Having visited China Sichuan many times over the years, from it’s old location in Stillorgan to its newer restaurant, nearby in Sandyford. China Sichuan has a reputation for great Chinese food and it delivers on this front every time. Sichuan Cuisine is from the Sichuan province in Southwestern China – famous for its strong and bold flavours, garlic, chilli peppers.
The location may be somewhat offputting, in the middle of a business park / industrial estate, surrounded by offices, but its an easy hop (about 100m) from the Luas station at Stillorgan, or if driving, there’s plenty of parking nearby. So don’t let the location put you off visiting.
There’s a smart terrace to the front, and inside it’s a modern space, warm woods, soft white sheer curtains, bamboo placemats and various decor touches of China and Asia present throughout. A comfortable space.
We visited after work on a Tuesday evening, when the ‘early evening menu’ (2 courses €20 / 3 courses €24) is available all evening. This represents supeerb value for money. Later in the week (Thurs – Sun) this menu is available between 5pm – 6.15pm.
Arriving into China Sichuan, the restaurant was fairly empty, as it was quite early in the evening. We were brought to a table right next to another table of 2 people. I don’t understand why restaurants do this, there’s a whole restaurant to work with yet you want us right next to (tables are quite close also) one of the few other tables there. I know it will fill up through the evening but there’s no need for it at that moment. We asked for a table further along, told it was booked for later, and they would need it back for 8pm. This was fine with us as we knew we would be finished by then. It just seemed an unnecessary way to start off…
However, we were seated, given menus and we happily perused the food and wine list. There is lots of choice on this early evening menu, 7 starters, 7 mains, covering all the bases, soups, spring rolls, vegetables, meat, fish, noodles, rice… with this variety in dishes, I’m sure there’s something for everyone here. Through the evening, seemed to be a mix of people ordering off this menu and the a la carte.
I chose the chicken & sweetcorn soup to start and he went for the crispy spring rolls. I can attest though that the vegetable tempura is a really delicious starter so I was a little torn between the soup and tempura but the soup won, just… We were in the same frame of mind on this evening and both decided on the prawns with ginger and scallion for mains, mine with boiled rice and his with fried rice. The ‘Kun Po’ chicken with cashewnuts, sweet & sour chicken and beef with black bean have all been tried before though and are very good! We ordered a glass of Chardonnay (€6.25) each to start and a bottle of red wine, the St. Cirice Syrah / Grenache (€28)
Once we had ordered a small dish of a spicy vegetable pickle arrived. Refreshing and zingy, perfect with our white wine.
At times, service can be slow and sometimes it feels like you are a burden by asking for something. I don’t know what it is but it seems to be nearly all (there are exceptions) the waiters are like this, so maybe that’s what they they strive for here… service could be a little more friendly and approachable.
Back to the delicious food, the soup was presented beautifully, just the right balance of chicken, sweetcorn, not too creamy, just right. His spring rolls were gorgeous, crispy but not greasy, lovely filling, again just enough. The prawns for mains were excellent, enhanced by the lovely pieces of spring onion and the subtle flavours of ginger, while present was not overpowering.
No doubt we will be back to China Sichuan, living, working nearby makes it an easy decision for the best Chinese food. This is reasonably high end Chinese dining, off the a la carte menu, the bill could be high but more than worth it. However I would recommend visiting when the early evening menu is available and there’s an excellent value lunch menu also, which given its location beside offices, is always popular (2 course – €15 / 3 courses – €19) – with a similar menu to the early evening one.
For this evening our total bill for 2 course value menu each, 2 glasses of white wine and a bottle of red wine came to €80.50.
China Sichuan Restaurant | The Forum, Ballymoss Road, Sandyford Ind. Est., Dublin 18 | 01 2935100 | firstname.lastname@example.org