853 Caledonia Avenue, Victoria, BC, V8T 1E6
Asian Oasis in a Sea of Concrete.
|Cuisine Type |||Szechuan|
|Pricing |||Less than $20|
|Payment |||MasterCard, American Express, Visa|
|Cross Street |||Blanshard and Caledonia|
Profile Last Updated: April 04, 2008
Across from the Save-On-Foods Memorial arena, in the midst of a sea of anonymous parking lots, stands a small office building. On the main floor of the building is a doorway plastered with Northwest Best Places to Eat stickers dating from 1988 - so many it's hard to see in. Step inside the Szechuan Exotic Food Restaurant, and you might be tempted to think it was just another restaurant in a strip mall. The decor is tidy and comfortable with the predictable golden Buddha statue, standard issue wall hangings and faux bamboo chairs. Take a look at the menu, though, and you'll soon be thinking there's something else going on here. Don't Let the Spice Scare You
For anyone who was raised with the idea of sweet and sour pork and lemon chicken as the height of Chinese cuisine, the Szechuan comes as a pleasant shock to the senses. The food is based around the style of Szechuan province, famous for its distinctive smoky pepper and hot chilies. Nearly half the menu items boast a chili pepper icon signifying a spicy dish, but this shouldn't put off diners with heat sensitive palates. Most of the food at Szechuan has some spice, but is more flavourful than hot. Fast and Cheery
The twelve tables are often full, especially on evenings when a big game or concert is happening across the street at the arena. However even when the kitchen is working flat out, the food is well prepared and arrives quickly. Vegetarians are well served here, however some of the greatest treats are among the meat and seafood dishes. Some long time favourites include mu xiu pork or vegetables - something akin to a Chinese burrito - crisp fried beef in orange sauce and one of the most frequently cited hot and sour soups in the area. Don't forget to leave room for dessert of caramel apples or bananas. Come with a group to enjoy the widest variety of dishes!
Take note: Reservations recommended