The latest addition to the growing Laosichuan empire, Sichuan Gourmet in Burlington is now open in the formerly Mr. Chan’s location. I have enjoyed their food in both the Framingham and the Billerica locations, but I’m soo happy to have them in the next town over. In fact, I think the food is better here compared to the other locations, but it might be because the founder Mr. Li Zhong was overseeing the kitchen. The menu is very similar to the other locations with more specials being added as time goes on. They have a smallish lunch menu, but it has a number of really good dishes included. Their H&S soup is excellent. They are doing so good that they don’t serve from the lunch menu on Fridays. You can, however, do takeout from the lunch menu.
I had the Xian La Dry Fish Filet ($16.95) again today. Crispy moist and spicy fish fillets perfectly cooked, some celery and a ton of Sichuan peppers. This was a super tasty dish, and according to the owner, one of their most popular dishes and my new favorite dish. It’s also big enough for two. According to the menu, they use sole.
I finally went yesterday after having this on my list since you first posted. I had the Cheng Du spicy dumplings and the Sichuan Double-Cooked Bacon [pork belly], both really excellent. The double-cooked pork in particular was the best rendition I have ever had even though I wished for more leeks. Generous portions; I will get 2 lunches out of leftovers. I do want to try that Xian La Dry Fish Filet on another visit. What else has anyone had that is really great?
All the versions of the dishes with the Napa Cabbage and Spicy Chili Sauce.
I second that; we get the fish with napa and spicy chili sauce quite often. I’m also a big fan of the spicy bamboo shoots (I don’t remember the exact name, but it’s a very simple cold appetizer: bamboo shoots with a bit of chili oil).
Agree on the Xian La fillets as the spiciest must-have, though the delicate fry job wouldn’t do well as take-out. We always get the fresh bamboo shoots in spicy wonder sauce too. The Old Sichuan Chicken is nice, including the little bowl of slaw that comes with the fried chicken balls. One thing that’s usually on the winter specials menu is the street barbecue of vegetables including lotus (though my eastern European roots mean I especially love the thin potato slices with the earthy spicing). Friday’s version was the best ever over several years. Non-spicy things that are always done well include the lion’s head giant meatballs, the stir-fried garlic greens, the green beans. A new dish we had Friday was a pork special of braised (I think) very bony chunks with a great spicy flavor. Both June the hostess and the male owner came by to see how we liked these, reminded us they were finger food and offered plastic gloves to be able to gnaw on them properly. They are always happy when we try some of the specials. My friends recently tricked me into trying a tripe dish , and though I picked up on it right away, I was glad I had a taste of the great flavor of all the non-tripe elements.
The bony dish is the pork bone on the (I think) weekend only specials menu.
Thanks for all the recs! I was tempted by the dishes with Napa Cabbage and spicy chili sauce but was intimidated by the 2-chili spiciness designation. I suppose I could ask for it less spicy. I default to pork but is the chicken or beef version so good I should try it? I’m sure I would like the fish but hesitate to inflict fish leftovers on my co-workers.
The Napa Cabbage dishes comes with the chili and garlic on top so you could scope it off. I found the pork version to be mushy, so I stick with the fish or chicken.
Thanks to all who recommended the “xxx with Napa Cabbage and Spicy Chili Sauce”. I went for an early supper today and got the fish version, scraping some chili off the top as @Ferrari328 suggested. I absolutely loved it! But no one mentioned the vast portion size. I have a lot of leftovers… A gentleman in front of me was gnawing on the bony pork special using plastic gloves and apparently thoroughly enjoying it.
Went today (Friday) with a friend. Plenty of tables when we got there at 11:35 or so, place was full up and with a wait by noon. We got the Xian La fish fillets recommended above, the tofu with napa cabbage and spicy chili sauce and the fresh bamboo shoots in spicy wonder sauce and enjoyed them all very much. Agree with the sentiment that the Xian La fish fillets would not travel or reheat well but very nice fry job! We polished those off and I have a lot of leftovers from the other two dishes – mmmmm.
I have formed a mild addiction to the Fish Filet with Napa Cabbage and Spicy Chili Sauce. It is vast. Leftovers will be at least 2 lunches, likely 3.
I am always willing to self-sacrificially help you with leftovers.
Fish Filet with Green peppercorn is a new dish on the specials menu. It was fantastic and really mala+. Spicy and super tasty. This is a must try dish.
Oh man does that look good!
was the fish tilapia? Many Asian restaurants use it, and it is not my favorite.
The menu says Tilapia for whole fish. Fish filet is Sole.
Kind of like a jeweler offering a Quartzite Engagement Ring, or an Emerald Cut Diamond.
I had a dish with green Sichuan peppercorns at the Framingham location, but I think it was beef, not fish.
Mala Lamb since it’s Easter weekend. I tried their brown rice and it was excellent. ‘Ma la’ comes from two Chinese characters meaning, respectively, ‘numbing’ 麻 and ‘spicy (hot)’ 辣 and describes the sensation in the mouth the dish creates. They got the la part down pat since it was really spicy but I think they forgot the ma part since there was no numbing part present. Not sure what the protein was since the only thing I could taste was spicy. Their prices have gone up again.