Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant – 21 Dec 2014

Cuisine: Chinese
Location: Northbridge, William Street

After an excellent experience at Szechwan zen Chinese Restaurant last month, I had to visit again to try some of the other dishes. Looking at the menu this time around, there didn’t seem to be as many dishes. The front of the menu is mainly dim sum dishes with a few entrees mixed in, then the Szechuan dishes, followed by dishes available at your typical Chinese restaurant like sweet and sour pork. But if you’re coming to Szechwan zen Chinese Restaurant then you really should go with the dishes they specialise in – Szechuan, and that means the food will be spicy – ie watch out for the Szechuan chillies:


Beef Tenderloin Teppanyaki – $16.80

Szechwan Zen Chinese - Beef Tenderloin Teppanyaki

Szechwan Zen Chinese – Beef Tenderloin Teppanyaki

A screaming hot metal dish with some raw onions was carried out and placed on our table before the contents of another dish were emptied on to the hot plate. And boy did it sizzle and steam away. Seeing a dish presented with a bit of drama always is enjoyable as people from other tables look around to see what all the commotion is all about. After things settled down, really tender pieces of thinly cut beef tenderloin just melt in your mouth. The onions are cooked and far from raw and the other vegies are just as tasty.


Crumbed Prawn $24.80

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant - Crumbed Prawns

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant – Crumbed Prawns

We ordered this dish last time and it was a last minute inclusion. Once again, these prawns were simply fantastic. Lovely soft flesh encased by a golden crumb topped off with crunchy noodles with a dash of mayo to give a touch of creaminiess and sweetness to the dish. Delicious once again.


Spicy Boiled Fish Fillet $22.80

Szechwan Zen Chinese - Spicy Boiled Fish Fillet

Szechwan Zen Chinese – Spicy Boiled Fish Fillet

Well last time we tried the spicy pork hock which was one of the most unbelievably tasty dishes I’ve eaten. This time around it was time for a Szechuan dish, spicy boiled fish fillet. I was’t sure what to expect but a rather large and deep bowl was placed on the table. It was absoluately swimming with dried Szechuan chillies! Somewhere underneath were plenty of chunks of soft tender fish fillets. Also at the very bottom were plenty of bean sprouts. Using the ladle to serve oneself, you immediately notice all this liquid dripping. The ladle is filled with holes and the liquid is oil, possibly at one stage, boiling hot oil. What this fish went through nobody knows, but after eating it, it’s an interesting experience. The fish itself is super soft, carries a touch of spiciness and is tasty. The Szechuan chillies aren’t too hot so I ate a lot of those but there is the odd one which is far hotter than the rest. There’s also a myriad of other spices in there. One looks like peppercorns and I’m told they’re also chillies. They numb the tongue very slightly, give it a little bit of a buzz, and possibly with other spices, leaves behind a kind of citrus flavour. Whatever that fish is cooked in, the spices give the palette a range of different sensations I’ve not experienced before. It is a tasty dish.


Special Fried Rice

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant - Special Fried Rice

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant – Special Fried Rice

Like last time, a serve of special fried rice is a must and presents some solace from the spicy boiled fish fillet and all it’s flavours. Tasty fried rice is always welcome.


Stir Fried Prawn with XO Sauce $22.80

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant - Stir Fried Prawn with XO Sauce

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant – Stir Fried Prawn with XO Sauce

As something different, we also ordered the stir fried prawns with XO sauce. Lots of lovely vegies, slightly firm, and plenty of juicy prawns carrying a lovely array of flavours. It’s not too spicy and is very tasty.


Szechwan Zen Food Review Summary

Verdict: This times visit may not have been as spectacular (I knew I should have got the spicy pork hock which is unbelievable) but I really enjoyed some new dishes and some dishes from our last visit. The beef tenderloin was a nice start to the meal presenting tender slices of tasty beef in a delicious sauce. The prawn stir fry in XO sauce was also delicious and so too, the fried rice and crumbed prawns (what a dish!). The spicy boiled fish fillet, though, is far from ordinary and is an intriguing dish with plenty of super soft fish chunks submerged in a dish of once boiling hot oil and swimming with Szechuan chillies and other spices. The fish itself is really tender, slightly spicy and is well cooked. The been sprouts with a touch of the oil and chillies, present an unusual array of flavours in your mouth as your tongue zings, numbs, emerges with a citrus flavour, and then transforms into something else. Szechuan offers some delicious dishes, and then there are a few extraordinary dishes. It’s always great to try new things and Szechuan Zen Chinese Restaurant delivered on that front. The other surprising thing is how generous the dishes are. We had a good feed but after they provided takeaway containers which we filled up with the leftovers, it looked as if we came to pick up a takeaway order rather than having dined at the restaurant. Well worth every cent.
Price: Reasonable
Taste: Delicious
Value: Excellent
Recommendation: Recommend

See my prior blog post:
Food Review of Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant – Nov 2014


Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant Details

Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Szechwan Zen Chinese Restaurant - 21 Dec 2014, reviewed by Shaun on 2014-12-21T21:00:39+00:00 rating 4.3 out of 5