Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sichuan Folk, 4th May

When Stephen told me about a new Sichuan place in Brick Lane, I was in no hurry to go. I don’t know – I guess I just felt that there were a few places doing good Sichuan and did I really need to try another one... would it stand a chance of bettering places like Ba Shan or Silk Road?

Well, I’m not saying Sichuan Folk was necessarily better but it is definitely worthy of a visit. The place itself is really nice – the exterior doesn’t give you an accurate impression of the peaceful, tasteful décor inside.

Service was warm and just lovely. Our waiter asked us if we’d been before and when we said we hadn’t (and that we liked it spicy) he went through the menu and picked out the best dishes from each section for us. He highlighted way more than we could actually eat so we narrowed it down to two mains and a starter but there were plenty of choices that I thought sounded really good and that I’d like to come back and try, not least the cumin lamb.

So, in the end, we had their signature pork dumplings, the twice cooked pork and 'beef in a spicy and lip-tingling sauce' with some steamed rice. Each dish had a varying element of spiciness to it, but none of them were overwhelmingly so – they weren’t so spicy that you couldn’t make out the unique flavours of each one. The beef had, as you might expect, a deep, meaty flavour and hidden among the broth of chillies were bean sprouts and bok choi as well as tender pieces of beef. It was, indeed, lip tingling.

The pork I think might have been my favourite. It was thinly sliced pork belly with onions and peppers and was served with four hirata-style buns for you to stuff with filling. Despite the oil this had an almost dry taste to it, the meat being practically crispy it was so thin.

As our dumplings arrived, our waiter, up to the very moment he set them down, continually spooned the soy and chilli sauce over them to be sure they were completely coated. They were a decent size too – big enough to take a bite then spoon some more sauce into what remained before finishing it off.

I was holistically impressed with this place – really good food, a lovely setting and helpful, friendly service. I think this place will get a lot of custom from us.

Sichuan Folk on Urbanspoon

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.