My wife and I ate at Szechuan Chef in Vinal Square, Chelmsford last night and it was very good. We were craving chinese on our way back from Nashua and didn't know any local areas, so we stopped in.
The dining room was quite nice. The first thing that impressed me was the menu. It's not the typical chinese restaurant/take-out place menu that you see where they'll have a hundred dishes, yet they all basically use a different combination of 8 ingredients. This menu was quite nice. Lots of squid, a few different duck dishes (smoked duck sounded good, and I'm not even a duck fan). They had a lot of the typicals (orange chicken, general tso's, etc.) as well.
We started out with the crab rangoons, which were fried perfectly. Pretty light, with a hint of lemon in them. For entrees we ordered the orange chicken and the szechuan spicy calamari. Both dishes had some spice to them. The chicken is in huge pieces, and had a great orange flavor.
The squid was definately my favorite though. A nice combination of squid and veggies in a spicy, but not overpowering sauce. We couldn't finish even half of each of the entrees. Two people could easily get away with an appetizer and an entree and wind up with a ~$15 bill before tax and tip. Our appetizer and two entrees came to $36 with tax and tip, and is enough for at least one lunch (probably two).
At the end of our meal I overheard the owner talking to a regular customer. The customer was asking about business and if Bamboo (in Westford) had taken away any business from them. The owner replied that business has been slowing down some, especially in the summer (they've been around for 20 years). But that they have a higher percentage of asian diners than they've had in the past.
We've eaten at Bamboo and were not impressed. It was very yuppie with just adequate food, and high prices (for what you got).
In any event, if you're in the Chelmsford/Tyngsboro area and want some chinese, I'd definately recommend Szechuan Chef.
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