There are lots of threads about what to order at Spicy & Tasty. I've just read through six of them. But none of them mentions the whole fish dishes which, I realized last night, are arguably the jewel in the S & T crown. So I've decided to start a new thread. to write a paean to the whole fish dish.
Before yesterday, I never thought of ordering it; why spend $16 when I can get wonderful enhanced pork for $8? But yesterday at about 4 PM, I was in my Manhattan domicile perusing menus and it suddenly hit me, I must order a whole fish!!
Less than an hour later, I was in Flushing. It's a great time to go to Spicy & Tasty, the place is empty and they can devote their full attention to your order. I told the woman at the register I wanted a whole fish and I wanted it spicy. She recommended the "Fresh Tilapia Chengdu Style" (there are TEN other whole fish dishes on the menu!) Anticipation mounted and then it arrived. A huge platter, a whole fish swimming in a lake of fire-red chili oil. (Wong Kar-Wei, whose films feature bright, lurid neon colors, would have put it in his next movie if he'd seen it.) The fish was all but hidden under a blanket of minced everything: ground meat, garlic cloves, scallions, bright red chilis, etc etc. It tasted so good! Sometimes Spicy & Tasty doesn't make their dishes quite spicy enough; this was not one of those times. I can still feel it but it was worth it, just to taste the complex layerings of fire and spice that underpin any great Sichuan dish.
Why spend $16? I found out why. It's a bargain.
Previous threads on what to order:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/241445 (Festival of Pork)
Spicy & Tasty
39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354