A newly opened Chinese restaurant, “Taste of Sichuan”:http://tasteofsichuan.co.uk/,in Walthamstow High Street had gathered good reviews of so we decided to try it out for lunch.
It’s a minimalist place with simple wooden flooring, half-tiled walls and traditional Chinese wall hangings. The plain, dark wood tables and chairs were arranged in a variety of configurations with some tables for large groups. There’s no frippery on the tables: just chopsticks, a rice bowl and paper serviettes.
An advertising menu had been delivered through our door a few days before, so we had the luxury of choosing at home which was helpful, as it’s a comprehensive “menu”:http://tasteofsichuan.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/42.pdf to wade through in the restaurant.
There are sections for appetisers, cold dishes, soup, seafood and fish, beef, lamb and dry wok etc. For some unfathomable reason, there’s also a special menu with similar headings but slightly cheaper dishes.
When visiting China, we were told that the ‘Chinese will eat everything but the table’, and this is a place which makes good use of the whole animal with dishes such as: pigs feet red braised; pork intestines with spring onion; and pig’s ear in red chilli oil. And dishes I’ve never seen in a Chinese restaurant: mouth-watering frog and red braised eels with both also cooked ‘dry wok’ style.
I was pleased to see the Bear’s Paw Bean Curd under the heading ‘seasonal vegetables’ and I loved the sound of ‘Man and Wife Offal Slices’.
We played it safe with sesame prawn toast, beef chow mein and Sichuan sliced pork with pepper and chilli (the latter having a one chilli symbol) with rice.
Despite being told that all our food would arrive together, it arrived in stages. The four toasts for £3.80, were excellent in terms of size, temperature and crispness. Unlike in some places where the prawn is mashed or minced, here it was basically a large flattened prawn.
The large plate of dark, soy-coloured noodles were good with crisp textures from beansprouts and beans. There was plenty of thin, tender beef strips and we tucked in.
The pork was also thin, melt in the mouth slices with just the right amount of fat. Lightly stir fried red and green peppers and other vegetables provided texture and colour and the black beans added a fabulous salty taste. The rice appeared forgotten, but we were not sorry as the portion sizes were so huge we ate our fill and left with leftovers for the following day.
With two glasses of sparkling water, our bill came to £20.65 which was excellent value bearing in mind our doggy bags.
The restaurant is licensed and a bottle of chardonnay will only set you back £12.90. Despite arriving at 12.15pm on a week day, there were already a couple of tables taken and others waiting for take aways – having tasted the food, we can understand why.