Situated at Time Square, a small plaza right across from Richmond Centre, Szechuan Delicious Restaurant is a name familiar to residents living around the area, and a must-visit for all who love the "Ma La" (or numbing spice) taste of Szechuan (or “Sichuan” as the rooted Chinese residents would say) cuisine. Formerly a restaurant serving Shanghainese cuisine, the station where soup dumplings were made has long been removed, although the general layout of the place remains relatively the same.
Since I was dining out with my family, I had the luxury of trying out a variety of dishes:
Shredded Beef Tripe (Item #1)
This and the bean jelly dish (more on that later) were the first to arrive. Although the main litmus test to a Szechuan restaurant is their “ShuiZhu” (translated as water-boiled) dishes that come later, the appetizers can give you an early indication of what to expect. I was not disappointed. The nuts and parsley (something that I’m not a fan of but surprisingly worked) added texture and additional flavoring that complemented the thin cuts of beef (tripe included) very well. The sauce had a kick that you expect, but it wasn’t “Szechuan Peppercorn Mouth Numbing”. Then again, that wasn’t the goal of this dish.
Szechuan Spicy Bean Jelly (Item #8)
Like the beef tripe dish, this one was served cold also but provides a different kind of enjoyment. The mung bean noodles dipped in the chilly hot sauce the feels like something that would be great to stimulate appetite during the summer. The chopped green chives mixed in add even more color and kick to the dish.
Kung Pao Chicken (Item #27)
No, this isn’t the one you get from the Flaming Wok at the mall food courts (although I enjoy those as well from time to time). There are no carrots and peas, but a lot more Sichuan peppers and finely chopped green chives. The sauce interestingly enough was more sweet than savory, but you could still feel the hint of spice just so the dish can fit the theme of the restaurant.
Spicy sliced fish with Tofu (Item #15)
This was the main dish out of the bunch I tried, and turned out to be my favorite like I expected it to. Every ounce of the tofu and fish slices were soaked in the spices, and while quite spicy (made me shred a few manly tears) didn’t numb you to the point where it felt excessive. Rather than that, the more I ate the more I craved, and that is the essence of Szechuan cooking and its fiery flavours.
Overall, the restaurant can feel a bit crowded especially during rush hours when I was eating, but the authentic flavors and generous serving portions in my opinion makes up for that. I would honestly recommend all of the dishes that I tried. One friendly tip: make sure you order a bucket of rice because water and tea aren’t going to cut it here.