A couple months or so back, after our girls got out of ballet practice on a Friday night, we went to go grab a bite with a bunch of ballet parents & kids. I think there were about 17 of us. We were turned away at a couple places because they didn't have room so decided to hit the Chinese Cultural Center.
We ended up hitting Szechwan Palace. I'd never been there when some of the crew had been making visits in the olden days pre Miu's. We had a great meal. Had some American Chinese food ordering going on (as Szechwan Palace does have an Americanized Chinese dishes section) but we were able to grab a few standby dishes and actually made a good number of new Szechwan fans.
Back then we had some water boiled fish, yuxiang eggplant, green beans, salt & pepper fish, walnut shrimp & I don't remember what else. That said, we really enjoyed it as did most everybody.
I think my 9 yr old daughter had won ton soup for some reason that night.
Family Meal Tonight
Well with my 9 yr old turning 10 today, she chose to go back to Szechwan Palace for her family birthday dinner. She's a bit under the weather but she was wanting some more won ton soup.
So I think there were about 15 of us tonight (about 1/2 adults & 1/2 kids). Had some vegetarians & had to watch the spice for the kids so got a variety of dishes.
Being of Cantonese heritage, Miu's was my 1st real exposure to Szechwan so that's the main thing we all had to compare it to. The overall consensus was that it was pretty close on just about everything. Meaning it was pretty dang good.
Order & feeback:
- 2x cucumber in garlic sauce - definitely saltier & possibly more garlicky but I think it made them a perfect compliment to the Tsing Tao.
- 3x scallion pancake - don't know if the scallion pancakes were quite as flavorful but they were hot & crispy. Big hit.
- Steamed buns - pretty nice dish. Almost had the look of XLB with no soup.
- Wonton in spicy & chili sauce - these were great. One of my faves at Miu's and still loved these.
- Dumplings in chili sauce - not bad but I love the texture of the wontons so much more that I probably wouldn't order these again.
- Dan Dan noodle - not bad. Didn't enjoy quite as much as Miu's.
- Twice cooked pork - not bad.
- Green beans with bacon - really dug this. Hadn't had this before but the family suggested it. Pretty universally liked.
- Beef with onions - again, not as epic as Miu's in the height of their Cantonese but tasted good.
- Spicy lamb ribs - these were pretty spot on.
- Water boiled fish - this also was great.
- Yuxiang eggplant - this wasn't quite as good as our first visit to SP but still good.
- Eggplant in sweet bean sauce - didn't get a taste of these as it was for the veggie folk.
- 2 Mapo Tofu (1 w/pork & 1 veg) - didn't try but got high marks from both tables.
- Vegetable chow fun - also didn't try as it was at the veggie/kids table.
- Beef chow fun - and missed this one too but I do have leftovers that I'll certainly be downing.
- 3x won ton soup (1 for the bday girl & 2 to go) - one of the people this was for was my pop (born in Canton & restaurant all his life) - I stopped over later as he was eating & he said it was actually surprisingly pretty good. High praise from him.
Former Miu's Cantonese Chef Spotting!
Another interesting point to the night was that we recognized the Cantonese chef from the early Miu's days. One of his friends cooks there and he was helping out. Says he does a bit now.
Couldn't get all the details but it sounds like he's working on another gig. Someone tried to steal him out of town to CA but he has family here so luckily that didn't work. I know he was last spotted at Henry's Taiwan after a stint at Phoenix Palace. It sounded like he moved over to Henry's Private Kitchen when that opened but that just recently closed.
Man I hope he lands a spot where he can do his thing. Of all the Cantonese around town, his cooking was definitely my pop's favorite of recent days.
668 N. 44th Street (COFCO Center)
Phoenix, AZ 85008