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Restaurants & Bars 6

Two Sichuan cuisine reports - Fu Shing and Oriental Pearl

Suvro | May 6, 200403:51 PM

We recently had food catered in our house from Fu Shing. Felix the owner was very helpful in chosing a menu for 44 - came to $600 and he wanted us to give a tip to the driver.

1) Fried Wontons - good while warm, but still great to nibble 1 day later, with the hot sauce that came with it
2) Chicken in Chilli Garlic Sesame Sauce - came unmixed, so we had to mix the chicken on the bed of lettuce, with the sauce - this was not great - perhaps works in the restaurant when mixed fresh - did not work in large quantity
3) Pork with Broccoli - this was not very good - too much broccoli, not enough pork, flavor was very cornstarchy
4) Hot Braised Filet of Sole - truly the best dish - outstanding
5) Kung Pao Chicken - I had heard they did the only "chowish" version in town - was not very impressed - was good, but nothing that would bring me back - perhaps tastes better served hot in the restaurant
6) Vegetable Delight - to placate the couple of vegetarians - could have been avoided otherwise - boiled veggies
7) Sweet and Pungent Shrimp - this was also good, not as great as the Sole - perhaps the third best dish
8) Eggplant in Hot Garlic Sauce - this was simply delicious - next best dish to the Sole
9) Fu Shing Chow Mein - reasonable (could only taste because of Dr. Atkins!)
10) Fu Shing Fried Rice - same as 9

Overall, people were satisfied with the menu and the food - which was a plus - meal was hurried because we had tickets to Hollywood Improv - that was a slight minus.

I have now tried Oriental Pearl twice and am planning to go again this Friday evening. It has slightly better ambience than Chung King, and is closer to Pasadena (Main, near Atlantic) - so it is more convenient to reach. There are also more tables than at Chung King.

Their cold appetizer buffet seems as extensive as at Chung King. Like the chicken with the Sichuan peppercorn sauce, the pickled thinly sliced fatty beef is OK, and tried one more dish on the last visit, but cannot remember (got little of it since there were 4 other hungry diners!).

The two outstanding dishes are the meats in hot boiling sauce (have tried beef and pork - both thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth tender, with an incredible soup base), and the sizzling rice dish - had the fish filet version. The pickled pepper dish was better at Chung King in terms of flavor and heat. The cubed chicken with hot peppers was also better at Chung King. Oriental Pearl's chicken was not boneless, which is slightly annoying after working hard to pick the pieces from the fiery red chile mound! The other boiled soup dish (don't actually remember the proper categories - perhaps Jerome can help) was also good.

Will have to try Chung King a few times more for a true comparison. But in my own book, Oriental Pearl comes close. No alcohol, so bring your own beer or wines to mitigate the heat!

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