Lan Sheng - Highly Not Recommended
60 W 39th St, New York NY 10018
Btwn 5th & 6th Ave
Phone: (212) 575-8899
After a phenomenal time in China, we were thinking about getting Chinese food and were hearing good things about Lan Sheng. Basically, the people here supposedly all worked at Wu Liang Yi which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately this was pretty god awful and almost inedible.
OX Tongue And Tripe with roasted chili-peanut vinaigrette *
This is one of our go to dishes when eating Szechuan food and they do a decent job here. The texture of the tongue and tripe was good and the chili vinaigrette was great - very floral chili and enough vinegar to make the dish pop.
Crispy Cucumber ---
Another go to dish for me and this was really inedible - 1000% WTF in a bad way. So overly salty and my tongue was completely buzzing from the overdose of salt/msg. It's not spicy at all, so I know it wasn't the heat - plus I eat insanely hot food, so that does not bother me either. A completely god awful dish that could be used to extract information out of terrorists.
Chilled Noodles with spicy sesame vinaigrette ---
A complete WTF in the most awful way. Usually this dish is a little spicy, a little sweet, with a nice chewy noodle texture. Texture of the noodle was perfect here, but it was so ridiculously vinegary that was hard to eat. Also, this is where the dreaded - is this a ton of msg? as my tongue was buzzing with sensory overload. I love spicy food and this was not spicy at all, just really vinegary.
Sauteed Sponge Cucumber *
Classic dish which they do well here. Texture was nice and spongy and the flavor was great - the whole chicken stock thing but the flavor of the cucumber still came through.
Chongqing Spicy Chicken ---
Crispy chicken that was dried out and covered in chili's. Again this was not that spicy (to me), but I couldn't eat it as it was so intensely salty which I believe came from the MSG. Completely inedible.
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way
Although the place was 100% filled with Mandarin Chinese speakers only and completely packed, the place was horrendous in my opinion. I do love Szechuan food and the stuff here is really inedible. Save your money and go to Wu Liang Ye instead.
Btw - since it was so damn salty/msg laden, I took all the dishes home and rinsed the hell out of everything - like three times each. Then, then I stirfried them with rice and a good amount of oil and voila - it was pretty damn tasty. Oddly enough, after rinsing multiple times, the ingredients by themselves were still slightly salty, but with the rice it worked out well.