Here is my annual report from meals eaten at Grand Szechuan, the restaurant we eat at more often than any other in the Twin Cities metro. It is probably our family’s favourite restaurant in the area, one we eat at over and over again without repeating too many dishes from their voluminous menu. Twin Cities restaurant reviewers often make inflated claims for the quality of our restaurants relative to those in major cities. Oddly, Grand Szechuan never seems to be brought up in these conversations—odd, because in our opinion it is the one restaurant in the area serving any kind of Asian cuisine that would hold its own in Los Angeles. I’m not saying it would be in the top tier of Sichuan restaurants in Los Angeles but it would be a successful restaurant (and in fact their menu includes things we have not seen at our favourite restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley). Of course, I am referring here only to their Sichuan menu (which is the bulk of their menu). I have no idea what their American Chinese offerings are like; they’re probably good but they’re not the reason to go here.
If you have still somehow never been, the dishes in the slideshow below and in previous years’ roundups (see here) should give you plenty of good ideas for putting together a meal at Grand Szechuan. Let me suggest, however, a good order for a party of eight. By the way, you should order as though for a party of eight even if you are a party of two—this way you can get a sense of a wide range of flavours and textures and take lots of delicious leftovers home. No matter how much you order, you have to order to eat “family style”.
A recommended order for the first-time diner at Grand Szechuan:
- Sichuan cold noodles
- Spicy hammered chicken
- Sichuan wontons in chilli oil
- Fish fillet in milky white broth
- Fish-flavoured pork
- Chengdu style sauteed pork belly
- Fish with cold bean jelly
- Triple flavour squid (spicy squid roll on the menu, I think)
- Chengdu grilled lamb
- Sichuan green beans
- Eggplant with sweet bean sauce
Does that seem like a lot of food? Shut up and eat. And if you can handle the heat ask for the food to be made extra spicy.
There is very little in the slideshow below that has not been covered in a previous annual round-up. But it’s good to confirm how consistently excellent their food remains.
Coming up next from the Twin Cities: lunch at Krungthep Thai in St. Paul. After that I will have a report on a recent dinner at Demi in Minneapolis and lunch at Magic Noodle in St. Paul. There might be some Delhi reports mixed in there as well.