I've now had two meals at Sichuan Kitchen and both have been fantastic. The first one was with limster and deansa so hopefully they'll chime in about the content of that meal as well. Actually finding this place was an interesting story. I spotted it 6 or 7 months ago because I was wandering and then had to get a train back to Deptford where I was staying. I never ate there; just took a picture and a card. Then deansa spotted it independently and asked me to get food there. I knew exactly which place he meant and the rest only involves exceptionally good Sichuanese food. This place is seriously battling with Number 10 for control of the Sichuanese portion of my heart.
The whole fish on the first page of untranslated specials. Price is roughly 16 pounds, but the portion is enormous. The fish itself was first fried and then stewed with copious amounts of cumin, Sichuan peppercorn and various accompaniments such as potatoes. Incredibly good with intense crispiness across practically the whole fish; even the bones were fried so well that most of them were edible thus providing another crunchy textural component to the dish. Very good. One of the best seafood dishes I've had in a while, though you need to love cumin.
Cold Chengdu noodles were about as good as a cold noodle dish gets in London. Extremely simple, but good flavor throughout. I think I remember the noodles clumping just a bit too much though.
Ox and ox tripe was seriously good for a simple Sichuanese cold offal dish. Great flavor and texture; the tripe was perfect with a bit of resistance, but more bite than chewiness. Strongly flavored chili oil which is definitely homemade.
Dumplings in chili oil were good. Perfectly acceptable shuijiao though nothing out of this world.
Fire exploded kidney flowers were the best version I've ever had. Impressive knife work on a very difficult dish. Great outer bite on the kidney which gave way to a soft, but comfortably firm interior. About as good as kidneys get and I loved the addition of pickled green beans. Really nice contrast which brightened up the dish and stood out sharply from the rich flavor of the kidneys.
The above dishes were on the first visit.
My more recent meal here also blew me away. Everything was great.
We ordered a dish of thousand year eggs covered in chili relish. I associate this more with Hunanese places and I had an incredible version in China. This one wasn't quite that level, but it was very respectable. Especially nice topping which included a wider variety of ingredients than what I usually see; pickled chilies, fresh chilies, small bits of celery, and garlic.
The fast fried chicken (with bones in) was excellent. In terms of flavor and crispiness, this version is arguably superior to the one I love at Number 10. I'd say that Number 10's just edges it through the inclusion of peanuts, but this one was really good. I'd probably try it boneless next time and I might ask if they can add peanuts to it. Just my preference. Super crispy chicken with a lot of flavor and a literal mountain of chilies.
The ma po do fu was my "standard Sichuanese test dish" for this place and it seriously delivered. Not the spiciest or most ma la version I've had, but the balance of flavors was very well done. Lighter and more subtle spicing allowed for a strong porky flavor to resonate throughout the dish meanwhile the do fu still maintained its own unique flavor (and wasn't overcooked which is a major plus.) Really good. Probably the best ma po do fu I've had in London, though I would like more hua jiao as I don't think it would detract from the subtlety.