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Disappointment at Sichuan Village

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Disappointment at Sichuan Village

James G | Feb 18, 2005 08:19 PM

This evening the two of us had a craving for Chinese and headed to Sichuan Village in Chantilly. After the recent disappointment of the Chowlunch there (which I did not attend) I felt the need to check the place out again, as my one meal there was very good.

The place was hopping, apparently due to a nearby jewelry show at the Dulles convention center. As a result, the service was glacial, despite the fact that nearly everyone present (including the many Chinese) had opted for the buffet rather than ordering from the menu.

We ordered the Red Oil Wontons, Dry-Cooked String Beans, Ma Po Tofu and Chongqing Chili Chicken, and proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait for anything to be delivered. The ma po tofu came first, and was not too bad, but the tofu itself was rather dull; nothing like the tofu that we had here previously (technically a special kind of tofu called "dou hua"), and certainly not as fine and silky as the tofu at China Star.

It took them rather a long time to bring us rice to go with our tofu, and longer still to bring us the next dish, the string beans. I had specifically requested them "extra dry", but they came out the opposite of that, and were hardly dried out at all. Still, the flavor was fine.

Since so much time had already passed, I felt obliged to comment on the delay at this point, and at their failure thus far to deliver our dumplings (which should be eaten as an appetizer in my book). This was met with apologies, and the excuse about the jewelery thing, and soon thereafter we got the dumplings and the chicken. The dumplings were excellent, but the chicken was terribly disappointing. Not only was it nothing like the version at China Star, but it had no bones, relatively few chilies, and just really disappointed us. I asked the staff about the dish's authenticity, and was told that the dish is supposed to be served like this, and that the dish with bones is called country style chicken. I am not so sure about this, and subsequent research on line shows that Chongqing La Zi Ji (as the dish is called on their Chinese menu) is made with chicken with bones. Oh, well.

Over all, as the subject line indicates, I was disappointed with the meal, and will likely continue to patronize China Star in preference to Sichuan Village.

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