Monday, November 27, 2006

Arcadia Chinese Restaurant (Cze Cha)

Szechuan Soup

This place (251A Arcadia Road #01-09, 6468-7473) came as a recommendation a while back, so we went to go check it out. I'd never been a big fan of cze cha before, but since Szechuan was mentioned, my curiosity was piqued. This place was certainly in the least place you'd expect it, and more importantly, it was also the nicest decorated cze cha I'd ever seen, complete with tablecloths, nice floors, air conditioning, and table settings waiting for you (the plastic chairs kept it a bit authentic though). Well, we picked a couple Sichuan dishes and a couple more common cze cha dishes and waited to see what we would emerge.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Sichuan dishes didn't quite pull through. The "Szechuan Soup" (basically just hot and sour soup) was a tad sweet, while a sliced pork and Szechuan pickled vegetable plate was much more vegetable than pork. More importantly, these were over corn-starched and simply lacked the characteristic peppercorn taste that one usually associates with Sichuan food. The gooeyness in fact made it taste a bit like American Chinese food (or Indian Chinese food, for that matter).

Some kind of noodlesWell, at least the other more "normal" cze cha dishes like noodles and kangkong turned out very well. And in the end, it was all still very edible (we cleared nearly all the plates nonetheless). It's just that next time, I have to remember not to order the Szechuan dishes...or at least, just don't go in with the expectation of Sichuan food. (Apparently some kind of hotplate tofu is supposed to be the right thing to order here, but we missed it...well, maybe next time.)