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nondual1

Chuan Xiang Ge (川香閣)of Richmond

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With so many fellow connoisseurs singing its praises, I think it deserves its own thread, don't you think so?

From various discussions with him, the chef/owner, a Chengdu native, appears to be very well-trained in Sichuan cuisine and definitely can deliver dishes that are not offered elsewhere. As fmed suggested, if you want and can handle authentic Sichuan flavours, be sure to make your request clear to the kitchen. Although I cannot say all its dishes are the best in the city, its standard is so consistently high and at such reasonable prices (mostly around $10, with very few topping the $20 mark), you cannot go wrong with Chuan Xiang Ge if you appreciate Sichuan cuisine.

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1. 怪味雞 Chicken in "Fantastic" Sauce -- Spicy, appetising and addictive; one of the most well-done in the city.

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2. 川北涼粉 Pea Jelly Salad, Northern Sichuan Style -- Appetising, slurpy and fun; also one of the best in the city.

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3. 夫妻肺片 Assorted Beef Cold Cuts in Sichuan Peppercorn Dressing -- passable but not one of CXG's best dishes.

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4. 粉蒸排骨 Spare-ribs Steamed with Rice Meal (and Sweet Potatoes) -- one of the most over-looked and seldom-offered dishes around town; CXG's is close to perfect.

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5. 太婆兔丁 Morsels of Lapin, "Old-Wives" Style -- a very rare dish locally, it is very delicious.

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6. 擔擔麵 Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles -- clearly one of the best in the city, especially the texture of the noodle; although I must demur with the use of fried soybeans, since Dan Dan Noodles ought to use ground peanuts, as well as the over-abundance of sauce.

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7. 回鍋肉 Twiced-Cooked Pork -- one of the weaker and less authentically-done dishes, as prepared; but the chef has indicated he can turn out a better version by request.

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8. 鍾水餃 Zong's Crescent Dumplings -- near perfect sauce, although the dumplings could be a bit better.

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9. 歌樂山辣子雞 Morsels of Chicken Stir-fried with Pepper -- also nearly perfect and one of the best in town, it is numbing, spicy and addictive.

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10. 咸燒白 Braised Pork Belly with Preseved Vegetables -- absolutely the most well-prepared in the city, it melts in your mouth and makes you slurp down bowl after bowl of steamed rice.

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11. 蘿蔔連鍋湯 Clear Soup with Turnip and Pork Slices -- excellently-prepared and perfect for fire-fighting alongside all the spicy dishes; could be a tad less salty though.

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12. 麻辣蹄花 Pork Hock in Spicy Sauce -- my first encounter with this dish and it's a keeper!

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13. 蓮花白 Swiftly Stir-fried Cabbage Leaves -- almost perfectly-prepared; the stir-frying needs to be a bit more "swiftly".

There are many other dishes that I have already staked out for trying. Chuan Xiang Ge is quickly becoming my one of my favourite Chinese restaurants.

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nondual1 - Wow! I just ate and now I'm hungry again. I agree with you about the Dan Dan - the texture of the noodles is amazing - chewy, stretchy perfection. I do like the crunchy soybeans in the Dan Dan - I encountered vendors in China top their Dan Dan with soybeans instead of peanuts.

...clearing my calendar for another meal there now....

-f


Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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I do like the crunchy soybeans in the Dan Dan - I encountered vendors in China top their Dan Dan with soybeans instead of peanuts.

To be honest, I like it too and I am sure many do it that way. But -- forgive me if I'm being too academic or anal-retentive -- it's 豆花麵 (Noodles in Tofu Sauce) that uses fried soybean. It's the interplay of the two soybean products (Oyako Don 親子丼, anyone?) both in terms of their texture and form that makes it interesting. Is it a cardinal sin to switch them around? No. :smile:

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Let me contribute a few of the photos from Monday night's chowdown there (I'll paraphrase the names of dishes - I don't remember the proper names):

Pork and Sour Vegetable

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Twice Cooked Pork. (Agree that this could be much better).

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Waterboiled Fish (the flavours were muted and the heat was mild. Preferred S&W's version).

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Pork Shreds, Pickled Vegetables on Puffed Rice

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The Dan Dan Mian - once again - the noodles were the star

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The Potato Shreds in Vinegar. Astonishing wok hei. Addicting just for that reason.

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Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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" It's the interplay of the two soybean products (Oyako Don 親子丼, anyone?) both in terms of their texture and form that makes it interesting. Is it a cardinal sin to switch them around? No. "

Haha. Got it.


Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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Well, I've had a couple of dead-on meals at Chuan Xiang Ge and one less-than-inspiring meal. I think the less-than-inspiring performance was the result of, as another review put it, "考虑到非川籍食客的口味" "paying attention to the tastes of non-Sichuanese." I'll also note that, as you go thru various pictures of Chuan Xiang Ge's dishes, there's a pretty serious variety in how it comes out of the kitchen, even on basic things like the type of dish it's served in.

The first time I went to Chuan Xiang Ge, the 渝州鸡条 Yuzhou chicken strips (see fmed's first picture) were swimming in a reddish sauce (but not oil, like 口水鸡 "mouthwatering" chicken). The dish was wall-to-wall pickled chilis and the flavor was deeply pungent, really spicy. Last time, pretty good but not quite the same.

But, damn, I've eaten lots of good food there and seen lots of pretty pictures, and the menu is deep, and I haven't given up on it.

If you can read Chinese and/or like beautiful pictures of Sichuan food, I recommend the following blog posts: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/blackrumba/15747184 and http://www.wretch.cc/blog/blackrumba/15884546

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I love 粉蒸排骨 and I also recommend the 粉蒸肉 at Xi'an Cuisine in the Richmond Public Market, if you've never tried it, for a completely different 粉蒸 experience with a completely different flavor, a big clod of pork steamed with rice meal, and it comes with big puffy bread 馍馍 to stuff it inside. Only available on weekends, unfortunately.

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Yum! Those pictures are making me hungry, and I just ate lunch!

Whereabouts is it? I Google street-viewed it, but can't tell which plaza it's in.

Can't wait to try it!

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Hi Beebs...

The strip mall is right across the Richmond Public Market on Westminster Hwy. Same strip mall as Tsim Chai Noodles. The restaurant is at the very back western corner next to Pacific Exotic Meats.


fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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Well, I've had a couple of dead-on meals at Chuan Xiang Ge and one less-than-inspiring meal. I think the less-than-inspiring performance was the result of, as another review put it, "考虑到非川籍食客的口味" "paying attention to the tastes of non-Sichuanese." I'll also note that, as you go thru various pictures of Chuan Xiang Ge's dishes, there's a pretty serious variety in how it comes out of the kitchen, even on basic things like the type of dish it's served in.

The first time I went to Chuan Xiang Ge, the 渝州鸡条 Yuzhou chicken strips (see fmed's first picture) were swimming in a reddish sauce (but not oil, like 口水鸡 "mouthwatering" chicken). The dish was wall-to-wall pickled chilis and the flavor was deeply pungent, really spicy. Last time, pretty good but not quite the same.

But, damn, I've eaten lots of good food there and seen lots of pretty pictures, and the menu is deep, and I haven't given up on it.

If you can read Chinese and/or like beautiful pictures of Sichuan food, I recommend the following blog posts: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/blackrumba/15747184 and http://www.wretch.cc/blog/blackrumba/15884546

Oops....yes - the first dish is youzhou chicken not Pork.

I'm fully intending to go back.


fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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The strip mall is right across the Richmond Public Market on Westminster Hwy. Same strip mall as Tsim Chai Noodles. The restaurant is at the very back western corner next to Pacific Exotic Meats.

And watch for the big blue sign of Golden Summit Fish Balls. CXG is right behind it.

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Thanks to nondual for some other ideas about what to order here -- I've been twice now and only just scratched the surface of the tome-like menu, not to mention what is likely a formidable off menu selection! I feel it is incumbent to try the chicken with chiles at every Sichuan resto and I haven't done that yet. We had the kidney flowers yesterday (along with the lapin morsels, the ma po doufu and the cold chicken with spicy... (that's what it's called on the menu) and while they were all tasty, that kidney was excellent. Smooth and creamy with a tiny bit of chew, it soaked up the sauce but retained a nice porky taste of its own. I can't believe I'm raving about an offal dish but there you are.

Hey Dylan -- can you write out the westernized name of the dish you are describing at Xi'an? I just get little cubes where the Chinese

characters are :biggrin:


Edited by grayelf (log)

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Dylan was taking about the fen zheng rou ("rice steamed meat" roughly). It is called "Steamed Pork with Rice - $5.50" on the menu board. Very good.

DSC02438.JPG


Edited by fmed (log)

fmed

de gustibus non est disputandum

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