Chengdu Taste – Honolulu, HI

I am getting a little dizzy with the various name changes of this place already. Didn’t it start as Chengdu and then changed to Mian and now back to Chengdu Taste? Not sure, they are also no longer downstairs…and moved upstairs! It’s okay, I am always down to try some Szechuan food. I tried this restaurant YEARS ago and finally got to try it again last week. And O…M…G…what was I waiting for??

Pork with Garlic Sauce | $10.99

Thinly sliced pork belly drenched in a yummy garlic chili sauce. Tasted great! Great side dish for a big bowl of rice. I would get this again!

Sauteed Tender Chicken with Double Chili | $15.99

Oh boy, did you read this title? I’ll say that the picture in the menu looked more like chilis with a side of chicken but the actual dish is no joke too! Surprisingly not as spicy as I thought it would be or just compared the dishes following this one. Anyway, this is delicious and the chicken is in fact very tender! Would order again.

Mung Bean Jelly Noodle with Chili Sauce | $7.99

Everytime I see this dish on a menu or in videos, I am just automatically drawn to it. I don’t know what it is. The jelly noodles look so delicious (doesn’t help that I just love anything noodle), coupled with the chili oil sauce and all the fixings on top…can we really go wrong? Yes, we can. The first time I had this dish (here at this restaurant in fact!), I remember liking it a lot! This time, I hope it was an off day…but something tasted off. Literally. It tasted like maybe the noodles were turning sour, yes, the whole dish had a very sour taste. I don’t think it was turning bad just yet because I didn’t get sick or anything. Would I give it a try again? Hmm…hard to say. Maybe not at this restaurant.

Wonton with Pepper Sauce (numb-taste) | $10.99

Okay, so…I insisted on getting this wonton dish with the “numb-taste”. I usually get the wontons with the red chili oil sauce which is absolute yum. Did I regret it? Indeed I did. I guess I’m not a big fan of this pepper sauce, it had an interesting taste. Vinegary too. And well, YES, MY WHOLE MOUTH AND LIPS WERE NUMB AND TINGLY. Do you ever wonder about how people figured what is good to eat and not? Like, how did a person think to eat fugu and say…well as long as we clean out some of the innards carefully, we won’t die. How many tries did it take? Why was it okay to keep eating szechuan peppers even though your mouth goes numb, funny stuff huh? Anyway, rambling aside, I would not get this again…lol.

Chengdu Style Fried Rice | $9.99

This dish was a last minute decision because they ran out of another noodle dish we wanted to try…and can I just say HALLELUJAH. If it wasn’t for that, I would never have tried this dish and it was ABSOLUTELY MY FAVORITE DISH OF THE NIGHT. I know, I know…it’s a plate of fried rice. But you guys gotta think, aren’t some of the best dishes out there just the simplest and purest forms of it? This humble little dish of fried rice packed the perfect amount of savory yet in such a simple way. I can’t explain it. I thought maybe it tasted so good due to MSG but I didn’t have the symptoms after eating MSG so maybe not? I immediately looked up the recipe and saw the main ingredient (those little brownish black specks you see) are ya cai. Ya cai is like a preserved mustard cabbage, and you guessed it, I’m going to try to make it. Now, buying the ya cai alone online was $8 so I’m starting to wonder why I don’t just order this dish from them…well, let me live my life. Hahaha, if I don’t succeed, they can always be my back-up. Not that you need to ask, ORDER THIS DISH.

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