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My partner and I have been to Szechuan Dumpling at least 4 times, including today, since the management changed last year. We had hot & sour soup, the XLB, Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Shrimp dumplings - har kow, and baby bok choy sauteed with garlic.
The hot and sour soup is the best restaurant hot and sour soup I have ever had (I make my own occasionally but it's a lot of work to assemble all the ingredients). SD's soup was actually sour and had good kick (most restaurant versions have neither). It had good amounts of authentic ingredients and was very hot and tasty. It was so good that we got a quart to have at home.
The XLB were very tasty and the skin was thin but still held together. I would have liked a little more soup, but overall a very good rendition of XLB - particularly for the pseudo-suburbs.
The appetizer sized salt and pepper shrimp had 7 large shrimp that were perfectly fried - not greasy at all - on a bed of fried noodles with a mixture of ginger, garlic, scallion and hot pepper slices sauteed and flecked on top of the shrimp. We have had similar dishes in other restaurants including ones in Chinatown and this dish was actually the best version that I've had as the hot pepper mixture had a decent amount of ground ginger which really added to the flavor of the dish. And this large appetizer was only $7.99!! A great deal!!
The shrimp dumplings came out very hot - with 8 dumplings coming out in a wooden bamboo steamer like the XLB - and the skin was very good, but the filling was not the pure chopped shrimp like you usually get for har kow at dim sum and tasted like it had fish and bamboo shoots mixed in too. It was good, but not my favorite har kow.
The baby bok choy sauteed in garlic and oil was perfectly seasoned.
In addition to the hot & sour soup we got for home we also got beef fried rice for dinner and that was very tasty too after just adding a bit of soy sauce.
We really liked SD before the management change and I think that the new management has ramped up their quality to match the previous folks.
Also note that they had a weekend Szechuan dim sum menu as well as a new chinese 'home cooking' menu too.
Please give this local spot some love - it's great to have more authentic chinese in Arlington and I'd hate to see them go the same way as the previous owners.
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