As if this summer in the city hasn’t been hot enough, we were about to have it cranked up another few notches on our recent visit to Daxi Sichuan in Flushing, NY. Daxi Sichuan is located inside the New World Mall, which is located at 136-20 Roosevelt Avenue #2R, Flushing, NY 11354. Take the escalator up one floor (if you go down, you’ll enter another paradise, the New World Mall Food Court). The only way to know you’re at the entrance to Daxi Sichuan is to remember the Chinese Characters in the picture to the right, for there is no sign in English to let you know that you have arrived.
It was nice to have all five Mee’s together this night. And for once, we weren’t the most raucous table in the restaurant! More on that later…
While waiting for everyone to navigate through the gridlock that is affectionately known as Downtown Flushing, they left a little stinger, I mean appetizer on the table. It looks totally harmless, right? Don’t be fooled. If you put some lighter paper next to it, it would have ignited the paper!
The restaurant itself was very nicely decorated, and included numerous private dining rooms. The bathrooms, it should be noted, aren’t located inside the restaurant. You have to use the Mall bathrooms on the floor. Those, thankfully, were nothing like the ones down in the Food Court (make mental note, next time I’m eating in the Food Court, and I have to, umm, wash up, take the escalator up to the second floor.
OK, I’ve digressed enough now. By the time you get to this part of the review, all five of us had arrived. Getting down to ordering, there was a language barrier that might have been bigger than the Great Wall of China. Somehow we managed to get our order in. But, it wouldn’t be placed until we returned the two menus (which looked like magazines). The waiter stood like a statue and no matter how hard we tried to explain that we would be ordering more dishes than we place, he wouldn’t budge. He didn’t even flinch! In fact, he could have easily passed any test to become one of the Queens Guards that protects Buckingham Palace (which is apparently where the menus are stored). Remember that raucous party I mentioned earlier? Well, the party wasn’t in full swing yet, for if it was, surely we would have segued right in to the midst of their celebration. How would that have helped us? Read on…
Our dishes started to come out fast and furious. It was hard for me to snap a pic before the next dish came. What did we have?
Griddled Shrimp with Spare Ribs – FANTASTIC. The shrimp was out of this world. Spicy? Oh yeah! Delicious? Ya! I wish there were more shrimp in this dish. And look at that serving dish! We never saw anything like it anywhere. The Spare Ribs? Well. The tiny pieces have tiny bones. Beware. Beware too the peppers. Actually they were hard to miss, so you’ll easily spot what to beware of. The dish was smokily good. I don’t think that’s a word, but that’s the best way I can describe them. This dish also scored high in “Aroma”.
Stir Fried Eggplant and String Beans – Tasty! Every dish was packed chock full of taste. The string beans were quite good. I didn’t try the eggplant, as I’m generally not a fan, unless it’s prepared a certain way. Tonight wasn’t that way. But, the eggplant quickly disappeared too, so I take it that it was met with approval by those who indulged.
Crispy Shrimp – As Mee Tsu Yan was affected this evening by a temperamental tummy, we opted this dish for him. But, we all dove in. The corn in this dish was interesting, it had like a sugary glaze on it and was crispy. The crispy shrimp looked like the fried shrimp I remember fondly from Arthur Treacher’s. Only better. In fact Arthur Treacher’s wasn’t very good. But, I veer off-course again. Righting the ship, we ordered another tummy friendly dish…
House Special Cured Meat with Rice – Similar to Young Chow Fried Rice, only better. A lot better. The cured meat tasted a lot like bacon. We easily could have had another order or two of this rice dish. Must have! (along with the Griddled Shrimp …. especially if you could have that dish without the ribs).
Sauteed Chicken in Chengdu Sauce – In the menu it’s described as Pork in Chengdu Sauce. The waiter assured us it would be chicken. Even after eating it, we questioned, and he still insisted it was chicken. The chicken really tasted like pork. Remember the language barrier I mentioned earlier? I’m still certain that it was pork in this dish. Remember the raucous party I mentioned earlier? I’m getting to it. Be patient. But, that would have resolved this issue. Why? Read on…
We were going to order the Tibet Style Pork Ribs too. In fact we were pretty sure that we had ordered it. For no other reason than it’s served in a bird cage. Really. A real bird cage. We saw it on another table. Oh that language barrier! But, why a bird cage? That’s a question we never got an answer to. It might have helped if we actually asked. It could understand if it was a poultry dish or a duck dish. But, pork? Darned language barrier!!
And that raucous party? Now that was really getting our attention. Even more so than not being served the Tibet Style Pork Ribs. We eventually got over not receiving the bird cage, for by this time we were full.
The bill was surprisingly low for such a fancy restaurant. Perhaps that explains why it was so crowded on a Monday evening. And perhaps it had something to do too with how good the food was. How good? Here is our rating of Daxi Sichuan:
Ohh, remember the raucous party? I almost forgot. Thank you for reminding me. I was still thinking about that Bird Cage. So, there must have been 40 toasts, if there was one. More people kept joining the party (bringing a bottle or two of wine with them), to replace those who left (or perhaps passed out). Or, got summoned by their respective wives, or girlfriends, who were dining in one of those private dining rooms. So, we finally got up the courage to see what was going on… one of the guys had a Hawaiian shirt on, as was I, so we immediately built a camaraderie that might have lasted forever (assuming they can remember the evening at all) and now we were embraced in to the party. Though we weren’t offered any wine. They wanted to take pictures with us. Perhaps they thought we were celebrities. Yes, we are (at least in my own mind).
At the center of the celebration we got introduced to the grand patriarch… the owner of Daxi Sichuan himself. Peter! Remember that name. We shook hands, exchanged pleasantries. He couldn’t have possibly been nice, nor more grateful for our patronage this evening. I asked him how we could get the “Membership Card” (I didn’t mention that earlier… a lot of dishes had two prices. The regular price and the Member price, which was lower). But, Peter said they didn’t have any left. But, all we have to do is say we know Peter, and we would be well taken care of. It should be noted, that our rating was cast in stone (or written on our scorecards) before we approached the raucous party.
All in all a splendid time was had by all this evening.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)