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Restaurants & Bars 5

new szechuan on the UES - Wa Jeal Sichuan Chili House - short review

thew | Sep 24, 200909:46 AM


Now we are talking!

This may even be a 4.5* place, perhaps.
I've only had a few dishes delivered, but pretty much all hits, no misses. (ok one sorta miss, but i'll get to that)

I needed to get something my kid would eat, so i got some "sauteed baby shrimp w/ rainbow julienne vegetable" - while i wouldn't call green peas, corn, w/ cubes of red pepper and carrot julienned anything, it had a great fresh flavor,a velvety textured sauce, the veg was not over cooked - a fine simple dish.

also ordered 2 appetizer portions dishes for me to try - both spicy.

1st was "sichuan pork dumplings w/ chili garlic soy." a sweet and spicy sauce & firm dumpling. what could be bad about that?

also had cold "diced rabbit & peanut w/ chili garlic black bean jam". oh yeah. this was nicely hot, , but also full of flavor. too many bony bits, but that's rabbit. really tasty

Ironically the miss is a dish so common, and yet varied in quality and style, i find it's a good window into a chinese place: won ton soup.; in this case Chengdu wonton in broth.
however a big part of why this was a miss, i think was the problem of delivery - 8 wontons jammed in a container with not quite enough broth. i think the wontons absorbed some of the broth during transit. it still wasn't as flavorful, but i know i didn't see that dish at it's best. . I think it's probably a good dish in house. So it gets a pass

delivery took a little over 15 minutes. not the fastest upper east side delivery, but seriously - 17 minutes is not too long to wait.

there are dozens of dishes i want to try on this menu, and many things rarely seen on chinese menus on the upper east side - sea cucumbers, jelly fish, beef tendon, ox tongue and tripe, duck tongue - and a fine assortment of prawns, noodles, beef , duck, tofu &tc.

Clearly in the rotation. Will update when i actually set foot inside the place.

(full disclosure - i posted this review on a review site some of y'all hate 'round these parts)

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