I had high expectations of this place because of the reviews on this site about their restaurant in Chicago and the NYTimes review. However, I was sadly disappointed in the quality of their food.
We drove up to Milford from So Norwalk, which is about a half-hour drive. We arrived for a late lunch on a Saturday. Even as we walked in, my mouth was hopeful and watering, especially when I saw that most of the patrons were Asians: several tables of Asian families represented by three generations, only a few tables of non-Asians. They seated us by the window and I eagerly opened up the menu to see what was on offer. The menu is substantial with a colorful variety of dishes, many of which seemed to hail from the Sichuan region.
We started with the Sichuan dumplings and Bong Bong Chicken. The Sichuan dumplings were surprisingly sweet and tasty. The dough was chewy and well cooked. The Bong Bong chicken was tender and seasoned well but it could have been a bit more spicy for my tastes.
After those dishes, there was a bit of a pause before our next dishes all arrive at the same time: the duck hot pot which was on the Chef’s recommendations, yu xiang rou si (fish fragrant pork slice), which I had asked specifically because I had been craving it for days, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with garlic.
My husband loves duck so the duck dish was his pick. He originally wanted the dan dan noodles but I convinced him to try something new. I should have let him stick with the dan dan noodles. Even though the menu stated that the duck was spicy, it was not in the least. It was just very salty and not very tasty at all. The soup was a bit gelatinous and goopy. In addition to the duck, the soup included mushrooms and other vegetables. I don’t think he’ll ever order that dish from there again.
My yu xiang rou si was a disappointment as well. The pork slivers were bigger than they should have been and the flavor was not as rich and addictive as I hoped it would be. This is one of my favorite comfort dishes when I’m in China and sadly Lao Sze Chuan did not execute it as well as I’ve had before.
The Chinese broccoli with garlic was fine, nothing to write home about. We were thankful that it wasn’t too salty like the duck hot pot nor lacking in rich flavor like the yu xiang rou.
Before we started our meal, I had so hoped that the place would be a real answer to the lack of decent Chinese food in the area. Sadly, we were not impressed. Unless the food and service was really horrible, I try to give a new place a couple tries before I rule it out completely. If we’re back up in Milford again, I may give it another go and try some other dishes, maybe the noodles dishes would be tastier. But until then, I am still looking for a great Chinese restaurant in suburbia.