On a whim we decided to stop by Great Sichuan, which is on 3rd bet 26th and 27th on the eastside of the street. I'd noticed it had opened up recently and decided to stop in to see how the food is. Luckily, the manager / waiter who I've known for many years from the now defunct Hell's Kitchen branch of Grand Sichuan (by a long the best sichuan food in manhattan) and was most recently at the St Marks branch of GS is a co-owner of Great Sichuan. We talked for a bit before I ate and he told me that he left GS on St Marks with the two head chefs and they are all co-partners in this new restaurant together, which opened up 2 months ago. I was very excited about this as he always had great recommendations on food and would get me off the menu stuff.
It's a small place with pretty simple decor (white walls, wood tables with white linen clothes and two large flat screen TVs), it's got maybe 15 tables or so. The service was good as it was fast and everyone was pretty nice there. The head guy is a very nice guy and easy to talk to, so I think that makes a difference. His english is very good btw, so if you want dish recs etc ask him, he's got glasses and it's pretty obvious he's the manager when you go.
Since it was only my gf and I, we only got 4 things:
- wontons in hot oil (hong you chao shou): best version I've had since Grand Sichuan Hell's Kitchen shut down (taste very similar). Wontons were very good and not overcooked. The key is the sauce, everywhere seems to make it too salty or too plain (GS St Marks had a decent version although a bit too salty). Their sauce has spice and they use this sweeter soy sauce that I like alot, the combo of hot and sweet is great. Szechuan Gourmet's version is disappointing (always, never had a good version there) and this was nice.
- dan dan noodles (dan dan mian): this was good although not as good as the old Hell's Kitchen branch. The noodles were cooked well, they put alot more beef / vegetables on top than most places. As you may have figured out, dan dan noodles rarely taste the same. Some places use alot of peanut, some use none, some places its very sauce some not etc. Here they use sauce that has more peanut in it (which I like) which again is similar to the prep at the old HK branch. The only thing is that I would've liked them a bit more spicy, but overall another winner.
- dry sauteed string beans (gan shao si ji dou): excellent, I love this dish when done right, the string beans should be tender but have bit of that charred / wok flavor and this has got it right. Most places make it too salty, but this was perfect. GF and I loved these.
- spicy pork: I forgot what this is called in chinese, but its # 75 on the menu. It's slices of tender pork, sauteed with spicy diced green peppers, spring onions and spices. It's got sauce, but is a bit more of the dry side as opposed to very saucy side. The sauce is ma la (spicy and numbing), yet is slightly sweet. All of the vegetables and pork were cooked perfectly. Really good.
Everything was excellent, nothing was too salty or overcooked or gloppy. It was actually much better than my last few meals at Szechuan Gourmet, which generally has been my go to spot in manhattan (Little Pepper in Flushing is the best sichuan in NYC in my opinion). I highly look forward to going back to try more dishes. Highly recommend trying.
21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
363 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016