Nom nom nom!

Restaurante Chino Si-Chuan, Carrer Benet Mateu 48-50, Barcelona

Before we get to the story, let us all join hands in prayer and ask God that he sees to it that this Chinese restaurant never goes out of business because this place offers incredible food. I have had some great Chinese meals in New York, London and Paris but this was just marvellous.

First of all, the location is a bit strange. The restaurant is in the middle of a high-rise residential block in the outer parts of Barcelona. It looks like a normal Chinese restaurant from the outside and you will not find notice anything out of the ordinary when you step inside.

When we sat down at our table we were greeted by a waiter who introduced their menu. What a disaster it was. Old faded pictures of really not that appealing food, a lot of stuff with chips and spaghetti – oh my God… I asked if there was a separate Szechuan menu and the waiter just did not understand the English and a second waitress turned up. She understood the question but not really the request… Why would we want to eat from another menu?

She did however return with a menu in Chinese, which I do not understand in writing at all. So then a third waiter (perhaps the owner) turned up. He spoke perfect English and asked us what we wanted to eat and from that point on I was truly in heaven. 

We ordered three main courses. First we have steamed fish, it came with Chinese mushrooms and fresh ginger and a light sauce. It was a true masterpiece, velvety and very gentle. This was by far the best fish I have had in a Chinese restaurant anywhere, I am not kidding.

For our second course we had Mapo Tofu, I have found that this is a dish that really sets the standard for a Chinese restaurant. This was such a masterpiece, very soft and nice tofu, a good amount of Szechuan spice and a lot of different layers of flavours. I was in heaven eating this.

 

The third dish was Szechuan Spicy Beef. I had asked for something ridiculously spicy and this was not a disappointment. Very tender beef in red bean paste with loads of chilli, it was just beyond amazing! Sweet and hot at the same time, great!

 

We ended our meal with Eight-treasures Rice Pudding. It was sticky rice with different preserved fruits, sweet bean paste, sesame seeds and some sort of sweet sauce. This was so great and not at all as heavy as one would think.

When leaving the restaurant we were offered some Chinese rice wine with cinnamon, it tasted a bit like sherry – great! I also chatted a bit with the staff and talked about Chinese food and eating out.  

There were so many nice options to choose from the menu, I wish I would have had more time to spend in Barcelona so I could have eaten it all. I will most definitely come back when I am in Spain, please visit the restaurant while I am gone. Enjoy!

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8 responses

  1. Enric

    Hi! I’m a local from Barcelona.
    Some friends had recommended LA OLLA DE SICHUAN a few weeks ago, and searching for some info about it for having lunch there yesterday, I found your blog. Intrigued by this restaurant, we changed our mind and headed for it. We really ate VERY WELL and thank you for the recommendation. We actually ordered the same dishes you tasted (but not properly, because we got a different beef dish), plus an extra ca-sao rice, and really enjoyed the meal very much.
    Some people were there eating the hot pot, and it also looked very good, with PLENTY of small dishes with vegetables and meat for the pot. I must try next time.
    Good thing: I am local, so I can go often! ;_)

    2010/01/17 at 1:21 pm

    • Kim

      Hi Enric,

      Great that you were able to visit this great restaurant in Barcelona! There were some great dishes on the menu and I really envy you since you have the possibility to try them out since you live in town. Yes, I also noticed that they were doing hot pots and it looked fabulous. Please let me know how if was if you decide to try it out.

      Thank you for commenting on my blog, it is very much appreciated!

      2010/01/18 at 8:45 am

  2. I had been before your post a couple of times. And yesterday I went again and decided to blog this extraordinary place (http://elbuentino.blogspot.com/2010/09/sichuan-hotpot.html).
    I found your criticism and I absolutely agree with you. This is an unexpected joy of chinese cuisine.

    2010/09/26 at 8:57 am

    • Kim

      Hi!

      Thank you for your comment. I am glad that you enjoyed this restaurant, I still remember the taste of the great food and I envy you for living nearby and you get to visit them as often you like. I read your blog, it seemed as you recently had enjoyed some Swedish cuisine? This is my native food, I really enjoy the fish and the clean flavours. Once again, thanks for commenting and please let me know if you are in London and I can recommend some very great Chinese/Sichuan restaurants!

      2010/09/26 at 11:33 am

  3. joy

    Thanks for this info on good cuisine….my husband and I are going to Barcelona mid March and wondering where we will find good Chinese food and other restaurants. So thanks for your recommendations!

    2010/11/09 at 7:20 pm

    • Kim

      Hi there!

      Great that you found the site useful! There’s so many nice thing to do in Barcelona, it is really one of my most favourite cities in Europe. The two restaurants that I have reviewed are really good value for money. They’re not in the busy central parts of Barcelona but I think it is worth the short metro trip as the food is wonderful. I hope you have a great time, please let me know your verdict!

      2010/11/13 at 2:33 pm

  4. Tonette

    I used to live in the area, I love that Chinese restaurant. They also have this cold dish called Familia Feliz, cuts of cold pork with a sweet and salty sauce with veggies and mushrooms! I’m drooling as I write this! I now live back in Asia and I can’t find that dish in any Chinese restaurant here!!! Please help me find out what they call that dish in Chinese!

    2013/09/17 at 6:14 pm

  5. Tonette

    Do you like Lebanese food? There’s a restaurant called Amir de Nit we used to also frequent located at Placa del Sol, Barri de Gracia.

    2013/09/17 at 6:19 pm

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