Sichuan Kitchen, E14 0ED

Chinese restaurant in Poplar, specialising in Sichuan food. They also do Chinese hotpot.

Kake and friends (including a toddler) visited on a Wednesday evening in June 2014. We'd booked, but it was fairly quiet throughout our visit anyway, and indeed when we arrived a little before 6:30pm we were the first customers. Peaceful music was playing, not too loud.

Szechuan savoury hot spicy chicken (口水鸡/"mouthwatering chicken"; £7.80) photo was OK, but the sauce didn't have quite the required complexity of flavour. Crushed cucumber in garlic sauce (蒜蓉黄瓜; £4.80) photo was crisp and refreshing, though not incredibly garlicky.

Home-style fried tofu with sliced pork (家常豆腐; £7.80) photo had a well-flavoured sauce that had soaked in nicely to the tofu pieces; the spring onions in the dish could have done with more cooking, though. Sea spicy aubergine with minced pork (鱼香茄子; £7.80) photo was nicely savoury and not too oily; this was perhaps one of the better dishes we ordered.

Sliced pork Sichuan style with chilli and Sichuan pepper (水煮肉片/"water-cooked pork"; £8.80) photo was disappointingly lacking in both chilli and Sichuan pepper; the pork pieces were also small and raggedly cut.

Chengdu dan dan noodles with minced pork (四川担担面; £4.80) photo were also lacking in Sichuan pepper, and the pork content was fairly sparse. Stir-fried tong choy with garlic (空心菜蒜蓉; £7.80) photo was fine.

We also asked for plain rice for five people (£2/person); they initially only brought us a small amount but were happy to give us two top-ups at no extra charge.

A bottle of white wine was £16.50, and green tea was £1/person. A 10% service charge was added to the bill photo. Service was fine, and staff were friendly towards our toddler.

Kake's verdict: I was somewhat disappointed, particularly as I'd heard good things about this place (see the Chowhound thread linked below). I do wonder if they toned down the flavours because none of our party were Chinese — or perhaps there's been a change of chef since the Chowhound report.

Child-friendliness: They have at least one highchair. No obvious baby change facilities.

Accessibility: No steps to get in, but most of the seating is down two steps, and the toilets are down a flight of stairs with a handrail on one side most (but not all) of the way down.

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Last visited by Kake et al., June 2014.

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OS X co-ord: 538068 OS Y co-ord: 181036 (Latitude: 51.510877 Longitude: -0.010158)
Last edited 2014-06-09 15:47:40 (version 2; diff). List all versions.