This hopping spot churns out casual Sichuan fare which includes the traditional specialties and modern renditions of the spicy classics. This already-popular venue, brought to you by the owners of Citizen Cafe, serves up a stellar pepper rabbit and stone pot beef.
**Sichuan | Sichuan Citizen** *April 2010*
We must admit, Sichuan Citizen is one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. So we were more than happy to head down and check them out again after they recently renovated their kitchen. Their new workspace didn’t bring any new menu items, but our food did come out a bit faster than usual–a welcome change.
We ordered like it was our last supper. We tried to balance the ever-present spice with a garlic cucumber salad (¥12), but ended up having to self-medicate the sting with basil drop cocktails (¥45). The barbecue pork spareribs with cumin (¥48) are fabulously full of chili and cumin seeds, although we wish there would have been a touch less fat and oil. They also have a very good eggplant in spicy-sweet garlic sauce (¥22) that’s not too oily. We have long admired the crispy beef with plum sauce (¥38), as the flat pieces of meat used are deliciously bludgeoned beyond recognition before getting breaded and fried to perfection. And of course, we always fall victim to the addictive, hauntingly spicy mapo dofu (¥22).
Moving away from our usual standards, we tried the duck and potato stew (¥58) and sunk our teeth into the mild spice of the duck flesh and velvety smooth potato hunks. The dry sautéed cauliflower with Sichuan bacon (¥28) evenly balances flavors as the high water content of the vegetables dilutes the saltiness of the pork. When the fried sweet corn (¥18) arrived, we were confused because it looked like corn pops, but we soon found ourselves fighting for handfuls of it as we refilled our basil drops. Overall, things don’t seem that different, which is a good thing for those of us who have already been won over.
■ Cristina Ng
Total reviews: 8
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near Huaihai Lu
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