Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant (Broadway).
Dim sum is a food that I just can’t get enough of. It might be the fact that I don’t get the opportunity to enjoy it very often, but there is just something about it that gets me excited even at just the prospect of a dim sum gathering. With my cohort in tow, I couldn’t wait to get down to some serious eating when this chance presented itself for some dim sum.
Szechuan Chongqing is located on the second floor and is a bit easy to miss if you didn’t already know about it. There is free parking for patrons in the back and access via stairs or elevator.
It was slightly later in the day for dim sum and I believe that we ended up being the last table served before the restaurant closed for dinner service preparations. In my experience the restaurant is never really too busy, which is good if you’re not looking for a wait, but other things could be inferred from that as well (such as not being as popular). Once we were seated we could pick our dishes from waitresses that carry trays of food around or order a la carte items.
Shrimp and chive dumplings are a safe choice at a lot of dim sum places and this was no exception. A chewy thin skin encapsulates plump shrimp and an adequate amount of chopped chives.
Rice noodle wrapped shrimp was also another safe dish. There was nothing particularly special about these rice noodle rolls filled with shrimp and served in sweet soy sauce.
Steamed sticky rice wraps were served in two portions per order and make a fairly generous “filler” menu item. In the middle of the wrap is ground chicken and it is all flavoured by a savoury sauce.
The sticky rice wraps reminded me of the ones anyone could buy at a T&T supermarket, which isn’t entirely a bad thing, but when eating out one expects to be served food that is at least a little nicer than that.
The ha gao (shrimp dumplings) were a bit on the small side. Mushy dumpling skins (perhaps due to being steamed all day before our later eating time) did not help the situation and one of them was unfortunately broken. The flavours were there and the shrimp wasn’t rubbery, but this was definitely not a very good example of these tiny bites.
Shu mai (pork dumplings) were also on the over steamed side, but the noodle exterior seemed to hold up a bit better than the ha gao skins. Once again I thought the portion size was smaller than expected.
Picking the szechuan string beans next was a change from what we usually eat at dim sum, but it turned out to be a pretty good choice. Although they weren’t freshly made right before getting to our table, they did have a nice flavour and a zesty, slightly spicy bite. Served fresh this dish would have been pretty solid.
Barbeque pork pastries are one of my favourite things to order when dining on dim sum. Unfortunately the pastry was on the dense and dry side and the filling did not provide enough moisture to compensate for that.
As much as I like chowing down on dim sum, I can’t help but frown when I think back on this meal. The company was wonderful, but the food just didn’t meet expectations. Nevertheless, because I don’t eat dim sum nearly as often as I would like, my cravings were satiated. Would I come back? It wouldn’t be my first choice, but if invited, I wouldn’t turn my nose up to the notion of returning.
Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant (Broadway)
1668 West Broadway