I saw from relatively recent posts that a lot of people are still happy with S&T, but there are also enough negative comments to make me think that our experience tonight was not an anomaly, but rather a confirmation of a downhill trend.
We've been eating at S&T a long time, going back to the days when it was on Roosevelt, but hadn't been there in more than a year. Instead we've mostly been going to the Szechuan Gourmets in Flushing & Manhattan.
We got there tonight at 9 and had no trouble getting a table -- we were a bit surprised, rarely having gotten in there without something of a wait, but we figured maybe it was due to the freezing weather. The place never really filled up, kind of surprising on a Saturday night. In my experience, popular places in Flushing are packed until quite late in the evening.
We ordered a number of dishes we've had twice or more in the past, and were roundly underwhelmed. The Dan Dan noodles were completely devoid of heat; their sauce was kind of murky and brown, very salty. The dried bean curd w/ celery had a mild ma la tingle, nothing like that dish has been in the past. The double-cooked pork had very little heat, the pork was pretty tough (I know, I know, it's been cooked twice, what do I expect?) and the leeks the best thing about the dish. The sauteed pea shoots were just ok, but I'll chalk that up to the season, not the cook.
It wasn't terrible food, but not up to their past standard, which was at times transcendant. Sad to say, but with so many excellent alternatives, I don't think we'll go back anytime soon.
Spicy & Tasty
39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354