I've been, ugh, dieting, since August, so I have not been out to my favorite Chinese restaurant much since then. But today I listened to its siren call.
I knew I would have to order the Sliced Roast Beef and Tendon with Chili Sauce (X1) and then also just had to get my other favorite, Sichuan Wonton with Hot and Sour Soup (X10). I have written about both of those before. I also decided to try some different things, so I got Steamed Fresh Pork with Garlic Sauce (X2), Five Flavored Beef (X8), and Chicken with Garlic Sauce (J5). Note that all numbers pertain to the takeout menu--the menu at the restaurant has different numbers for at least some of the items. Therefore, if you order takeout, it is good to make sure you give the name of the dish and not just the number!!!!!
The Steamed Fresh Pork with Garlic Sauce was good but not outstanding. A mild, somewhat sweet dish, it might make a good foil for spicier items. Those who can't or won't eat fat would not like this dish, because the pork is fatty. OTOH, the fat is not distributed throughout the slices, so it could be cut off.
The Five Flavored Beef has me a bit mystified. Does anyone know what the flavor is that one is first aware of? I have NO idea what it is and can't begin to even describe it. It seems perhaps to be medicinal? (It reminds me a bit of describing kentjur, which is spelled in various ways.) Other than that, although this was pretty good, and another nonspicy dish that might make a good foil, Quindao's version is nicer.
I thought I had had something in garlic sauce there before and that I didn't like it, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Sichuan Gourmet's version to be quite edible. I don't know if this Chicken with Garlic Sauce is the absolute best I have ever had, but that would have been so long ago that it is not very relevant now. The sauce was complex, which I like, being a bit sour and sweet as well as spicy--and spicier if you ate the skinny green peppers and pieces of red chile. There were the obligatory wood ears plus some nonspicy pepper, a little bit of finely julienned carrot, and some strips of an as-yet-unidentified veggie that looked like it might be eggplant but wasn't. I also don't think it was taro stem because it was not particularly fibrous. Does anyone know what it might be?
I have been to one other Sichuan restaurant lately, but that will be another post.