My wife and I checked this place out this past weekend. It's tucked into a cozy storefront in the middle of downtown Portland, across from the State Theater. The owner comes from the Sichuan Province of China and the menu reflects her origins so the food is definitely NOT your average Americanized fast food Chinese restaurant fare. The atmosphere in the restaurant is nice but it would be nice to see more color and perhaps artifacts or photos from the Sichuan region to make it more interesting.
I started with the Zhong Dumplings which were by far the best dumplings I've ever had! They were fresh made pork dumplings served in really tasty sauce that has just the right amount of spice and perfectly balanced the flavor and heat. I mistakenly told my wife how good they were and after fighting over the last one, we ended up ordering another bowl of them!
For the entree, I had the Braised Beef Noodles. The meat was tender and flavorful and served over a generous bowl of noodles, broth and fresh herbs. I will definitely have this comforting dish again.
The refreshing Bissel Brothers Substance (on tap!) was the icing on the cake!
My wife had the Ants Climbing A Tree and the Cloud Ear Mushroom Salad and enjoyed both thoroughly.
The staff was very friendly and the owner even stopped by our table to see how we enjoyed our food, even though it was a busy night for the restaurant.
Portions were generous enough that we had some to take home to share with the kids. We'll definitely be heading back to Sichuan Kitchen many times!
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