Chili House Restaurant - Dude Grade: A
四川吳抄手 (Szechuan Woo Chao So)
No. 250-3, ZhongXiao E. Rd, Sec. 4
Phone: 886 2 2721 6088
We’re incredibly lucky as we have a good amount of friends in Taiwan and our homegirl Paulina took us out to this ridiculously delicious Szechuan joint. When I think of Szechuan food, I think of blow your socks off spicy food, but not so at this place – there’s a ton of balance and restraint with some good heat as an undertone. Really delicious stuff and we’ll have to up our ante next time Paulina visits since she keeps on taking us to phenomenal places.
Rice had this great sticky texture which was permeated by this porky goodness. Ribs were knock your socks off delish.
Dan Dan Mien **
Nice and chewy noodles with this awesome balance between meaty, sweet, and heat – both very subtle and not overpowering.
Pork Dumplings **
These were incredibly addicting – the meat flavor/texture with the spicy sauce was friggin awesome. The texture was pretty silky which was something new for me as most dumplings I'm accustomed to have either a thin or chewy texture.
Bamboo is in season in Taiwan so we’re seeing them all over Taipei and these were the best we had. Fried and crispy on the outside with that pleasing soft crunch on the inside. The flavors were so nutty and sweet which were intensified by the chilis/shallots/garlic coating. So pissed we can’t get this quality of bamboo in the states – everything is jarred here and the vacuum packed stuff sucks.
Fried Tofu ***
Another amazing wtf type dish. Soft silken tofu with a light frying on the outside – not crispy, but just to set it so it’s not all soft. Flavors were dyno-mite. Slightly sweet, a little salty, very meaty, and a lil spicy.
Hot Pot **
The last time I had Szechuan hot pot, I felt ill since it was so damn spicy and I love me some spicy food. This was phenomenal – very spicy, but not so much where your innards are melting. We ordered a ton of meats and they were the best I’ve ever had in a Chinese hot pot. Lamb was intensely lamby, pork was ridiculous, and the beef had marbling like I’ve only seen in Japanese restaurants via shabu shabu or yakiniku. After cooking/eating all the meats, the flavor of the broth was magical.
Fish with Hot Bean Paste (Do Ban You) **
Very fresh fish with this meaty spicy bean paste going on. The fish was incredibly soft and delicious.
Fried Shrimp Balls **
Crispy and insanely light and fluffy on the inside. Pretty spectacular texture and solid flavor.
Peas and Chicken **
Very tiny peas that were almost crunchy, but pleasantly so. Great flavor and uber tasty with the rice.
Beef Stomach ***
I always order this dish at Szechuan restaurants and this was the best version I’ve ever had. Great flavor, incredibly spicy and awesome with the julienned scallions which were sweet and spicy.
Tofu Soup **
A nice delicate tofu soup – flavor of the sweetened water was very pleasant and the tofu was incredibly soft and delicious.
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way
- Food (A) – Best Szechuan restaurant I’ve been to.
- Service (C) – Food comes out quick and the servers were standard Chinese efficient but not very pleasant.
- Atmosphere (B) – A nicer looking joint with darker wood for tables and well lit inside. Place was packed when we got there and packed when we left – maybe 4 families waiting for tables.
- Price (N/A) – As with all our friends, we were not allowed to pay since we were visiting. The bill came out to around 5000NTD/181 USD for 8 people / 22 USD per person – a ridiculous value for US standards.
I absolutely looove this place. I dig me some spicy food and this was the best spicy food place I’ve ever been to – such great balance. Definitely on the long list of places I want to go back to when I’m back in Taipei.
On a side note, our homegirl Paulina also bought us this award winning Taiwanese bread - the bakery placed first place in the 2010 Bakery Masters held in Paris. This bad boy has wine soaked litchis and walnuts - a surprisingly uber delicious bread.