Empress of Sichuan, 6 Lisle Street, London
I was very excited to visit this restaurant in London. They have a very authentic menu; interesting meat cuts, intestines, tongues etc. The name itself, Empress of Sichuan, is just great! As a royalist, I just love it.
Ok, so let’s talk a bit about the food.
This was a complimentary starter. Marinated beans, very tasty. Not too spicy, not too salty.
This was one of the main courses, sea bass in stock with marinated vegetables and noodles. The portion was very generous, the fish nice and tender.
Sichuanese aubergines with pork, or more like pork with aubergines. This is something that I have made at home, it tasted almost identical. Great deep flavours with a sweet finish to it. Once again, an enormous portion.
Finally, the most hyped dish of the evening. Pig’s intestines! This was very different from what I had imagined. I would say that the texture and taste was very similar to bean curd sticks. I was pleasantly surprised with the intestines, I would definitely try them again. I loved it!
What I have not written about is the disappointment with the spices. As you can see from the pictures, the chilies are the usual (Spanish?) variety that you can find in any grocery. What a shame! They are not even that spicy and they do not contain any flavour. No sign of Sichuanese pepper corns either. No Pixian bean paste or other Sichuanese spices. I really was put down by this, why serve these great meats and fish and compromise with the spices? The pig’s intestines were supposed to be extremely spicy, a taco is spicier than this.
However, a great place to be introduced to the food and extremely big portions for the price!