Sunday, January 09, 2011

Empress of Sichuan

6-7 Lisle St
London WC2H 7BG

P and I continued our quest for numbing Sichuan food at the Empress of Sichuan. This came highly recommended by some friends and as soon as we walked in, I thought it was one of the more nicely decorated Chinese restaurants I've been to. It's certainly a more luxurious joint than Chilli Cool (which I thought I blogged but apparently haven't yet), and the service was some of the most helpful and gracious I've ever experienced (P and I wanted to hug our waitress, she was so sweet). But what about the food, you ask? Brilliant. We went a bit nuts with the ordering - spicy duck tongues, some pickled vegetable that was crisp and chewy at the same time, kung pao chicken full of chillies and crunchy cashews and peanuts, dong po braised pork knuckle which fell off the bone with the slightest prod of a chopstick, and beef tripe in extremely spicy soup, which carried a powerful kick of heat that became more and more enjoyable as we ate. We managed to finish almost everything, which is a testament to how good it was, and certainly plan on returning, once we've tried a few other places to make sure we've covered all our Sichuan bases in London.

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