Szechuan Chongqing 重慶 (Broadway)

December 15, 2012
I rarely go for Chinese style dinner when I eat out; even dim sum is more of a tradition than a personal preference. But I picked up a deal voucher for my parents, and we ended up going for a family dinner at Szechuan Chongqing. Keeping with tradition, we started with a small order of assorted meat and winter melon soup ($10). There was just enough soup for the three of us and there were lots of "soup scraps", such as bits of winter melon and slices of meat.

The deluxe vegetables Szechuan style ($11.75) consisted of stir-fried greens, lotus root slices, carrots, snow peas, mushrooms and baby corn. It was a nice selection and made for a very well-balanced diet.

I always order lemon chicken ($11.20) if it's available, but I have yet to find a place that does it well. This was a particularly bad representation of the dish. The chicken was dry, tough and bland with a thin layer of semi-detached batter that came right off as we picked it up. The dish would still have been palatable if the sauce was done well, but this sauce was only lemon in colour and not in taste. The yellow liquid was very watery and basically flavourless. It was so bad that we sent the whole thing back and asked for another dish instead.

I was really disappointed when I realized that they even managed to screw up the rice ($1.40/bowl). There was a wet and mushy lump right in the middle.

We decided to order a pork dish — honey garlic spare ribs ($11.20) — to replace the lemon chicken. The ribs were much better with a soft and slightly chewy texture, and the sweet and sour garlic sauce was quite appetizing.

Even though the veggie and pork dishes were not bad, I wouldn't recommend this restaurant because the lemon chicken and rice were just not acceptable. But I have to say kudos to the manager who agreed to substitute another dish for us free of charge, which doesn't happen very often at Chinese establishments.

Szechuan Chongqing on Urbanspoon

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