Savour Sichuan

Savour Sichuan serves up some authentic, spicy-as-hell Chinese food in the heart of midtown.

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Executive Chef Zhong Qing Wang masterfully put together about 14 dishes for a press meal, showcasing not only his skills as a chef but the difficult-to-come-by and truly authentic cuisine of China’s Sichuan province.

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The Lazy Susan in the center of the table displayed an array of about a dozen styles of pepper, including pickled peppers, dried peppers, fresh peppers, pepper powders and peppercorns.

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Let me get right down to business, since there are a lot of dishes to discuss here.

APPETIZERS

Cold Chicken with Sesame Sauce

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This was tender, sliced white meat chicken that was served in a somewhat sweet and savory sesame sauce.

Pork Belly with Garlic Sauce (aka “meat curtains”)

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These thin slices of pork belly were also served cold, but with a hot (spicy) chili oil and garlic sauce for dipping. Really nice. I took to calling it “meat curtains” because, well, that’s what it looked like, and I have a weird sense of humor. It isn’t the official name on the menu.

Szechuan Country Smoked Pork Ribs (aka “pork wheelbarrow”)

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I gave this the “pork wheelbarrow” name as well, because it looks like a little ox cart filled with small pork ribs. The meat was sweet yet spicy, and also dry yet succulent. A conundrum.

Baby Shrimp with Red Pickled Pepper

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This was a spicy dish. The sliced up green fresh peppers packed heat, but the shrimp were cooked perfectly and retained a great seafood flavor with good texture.

Dumplings

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These were classic, with a great pop of spice from the chili oil.

Crispy Cucumber (no photos)

Very simple: just raw sliced cukes with a dipping sauce.

ENTREES

Fish Filets with Spicy Green Peppers

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Widely hailed as one of the best dishes of the night, this large, family style platter was filled with green peppers (not too spicy) and perfectly cooked medallions of fish.

Sliced Beef

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As a beef guy, you know I was liking this spicy dish made from slices of tender beef that were lightly breaded and stir fried with hot peppers and served on a bed of cooked scallions.

Yellow Millets and Pork Ribs

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This tasted like a broken sticky rice type of grain with small bones of pork that had tender meat still clinging to them. Very tasty.

Szechuan Pepper Chicken/Pork and Crispy Noodles

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Another favorite of the night was this dish made of tender morsels of baby pork rib (our platter didn’t have chicken but it can be made with either) and fried noodle twists. This was almost like eating a bagged corn chip type of snack. I loved it.

Okra with Garlic and Pepper

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I hate to say it, but I loved the okra. Yep. I loved the veggie dish. It’s a rare thing to get okra that isn’t slimy after being cooked. This was nice and fresh, even had a little crisp to it, absolutely no slime, lots of bright flavors and a good amount of heat.

Seafood with Tofu in Spicy Sauce

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This was essentially shrimp in a spicy broth with fried tofu pillows, onions and bell peppers. It was herby and fresh, and it was presented with a glowing candle beneath the bowl.

Fried Soft Shell Crab

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I’ve never really been a big soft shell crab fan, but these were excellent. My experience is always that the shells aren’t really that soft. They still retain a “shrimp shell” quality to them, which I don’t want to eat. These were soft through and through, and beautifully fried with a delicious batter that was reminiscent of fried chicken.

Fresh Frog Pot with Pickled Peppers (no photos)

Although I didn’t take photos, this was a nice dish as well. I would have liked more lumps of leg meat as opposed to the other bits, but the sauce was very nice for putting on top of a bed of rice.

DESSERT

Brown Sugar and Steamed Sticky Rice Doughnuts

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These had the texture and consistency of a rice or tapioca cake, but with a crisped outer edge and some sugar on top. Very simple and mildly sweet.

Fried Yellow Bean and Rice Ball with Black Sesame Paste

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We all loved these. The sesame paste inside reminded me of the red bean breakfast and dessert pastries I sometimes get from Asian bakeries downtown, only the outside was soft and powdered instead of crispy.

Here’s a 360 shot of the table, and then the dudes all together.

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If you have any interest in who everyone is, check out their Instagram accounts:

@mattbruck
@thecakedealer
@ibitefood
@rebecca_chews_nyc
@jillish_
@sherrytao88
@thegrubfather
@boddenbites
@missyanacherie
@gramercygourmand
@nomnomnycgirls
@food_p.o.r.n_ny
@thefoodjoy

I’ll definitely be back here again, and probably soon, since I’d really like to get more than just a taste of some of the dishes that I liked most. If you like spicy Chinese food, this is the place for you!

SAVOUR SICHUAN
108 W 39th St
New York, NY 10018

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