We finally made it out to No 10 twice this week and I actually must say that I regret having ever spent money at any of Sichuan place in London (except Chuan.) I actually wish I could ask Chilli Cool and Snazz Sichuan for refunds.
The menu is more or less limited to the whiteboard and it doesn't change nearly as often as the previous posters made it seem. During our two visits we had the fried crispy chicken (with chillies) (6.50) , the noodles with potatoes and pork spare ribs (6.50), the fish with do fu (ma la) (12.50), (end of visit one), the braised pig's feet (8.50), the cold chicken with chili oil and peanuts (6.50), the ma po do fu (6.00), and the shredded pork with tea tree mushrooms (7.50.)
Everything was incredible with the exception of the ma po do fu. That just shows you that even the Sichuan stuff on the main menu might not be what you want to go for.
The interior's pretty nice (way better than what I generally get at least) though their chairs are the heaviest seats known to man. They were incredibly helpful and one of them has the whole white board down. They'll recommend things as well as translate whatever you'd like to know. Don't just ask them to translate the whole thing, you'll forget half of it midway through anyway. If you want fresh seafood you generally have to call it in two days in advance.
The crispy chicken was insanely good. It was like the spicy chicken nugget of the gods. Crispy white meat bits of chicken (really crispy too) fried up with chillies, chili oil, vegetables, and peanuts. This dish is amazing and I would order it every time I went if I wasn't trying to eat the whole menu right now.
The noodles with pork spare ribs and potatoes were similarly incredible. They actually bordered on inspiring and I'm dreaming of trying to copy the recipe at home. It's basically an extremely hearty noodle soup (more like a stew) with homemade noodles and small cubed potatoes. The broth is delicious and it's loaded with the most tender pork spare ribs I have ever had. They would fall off the bone if you looked at them forcefully. The meat is amazing. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't have traumatic childhood memories that involve failing to pick up the same noodle about 1000 times with chopsticks (it might cause you to relive them painfully.)
The fish with do fu was very similar to a dish that I get at Chengdu Heaven in New York. The spice level was a bit lower here, but it was proper ma la! The best ma la I've had in London! It was actually numbing! Overall an incredible dish and a real reminder of my favorite place back home. The portion is also huge.
The pig's feet and the ma po do fu on the second visit were less incredible than previous stuff. I was expecting dry fried pig's feet and I got braised. The flavor was great, but they can get a bit tiresome (keyword: effort) to go through a whole portion of. If you like gelatin then they're great, but I like the overall flavor better when they're fried. The ma po do fu was just below average.
On the other hand the cold chicken was delicious. You can have it either on or off the bone (we got it on, but the bones can be sharp.) The entire portion of chicken is immersed in chilli oil and crushed peanuts which work wonderfully with the chicken. There's a great contrast between the spice of the chili oil and the soy sauce/sesame oil/other things mixed in with it. They're not visibly detectable so it's a bit of a surprise. It really just looks like a lake of chili oil.
The shredded pork with mushrooms was amazing and I was really pleased to find something that is so beyond what I could cook at home. All of it was perfectly cooked with some really high end wok work. The actual flavor of the wok was very evident throughout the dish as well. Lovely and really subtle. Not the best thing to order with rice, but really good as part of a larger set of banquet dishes in which you only use the rice at the end to fill yourself up.
I have to go back.
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