Monday, March 12, 2012

Grand Sichuan Hell's Kitchen 02-20-2012

Location: 368 W.46th St.
Time: 1pm

Feelings: Ever since Uncle Zhou and Hot Kitchen, my mouth craves that hot chili that creeps up and punches you with numbness and tingly sensations. Thankfully, one of the Grand Sichuan chains on the Restaurant Row will satisfy that craving during a lunch break. The Grand Sichuan chainlet is interesting for two reasons: it is not a cheap hall-in-the-wall serving greasy American Chinese food and it is not quite traditional Sichuan food you may find in Queens. This is Manhattan, after all and they have to pay for their insanely steep rent.

The decor is unexpected, punctuated with white and very clean with a nice outdoor seating area. The loud waitstaff and chefs confirms that I am indeed at Grand Sichuan and not some modern Asian fusion spot.

I ordered Sichuan Cold Noodle ($4.25) as an appetizer, which was mildly chewy and spicy and left me with powerful garlic breath. It is flavorful, and the messy oily sauce is fantastic. The portion is quite large for an appetizer, so prepare to share with friends. From the lunch special ($6.95), sauteed eggs and tomato soothed my garlic and chilied palate. Tomato and eggs is one of the more common Chinese home staples, but it is a rare find at restaurants. This simple, hearty dish is truly comforting and filling.

For a Midtown Chinese that is not American Chinese or Queens Chinese, Grand Sichuan is a solid, spicy fare at a reasonable price. You really can't beat $6.95 lunch special that comes with soup.


Anonymous said...

They used to serve a wonderful pumpkin soup with goji berries, that was pureed pumpkin and chicken stock with goji berries dotted throughout the broth. If you wanted to make it even heartier, you could mix it with a small portion of their vegetable (not really) fried rice.

Unfortunately, the last time I went they changed it, and not for the better.

For everything else, I prefer Szechuan Gourmet on 56th & 8th, which is still pretty close to your office. They have a really wonderful braised fish filet with silky tofu in chili miso that's hearty but not too heavy, with wonderfully spicy chili oil.

Yosh. O said...

Wow that pumpkin soup sounds wonderful.

Thanks for the tip-- I'll have to try Szechuan Gourmet.

Anonymous said...

Just beware. The last time I ordered the pumpkin soup it was just a weak chicken broth with chunks of unsalted pumpkin and no goji berries.

Anonymous said...

is that a silver charm in the noodles?

Yosh. O said...

Haha! It's a piece of scallion..