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Restaurants & Bars

Sichuan Fusion - the latest incarnation of the back end of Pacific East Mall, Richmond CA

K K | Aug 24, 200902:15 PM    

Suite # B109, at the back of the first floor of Pacific East Mall, has some very interesting business feng shui. Tenants and businesses seem to change hands very very quickly. I still remember some random Shanghainese restaurant before they started the iterations of Sichuan. The last tenant was Great Szechuan, and now it is a place called Sichuan Fusion or Chuan Wei Wang in Chinese (Sichuan Flavor King).

Link from the Pacific East Mall directory website:

http://www.pacificeastmall.net/e_Szec...

That page lists the specials not on the takeout menu. The specials are:

Boiled Fish
Fragrant Spicy Crab
Big Knife "Return Pot" Pork (twice cooked)
"Old godmother(?" pork kidneys
Taro chicken
spicy fish (how prepped I have no idea)
Chili field chicken (frog)
deer meat (??)

The interior is a nice upscaling looking tablecloth banquet like dining.

The regular menu sports specialties from all over Northern China, including bits of Beijing, Sichuan, Shanghai.

There is a separate menu of "Mien Chir" items, meaning flour based starch goodies. You name it, they have it, including the weekend only classics like fried cruller, soymilk, shao bing. A few tables ordered sesame thick flatcake that looked interesting. All flour based goodies appear to be hand made in house.

We're not big fans of Sichuan food, although I can tolerate some level of spice but not numbing spicy.

So a few items were ordered that are not representative of the menu, but they were executed very well nonetheless

Combination Fried Rice - this was labeled "assorted goodies fried rice" on the menu. Beef slices, carrots, peas, scrambled egg, shrimp, chicken. Really well done and even nicely presented in a small wooden bucket (what a touch). An otherwise perfect fried rice dish, were it not for the addition of way too much pepper by the chef.

Sour cabbage with pork belly hotpot soup in claypot - a very nice rendition, with several big thick slices of pork belly. Sour cabbage was done quite nicely and shredded and the bean thread noodles were a bit thicker but soft. The biggest gripe was that the chef was super heavy handed with white pepper and there seemed to be a whole container of it in the soup.

Kai Yang Si Gua - stir fried loofah squash with dried shrimp. This was a huge hit. The loofah squash looked even brighter flourescent green than other specimens I've seen but the flavors were amazing....savory with a sweet aftertaste, juicy. Three other tables ordered this as well.

Did not try but near the cashier were two giant trays filled with a Northern Chinese braided donut with a ton of sugar sprinkled on top (kind of like a churro but different) called Ma Hwa. The Chinese characters are Ma as in the Ma in "mala" (numbing spicy), and Hwa as in Hwa Jiao peppercorn (Hwa = Flower)
Never seen this before, so I looked it up and here's what it looks like (somewhere in China I think)

http://zfmwwt.com/UploadFile/Picture/...

Based on the fact that the restaurant took pretty decent care (with the exception of excess white pepper usage) with the non Sichuan dishes, this place I feel has a ton of promise, particularly those who can't get enough of spicy.

Sichuan Fusion
3288 Pierce Street #B109
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 526-8897

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