I’m a frequent diner here for a reason, it gives me maximum flavour and maximum bang for my buck, every time I come here. Sister restaurant to Gourmet San, it’s a very cheap specialist Szechuan cuisine located in close proximity to Liverpool St. The food authentic, fresh and full of bold flavours and you’ll even walk away with change from 20 quid! Don’t expect silver service though, or great decor, some might argue the floors are a bit sticky, staff may appear to be abrupt, it may be down to language barriers but don’t take offence, just ask nicely and you will get. They have always taken care of me. But know this, if you care about your food it comes out quickly, flawlessly, piping hot and there is a lot of it!
I’ll let you know what ‘must haves’ you need to order:
Stewed beef with potatoes – perfectly slow cooked brisket of beef, melt in the mouth tender with potatoes that have soaked up the rich umami flavour, that comes with a punch of star anise.
Green beans with spicy mince pork. To all the thorough-bred carnivores out there, It’s all about the vegetable in this dish. The beans are fried to perfection, yet still yielding to bite and are wok tossed with dried chilli’s, minced salty pork belly and sichuan bean paste. I always order this, as not doing so fills me with fear of missing out.
Stew fried aubergine is deep fried, comes at you like molten larvae, so beware. You’ll get so much rewarding umami, oyster sauce richness and it’s all freshened up with freshly chopped coriander. Amazing.
Yu-Shiang pork – it’s sweet, sticky, spicy and savoury (from the sichuan bean paste) all at once. But it works, you’ll get a mouthful of shredded pork, bean shoots, spring onions and dried chilli if you’re not careful!
Pork and pak choi dumplings. These are awesome, hand made on the premises and boiled for a short until they’re steaming hot. The filling has a great meaty flavour and the dumpling pastry has a nice texture. Ask for vinegar (not soy) to cut through the richness.
The damage: Expect to pay £15-20 per head with a beer or two.
The good: Really strong robust, authentic flavours, maximum bang for your buck, large portions, fast service and can accommodate large parties.
The bad: A bit rough and ready, sometimes dishes can come out too greasy.
88-90 Middlesex St, London E1 7EZ