Believe it or not.
Our first foray into Sichuan cuisine was just two summers ago. It was at this very restaurant that we had our first Sichuan meal.
The Golden Szechuan Restaurant is located on No 3 Road in Richmond across the road from Yaohan Center.
I still remember that fiery meal and my first introduction to the Chinese word “ma-la” which means numbing-hot. Since then we had a lot Sichuan meals and had learned to love the cuisine a lot.
Suanne and I rarely goes back to the same restaurant because we are always on the go to try new restaurants. In a way this is good because we get to try many different types of food but then sometimes we felt we would like to just go back to our favourite restaurants more often. So when we found out that one of Golden Szechuan’s dishes landed on the Chinese Restaurant Award list, this was one of the first restaurant we went to try the award wining dish.
The Golden Szechuan Restaurant is perhaps the largest Sichuan restaurant in Metro Vancouver. With high ceiling and wall to wall glass panel, the dining hall is bright and spacious.
Service is nothing spectacular. It is just the same no-nonsense straight to the task kind of service as you would normally expect to find in most Chinese restaurants. Our first waiter could not speak English. When we started to speak in English he literally ran from our table and got someone else to attend to us. The person who attended to us seems like the manager of the floor.
The menu is vast and extensive. You will find all the traditional Sichuan dishes on their menu … and more. Their prices is a bit on the higher side compared to most Sichuan restaurants. If you look at the last (4th) page of the menu above, there are many dishes that are in the $20+ range.
They have lunch specials which are really cheap though (see the 1st page). It is just $7.61. By the way, the take out menu prices might not be current as the manager told us that it is 8 years old.
The dish above was what we wanted to try (no, this is not the award winning dish).
When we were here two summers ago, we saw a few tables having this very interesting dish. We told ourselves that we will come back one day to try this. Who could forget a dish like this. I know some of you would just sit up right now and just wonder what this is.
We did not know what this is called and could not find it on the menu. It took a bit of an effort to describe to the manager what exactly we are looking for. He was quite exasperated because he could not understand us when we said it is “something that is served hanging on a thingy”. We were trying to describe it from memory.
Anyway, this is called the …
Spicy Pork Slices Hanged on Bamboo ($16).
Let me tell you, this is super although I know this will also kill you.
The pork slices (can I call this “bacon”?) alternates between slices of cucumber.
Look at the layers of alternating fat and lean pork. The more fat the better. What do you call this in Cantonese? It is “mm-fah-lum” isn’t it? Poetically translated as five-flower-thingy. How is my translation? LOL!
The way we ate this is to first roll it up …
… and then dunk it into the chili sauce.
Oh man … look at this …
… and this!
The cucumber slices in between the pork slices gives it a crunch.
The chili sauce is smooth and not too spicy. Actually it tasted slightly sweetish. Maybe the reason we felt this was not too spicy was because our taste buds were totally numbed by the dish below.
Suanne and I enjoyed this a lot.
We tried very hard to cajole and threaten Nanzaro and Arkensen to try this because we know that if they eat this they will like it. But they refused to touch it. The reason? The cucumber.
The only way they will eat this is we allow them to eat the bacon without the cucumber slices. OK, we allow them one piece — you know, like a demo piece. Suanne and I didn’t want to end up eating just cucumber slices while they eat all the bacon pieces. If they wanted to eat this, it is with the cucumber slices or no deal. They said “no deal” although I know they like it.
Oh well, their loss … our gain.
The above is what won Gold in the Chicken category of the CRA’s Critic’s Choice award. It is called the Steamed Chicken with Chili and Fagara 花椒雞 ($20).
BTW, anyone know what is fagara? I think it is another name for the Sichuan peppercorn.
The dish was served very fast. I think perhaps it is because it is a cold dish that already prepared.
So how was it? Very good. I can eat really spicy food but this one really pushes the boundary.
It is the Sichuan peppercorns.
The chicken are nicely cubed into small bite sizes. To properly inflict pain on yourself, you need to place a piece of chili on it or better still put a peppercorn on it too.
I like the sauce a lot and it was great with steamed rice. Oh man, I can have this dish alone and be a happy man.
The other dishes we ordered were just the “keh-leh-feh” dishes. Although pretty good, they just pale compared to the two earlier dishes we had.
The Lamb with Cumin ($13) was good. My favourite restaurant for this dish still remains with the S&W Pepperhouse in Crystal Mall.
While it has a deep flavour I wish it would be lighter. It has a lot of green onions and raw onions which the boys avoid. They only pick the lamb pieces.
We also ordered the Szechuan Tan-tan Noodle ($6) because it is so Sichuan-y. We just had to order this just to try.
Hmmm … it does not look appetizing when served because it’s looked so pale.
But after stirring, it looked a lot more yummier.
The sauce is sweetish. I noticed that they serve soy bean on their Dan Dan Noodles — something which I don’t think I had ever seen before.
We know Nanzaro and Arkensen loves this bread. The Fried Thread Bread is just $3.
It is served warm and best eaten when the moment it is served. I never quite knew what the whole deal is with the threaded thing in this bun. Anyone knows?
You know, Arkensen is getting to be quite bossy these days. He declared himself as the condensed milk police and made sure no one double dips the bread.
It was a very good meal and for all the food we had, the bill was quite OK.