Not something most people would go for nor like. The Gong Bao Prawns was in place of our Crab with chillies and the prawns were fresh and what we Chinese would say, “bouncy”, which is very important. The scallops with vermicelle was the unusual dish for me, it worked though I think I would have appreciated if the scallops were already detached from their shell – it just makes things a lot easier but at least we know it is fresh!
Chinese style, we asked them to bring everything together much to the amusement of our neighbouring diners as it seemed as if we had too many dishes. I have to admit, I still find it hard following the concept of starters and mains with Chinese food, unless of course you were in a banquet where each dish is served separately.
The atmosphere is very friendly as are the staff. We had diners asking other diners what they ordered and with the popularity of the restaurant we were politely asked (aka Chinese way) if we minded to conclude our diner with a queue of people waiting to be seated. On our way out we did think of ordering the dessert as a takeaway, the sweet potato cakes caught our eye, but as there was a 15 minute wait for those, so we agreed we just had postpone and try it on our next visit.
We only had one slight confusion, having sat at a sharing table, they couldn’t quite get our bill listed correctly with the right items ordered.
Looking at their website, they also list a function room… perhaps a good place to hold a group gathering then? With Karoake as well… Chinese and English songs 🙂 Now that would be something to see!
The Sichuan Restaurant
14 City Road, London, EC1Y 2AA
Tel: 020 7588 5489
or fill in their query form