Thursday, February 16, 2012

S&W Pepper House 建鑫園 (Richmond)


My visit to S&W Pepper House stemmed from my purchase of yet another deal voucher. I probably never would have dined here otherwise because the restaurant features Chinese cuisine from Yunnan (雲南) and Guizhou (貴州), and both provinces are known for their spicy cooking. I have learned to appreciate a small amount of spiciness in my food, but my tolerance level is still pretty low. Luckily the dishes weren't as spicy as I had expected. The house special crab in chili sauce (招牌香辣蟹) ($28) came first. This was rather messy to eat, but tasty all the same. There was quite a bit of sauce, and the chili really added to the flavour. After all, crab meat is kind of bland by itself.


For our meat dish, I originally didn't want to get the Kung Pao diced boneless chicken with peanuts (宮保雞丁) ($9.95) because the picture shown on the deal site didn't look very promising. I'm glad my parents insisted on getting it though, since it turned out to be my favourite dish. The chicken was unbelievably smooth and tender. The sauce was very flavourful with the unmistakable aroma of Chinese rice wine and of course chili. I avoided the peanuts as I'm not a fan, but peanut lovers would enjoy the abundance of peanuts in this dish.


After seeing the cabbage with dried red chili (熗炒元白菜) ($7.95), I became convinced that they do cook everything with chili. The cabbage was quite different from what I was used to. It wasn't super crunchy like home-cooked cabbage, yet it wasn't mushy like the wrap in cabbage rolls. The bright and glistening leaves were soft and easy to bite through, but still retained a slightly crunchy and chewy texture.


The voucher included a small bucket of rice that was enough for 2-3 people. It wasn't enough for us since I'm crazy about rice, so we ordered an extra bowl ($1). By the way, the extra bowl is not the one shown in the picture. It was a full bowl with the rice piled up so high, it would have fallen over if the grains had not been so sticky.


All of the dishes were cooked with chili, but the spiciness wasn't the violent kind that would cause people to tear up. It was the slightly numbing kind that didn't burn the mouth and lips at all. I'm not really into spicy food and I thought the level of spiciness was acceptable. Don't take my word for it though. If you can't tolerate spicy foods at all, you could ask for mild or even no spiciness when you place your orders.

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4 comments:

Ying Yao on February 18, 2012 9:54 pm said...

Ohhhh 西南风 still exists.. they just changed their name.. I see now! Maybe I should get the voucher~~

krispymilk on February 19, 2012 12:45 am said...

@YY: Maybe! It's not a bad deal for 3 dishes and a bucket of rice.

Ying Yao on February 23, 2012 9:43 pm said...

Krispy, what voucher sites do you frequent? You seem to always be finding these good deals! :D

krispymilk on February 23, 2012 11:16 pm said...

@YY: Too many to list! I have them all bookmarked. Or I just go to onespout.com which has most of the deal sites listed. There are a couple of Chinese ones too like vantosave and groupforsave.

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