QUOTE(SLBunge @ May 10 2008, 05:26 PM)
Excellent meal last night at Tea House in Saint Paul. They have changed their main menu so now it includes the Szechuan items and the Americanized Chinese stuff. All of the dishes we ordered were listed as Szechuan items.
Dan dan noodles were good, but not as good as they are at Little Szechuan. Here they use angel hair pasta which has less tooth. They did bring it out in an appropriately sized bowl and they stirred the whole thing up for us.
Scallion pancakes were excellent. Expertly fried. Light and airy. Sauce was nothing special.
Boiled fish with tofu in a broth with lots of red pepper reminded me of the dish I had with Jones's last time we were at Little Szechuan. The fish was thinly sliced flounder. Lots of Napa cabbage wilted at the bottom of the bowl. Great flavor and not quite overwhelmingly spicy.
Szechuan style kun pao chicken was excellent. Boiled peanuts instead of roasted. Touch of sweetness to the dark sauce but not cloying. Really good food.
A really strong contender to the more familiar Little Szechuan. I need to return to each several times to continue the research.
lunch with the parents at tea house today. we got the dan dan noodles, the wontons in hot sauce, both types of soup dumplings, the seafood hot pot, and the ma po tofu. the ma po tofu was quite good, certainly better than little szechwan's. the dan dan noodles were good, but different--i think i prefer the little s version. however, what we'd most looked forward to were the wontons and the soup dumplings and neither were very good. the soup dumpling skins were too doughy, and there wasn't a whole lot of crab flavour in the soup. and the hot sauce the wontons were tossed in had too muddy and sweet a flavour. the seafood hot pot was alright.
as we were leaving mrs. jones noted she was not motivated to drive an extra 10 minutes to eat here rather than little szechwan, but then she noticed that the strip mall tea house is in also houses a box karaoke place. so i imagine we'll be back.
by the way, no one should rely on google maps to get to this place.