(John Hartley - a culinary patriot eating & cooking in Northwest England)
Go back 10 years or so and Red Chilli in Manchester’s Chinatown was hailed as probably the best Sichuan restaurant in the UK. It was praised for the food’s spicing and it was praised for its use of offal. I havent been for a few years (having concerns about hygiene issues - which were echoed by the environmental health inspectors). However, it’s recently been given a very satisfactory score of 4 (max is 5) so we thought we’d give it another try soon.
A look at the current menu finds some old favourites - gong bao chicken, for example. But there seems to be quite a number of new dishes which just seem more Cantonese to me. But, hey, what do I know? Appreciate it if you’d have a look at the menu and confirm that they do look Cantonese (which might indicate a move towards them being another identikit Chinatown place)
The menu has a Cantonese back bone, but those red hued cold appetizers are Sichuan, the grilled/BBQ fish is Chongqing, mung bean shredded pastry with pork is northeastern, and a bunch of Beijing dishes. The use of Hoisin sauce in the Beijing pork shreds is atypical, suggesting a Cantonese or at least not northern kitchen. Might have a few chef’s from different regions.
I concur with your assessment, but there are plenty of Chinese places in New York that offer less “challenging” dishes alongside the traditional regional ones. This is one of my favorites for Sichuan delivery. You can get chicken feet, but you can also get chicken nuggets.
On second glance (I haven’t looked thoroughly yet), it does seem like a Sichuan restaurant that has added Beijing and Hong Kong style dishes to gain that audience (though, not necessarily westernized Cantonese). I’m game if I’m ever dining near Harters!
Same thought here. Most of my family members love spicy foods so we love going to Sichuan and other regional Chinese dishes that have more spice and heat when they are offered. My mom thought can’t handle any heat, so we often need a few things for her that she can eat. Maybe just my family, but I do find many senior/elderly family members I’ve dined with don’t handle oily and heat/spicy foods well. Perhaps this restaurant is trying to make sure any folks who are sensitive to oil and spices have a few good options too?
Like the classic seafood places in Boston, they will always offer a steak and chicken on the menu, and probably a pasta for the vegetarian.