Ginger and Chili Szechuan Cuisine – Vancouver, BC


Szechuan (Sichuan) cuisine, is best known for its liberal use of Szechuan (Sichuan) peppercorn and thus generally thought of as being very spicy.  This regional cuisine also uses in copious amounts, both ginger and chili.  This neighborhood Chinese restaurant took these ingredients as their house name, and occupies a decent sized establishment in the Point Grey area of Vancouver, close to other area favorites such as Burgoo, Candia Taverna, Provence Mediterranean Grill, and Enigma.

Ginger and Chili Szechuan Cuisine is proud of those popular North American-Chinese dishes: Ginger Beef and General Tso’s Chicken, and call theirs the best versions of these dishes in town.  I’ve had this chicken-based creation ($10.50) which is stir-fried with a mix of vegetables – it’s not bad.  But I refuse to try the Ginger Beef.

Every time I’ve been inside, customers have been a mix of Caucasian and Asian diners.  Takeout represents a good portion of their business, judging from the walk-in-and-pick-up customers, the constantly ringing phone, and the female manager with a Bluetooth earpiece to handle the flood of calls.  Delivery orders are also possible within a 3km radius and a minimum order of $20 and after 4:30pm.

On this evening, I ordered a trio of dishes, all of ample portions, from the menu that is separated into sections labeled appetizers, soups, seafood, chicken, pork & spareribs, beef, lamb, hot pot, vegetarian, rice, and chow mein & rice noodles.  In total, in typical Chinese menu fashion, they are all numbered and amount to 165 different items, with the most expensive individual item being the whole barbecue duck that goes for $21.95.  Most other dishes go for around $10~$15.  There are even two options for a combination dinner for one ($13.75) and family dinner sets (2 to 8 people) that range from $23 to $92.

Firstly, the Deep Fried Squid with Peppery Salt ($13.25).  This dish is one of many marked with a red chili symbol on the menu, signifying the heat factor.  The finger-length long strips of breaded shrimp were crispy (thought probably would have held up better if eating at the restaurant itself), but not overly so, and tossed with small bits of onion and garlic.  The peppery salt, though not very visible, was evident once I started taking some bites.  The heat coming from the salt was of that sharp piercing variety.  This dish was decent in my books, the squid was well sized, and was not rubbery or chewy.

The second dish was from the pork section – Sliced Pork with Hot Pepper & Dry Spinach ($10.50) – again with the red chili mark.  This was stir-fried in a bland thick sauce, and despite the claim of having some hot peppers, there was not heat coming off this dish at all.  The combination of pork and spinach was a first for me, and tasted well together but the false advertising on the spiciness left a bad taste in my mouth.  Near the bottom of the container, there was this thick layer of oil, very unappealing.

Finally, to get some more substance, the House Special Chow Mein ($10.50) was selected.  This was described as a pan-fried skinny noodle, topped with meat, vegetables and sauce.  What this really entailed was pork, squid, scallops, broccoli, mushrooms, and green peppers.  Perhaps because it was the take-out version, the noodles were really soggy with the sauce, as I hoped they would be a lot more crispier.  A very mediocre dish overall.

As I was afraid of again, the overall high use of vegetable oil in all the dishes, really turned me off this place, despite it being the best of the limited neighborhood lot when it comes to Chinese takeout.  I have some friends who used to go a lot more often and now don’t venture in anymore because of this.  I think I will join them in the boycott crowd, as by just taking a sample of each dish onto my plate, I was getting that heavy, weighed down feeling from the over oily food, and the limited heat just did not measure up either.

Ginger and Chili Szechuan Cuisine
4423 10th Avenue West
Vancouver, BC
Tel: (604) 222-2223
Hours: Tue-Sun, 11:30am to 3pm & 4:30pm to 10pm; closed Mon


Ginger and Chili on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Ginger and Chili Szechuan Cuisine – Vancouver, BC

  1. shokutsu: Out of curiosity, did you consider ordering one of the yardstick of szechuan cuisine, i.e., mapo tofu? Assuming it is available, that is; I could not find it after a quick glance (then again, I did not search too hard either).

    But, regardless, if it is to fill my tummy, places like these are fine. However, if it is for the real deal, I will not hold my breath.

  2. >KimHo

    Actually, Giner & Chili doesn’t even have it on the menu, which is indeed strange. They did have something in the ‘vegetarian’ section which they called “Fried Bean Curd Szechuan Style”, but I doubt this is the same thing. Mapo Tofu is something I make at home anyhow, so not something I tend to order in restaurants. As you say, places like this are just to satisfy hunger, not expect great things, just you crave them from time to time for cheap Chinese takeout. 🙂

  3. Hello shokutsu,

    Your blog is very helpful. But I might say some of the things mentioned may be a little on the deceiving side. Now I do understand that the dishes you ordered above were for take-out, but I have also been ordering from Ginger and Chili for many years now. Not once have I ever found a “thick layer of oil” at the bottom of any dish. Perhaps it was just an unlucky day for you. I will assure you however that all dine-in dishes are excellent, not a flaw.

    Also, I do believe that Mapo Tofu is in their lunch menu as it is typically ordered during the lunch hours.

    • Thanks for stopping by foodjunkie. I’ve dined in a few times as well, and though was still oily, the takeout certainly did suffer as it all collected at the bottom of the container in a massive pool. All the things I got were deep fried though, so explains it. Been a while since I’ve gone back, due to not being around in the neighborhood much anymore.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s