Sherman's Food Adventures: Szechuan Delicious

Szechuan Delicious

Quite awhile ago, I had visited the original location of Szechuan Delicious out on #3 Road across from Richmond Centre.  I remember vividly the excellent Szechuan Boiled Fish and looked forward to having it again.  Well, I never made it back out there.  In fact, they have already relocated to the former Shanghai Morning spot right next to Claypot Hot Pot & BBQ.  Considering the high price of eating out these days, it was a complete shock to see rock-bottom prices on their menu.

Their Szechuan Boiled Fish was only $19.95 and the portion size was quite generous.  This was very good with tender slices of what I figured was ling cod in a mildly spicy oil broth.  There was a touch of smokiness accented by numbing heat of the Szechuan peppercorns.  As hot as the dried red chilis appeared, we all know they are not really that spicy.  Underneath, there was some bean sprouts, but really, this was mostly fish.

Another classic Szechuan dish is the Mouth-Watering Chicken.  Yes, that is a literal translation of the dish.  This was also quite good with tender pieces of chicken.  They used dark meat pieces with nicely gelatinized skin.  As for the mix of chili oil, black vinegar and soy, it was balanced where the spice was not overpowering where the rest of the flavours came through.  Of course there was some numbing from the peppercorns and nuttiness from the sesame seeds.

Another typical dish at any Szechuan restaurant is the Deep Fried Chicken with Dry Chili Peppers (aka Mala Chicken).  Again, do not assume this dish is super spicy due to the peppers.  There is a kick for sure, but the numbing of the peppercorns are more impactful than the dry chilis.  In this version, I found it a bit underseasoned, while the dish was a bit of earthy due to the cumin.  I found the pieces of chicken a bit dry as well (drier than usual).

We got a couple of noodle dishes starting with the Tan Tan Noodle.  So judging by the picture, this didn't look like much, but it ate a lot better than its appearance.  There was a good sauce-to-noodle ratio.  The noodle itself was al dente but soft enough to chew.  It was clumpy, but of course, after mixing it with the sauce, it was slippery.  As for the sauce, it was nutty and aromatic.  There was a medium spice level and it had enough savouriness accented by sweetness.

The other noodle dish was the Spicy Cold Noodle.  Naturally, this had a similar flavour profile to the mouth-watering chicken except we thought that there was more vinegar.  Hence, this was tangier and ate somewhat lighter due to this.  Again, there was a certain smoky chili oil background flavour to go with the savouriness and slight sweetness.  The noodles were cold enough and had a nice chew to them.

We decided to get some veggies for our last dish which was the Cabbage with Chili Peppers.  Yes, this was a humble dish, but done right.  The cabbage was cooked through, yet still had a nice crunch to it.  It was mildly seasoned where it wasn't too salty nor sweet, but some spice did come through.  Overall, the food at Szechuan Delicious is solid and shockingly low-priced.  Considering the food quality as well as the decent portion sizes, I would say this is a top choice for cheap eats in the city.

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Low prices
- Fair portion sizes

The Bad:
- Places is a bit run-down
- Note: cash only


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