Sunday, 8 December 2013

Authentic Sichuan (Szechuan) Chinese food in South London

I recently went to Crystal China along Tower Bridge Road in south London. They specialise in spicy Sichuan (Szechuan) food and, judging by the amount of Chinese people in there (over 80 per cent of the diners appeared to be young Chinese people), it must have been authentic. Two of my fellow diners, both from mainland China, also thought the same and recommended it to me.

We ordered a hot pot and we could have whatever ingredients we wanted from a menu. We went for king prawns, lotus root, ham, fish balls, broccoli, tofu and beef. The base of the dish is basically a very spicy broth with lots of dried chilli and peppercorns, which bring a nice tingling and slightly numb feeling to the mouth (rather than the intense burn of some powerful chilli). The sesame dips and the rice we ordered helped counter some of the spiciness!

It was a great experience and so wonderfully different from most Chinese restaurants in the UK, which are mainly based on Cantonese food. 

Not sure about spicy food? They have a 'normal' menu too, judging by their online take away menu.

Nearest Tube: Elephant & Castle, Borough, Bermondsey

Crystal China on Urbanspoon