Friday, January 22, 2010

Grand Sichuan - St Mark's Place

We were in the city last weekend to shop for some stuff, to prepare for our trip back to Malaysia for CNY. Yes, we were in Chinatown but we refrained (with much difficulty) from eating there and decided to try eating in a new neighborhood this time around. We actually headed over to Little Italy, to try out Lombardi's. They are supposed to be the best pizza place in the whole of Manhattan. However, upon reaching, we saw such a huge crowd standing outside, waiting for their tables. There were so many people we couldn't even get in to put our names on the waiting list. I then suggested that we take the train to the East Village and check out St Mark's Place. The whole street is well known for all the tiny Japanese restaurants that line that street.

There were so many Japanese restaurants to choose from, we don't even know where to begin. At last I saw Grand Sichuan. Yes, I know it's not a Japanese restaurant :P However, I have been reading some very good reviews about that place, so we decided to give it a try. It's located just above Red Mango, on the second floor. I guess if you don't look hard enough, you might miss it.

There are quite a few Grand Sichuans located all over the city and also one in Jersey City, NJ. I believe the original Grand Sichuan was opened in 1996 in Chinatown (has since closed down). There are currently four Grand Sichuan branches - on 7th Avenue, 9th Avenue, Jersey City and of course, this branch, on St Mark's Pl.
The interior of the restaurant wasn't that big but it had a nice clean decor. It's split into two levels and we sat on the higher level. I just love the big glass windows. We can just look out at all the interesting people (and trust me, there are A LOT of 'interesting' people in the East Village) walk by, going about doing their own thing.
The menu was pretty large, featuring mostly Sichuan cooking (like doh! Of course Sichuan cooking :P). We decided to share a noodle dish and a rice dish. I know many of you will comment on my choice of noodle dish. No, I didn't order the typical Sichuan style Dan Dan Noodles or Cold Noodles but went with an order of Singapore Mai Fun ($7.95)! Hey, sue me, I was in the mood for some of that :P The portion was really big, more than enough to feed two people. It tasted pretty good. However, it was just a little bit tad spicy for me. Well, I guess it's a Sichuan restaurant, things tend to be spicy?
We also ordered a serving of Sauteed Baby Lamb with Peppers ($12.95). It was served with a serving of white rice. Now, this is good!!! The lamb was so tender, with just the right amount of peppers, garlic slices and some cilantro. Again, it was spiccccyyyy. However, it was a good kind of spicy. The kind that makes you want to continue eating more and more, even though you are sweating and suffering from the spiciness. I would definitely recommend this.

At the end of the meal, we were given some complimentary slices of navel oranges, a fortune cookie and wet towel each. Overall, it was a pretty good lunch. A tad bit more expensive than the typical Chinese restaurant you can find in Chinatown, but the taste and quality of the food makes up for it. If you are a fan of Sichuan cooking, this is the place for you.

Grand Sichuan - St Marks Place
23 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 529 4800

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