Grand Sichuan is a New York City mini-chain of restaurants with locations in Hells Kitchen, Chelsea, the East and West Village, Flushing Queens and Jersey City. I have been to both the Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea locations and this review is for the Hell’s Kitchen spot. Since it moved from 9th avenue to 46th street the menu has shrunk a little, they no longer have the section dedicated to Mao’s favorite home style dishes. As long as you stay away from the American Chinese section the food here is really good, I especially like the sauteed spinach with chili peppers.
The Dumplings. Grand Sichuan serves pork and pork and crab roe soup dumplings, crystal shrimp dumplings, fried and steamed pork dumplings and Sichuan dumplings. Since I has just been to Cafe China and eaten their soup dumplings and Sichuan dumplings I decided to get them here as well and do a head-to-head comparison.
Pork and crab soup dumplings – there is a lot of really flavorful soup packed into these dumplings, but in comparison the pork-crab filling is a little bland. It seems as if all the seasoning is somehow in the soup and not in the filling. These are better than the ones at China Cafe, but not as good as the ones at Shanghai Asian Cuisine.
Sichuan dumplings – Grand Sichuan serves a pork wonton style dumpling in hot chili sauce with a garnish of sesame seeds. Wonton style dumplings have a high wrapper to filling ratio so there is sort of a sheet of cooked noodle attached to the pocket of wrapper that holds the pork. This gives the dish a bit of a noodles in hot chili oil feel. These dumplings were really spicy but the flavor of the chili was a little one note. The sesame seeds added a nice crunch and the pork flavor did manage to come through the chili heat. I would say China Cafe comes out ahead for these dumplings – its sauce is more flavorful.
The Dipping Sauce The soup dumplings came with traditional black vinegar and slivered ginger and the Sichuan dumplings come in a bowl of chili oil.
The Location Grand Sichuan Hell’s Kitchen is on restaurant row in New York City – 46th street between Broadway and 9th avenue.