Little Szechuan – St. Paul, MN

DSC04784I went to Little Szechuan few years ago when light rail through University avenue was not even in the plan. There was a particular chicken dish that I had tried which was basically a mix of dried red chillies, chicken and Szechuan pepper. This was hot and spicy like nothing I had tried. So in the hopes of trying this again, A and I crossed the river to Little Szechuan. To our disappointment, we found out (of course after we were seated) that this location now only serves hot-pot! They even had a sign on the door but somehow we managed to completely ignore it. Anyhow we decided to go with the flow calling it faith!<– cheesy!

little szechuan collage2We ordered fresh/hot and spicy hot-pot. It basically came in a giant stainless steel bowl divided in the middle to look like an Yin Yang. The fresh base was mild while the hot and spicy was basically a mix of chili oil and Szechuan pepper. The extremes of the bases complimented each other. I can’t imagine eating just the hot and spicy base. At times, we even mixed the two bases to make it less spicy. The hot and spicy base numbs your taste palate. So basically for few seconds of eating the spicy base, you kind of don’t taste anything. There is a “zingy” feeling on your tongue and everything basically taste the same… or tastes like nothing! It is because of the Szechuan pepper, if you are wondering.

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DSC04783To put in the base, we got chicken and beef along with some greens, vegetables and steamed white rice.  For two of us, it was more than enough. We also got a bunch of different sauce to mix in the base. But I personally think the base itself was good enough.

Overall, this place is good if you are a die-hard hot-pot fan. For me, it was a bit on the extreme side. The fresh base was very mild while hot and spicy base was too spicy. I think in future, I will just stick to their regular Little Szechuan locations.

How has your experience been?

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