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Empress of Sichuan, Chinatown, London


Restaurants & Bars 14

Empress of Sichuan, Chinatown, London

limster | Jan 3, 2010 11:39 AM

A new Sichuan place that replaced Kee Lung in Chinatown that opened yesterday. Looks like same management, different chef (a hotel chef from Sichuan).

"Lamp shadow" or "lamp shade" beef, refers to very finely sliced beef, so thin as to be translucent. See for more details about a superlative example of this dish. The version at Empress of Sichuan was a thinnish jerky-like preparation, that I wish could be even thinner, to offset the slightly tough and chewy qualities of the jerky-like beef. The slices were indeed somewhat translucent held up to the light, given the slightly fatty veins in the beef. Flavouring was very good, a combination of sweetness, smoky heat from dried chillis, a more citrusy herbal note from Sichuan peppercorns,and aromatic sesame seeds. The smaller pieces were particularly delicious, as they had absorbed more of the seasoning and more tender.

Dan dan noodles were not very exciting. A light broth lacking the spicy aromatics provided by what should be an oily dressing, and the minced pork was not sufficiently crisped, merely cooked.

Should be worth checking out in greater detail over the next few months, as new restaurants rarely hit their stride right away, and early reports are less representative than one about the mature restaurant.

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