Well… I’m glad I had a successful game of chef “Guess Who?”
Yummy Szechuan is one block away from Yi Yuan, on the other side of The Kitchen. The food is just as good at Yi Yuan, but the interior is smaller and less ornate interior. I couldn’t find out why the two restaurants opened so closely to one another— there are different owners according to ca.abc.gov, and the server indicated that it was collaboration of some sort. He also said the chef Hu Wen Jun is currently cooking at Yummy Szechuan. While he is there, I’m hoping to return to order his specialty, “Dragon King Eggplant w/ Garlic Sauce,” a dish he has won awards for according to the menu. It seems to be a variant on the classic fish-fragrant (yuxiang) eggplant. It is only available with an advanced order, and I couldn’t find it on Yi Yuan’s menu when i was there last month.
The “tender organic chicken in house sauce” is the Sichuan dish more commonly known as “Mouth watering chicken.” It’s aroma and look were stunning, and my hand battled between grabbing a cell phone for the picture and chopsticks to dig in. Chili oil and sesame seeds define the dish’s roasty character, and a scant amount of chopped peanuts boost those nutty elements. The chicken is lightly poached and flavorful enough to stand up to the sauce. The “organic chicken” is yellow feather chicken 黃毛雞 huangmao ji, which is also used in their chicken noodle “ramen” soup. It’s notable by its yellow skin, and, as Melanie Wong pointed out in a Chowhound thread I can’t find, the long thin radius bone in the wing section.
I asked for the beef noodle soup extra spicy, and that’s how it was delivered. The noodles are lamian — hand-pulled, thin, and squarish. Decent tug and they didn’t dissolve, even in leftovers. Good slices of meat with some cartilaginous bits. The heat was strong but not so potent I couldn’t taste the meaty broth (there was too much heat for me to tell whether there was MSG.
Speaking of spicy, I noticed on the menu a dish called, “Stir-fry double spicy dish with pancakes.” From the photo and name, it’s the same thing as the infamous extremely-hot pepper or ‘la si ni’ 辣死你 at Old Mandarin and Boiling Beijing’s and chili stir-fried chili at Beijing Restaurant.
For my greens, I got A vegetable, which I’ve recently become fond of after eating it doused in spices at skewer places recently. It’s romaine-like in flavor, and was great lightly cooked with chopped garlic.
1661 EL Camino Real
Millbrae, CA 94030