CHILI SECRETS

Chili-Secrets

Back in June the BF’s sister had her wedding reception dinner at Chili Secrets in Richmond Hill. The restaurant is a family favourite and a great venue for a small gathering with family and close friends.

Atmosphere: The interior of the restaurant is spacious with lots of tables and two private rooms. We were seated in a large dining area, offset from the main space, filled with banquet style large round tables. It was a nice separate area and we were left to enjoy our meal and move between tables.

Service: I would classify the service as standard and competent if not the most friendly. Food arrived quickly and each dish was placed on the lazy susan equally spaced. The soup was served and fish de-boned at the table. If anything more was required, it was easy to flag down a server.

Food: There were lots of dishes, a set course for each table. I won’t go into details for each plate but rather highlight my favourites or anything interesting. In general, I thought the flavour was authentic and the famous peppery, spicy Szechuan taste was evident through the night.

First off were a few cold appetizers, marinated beef slices in Szechuan sauce, marinate chicken in Szhecuan sauce, a Chinese yam with blueberry compote and chayote with perserved plums. The selection was a great showcase of the menu variety, sweet and spicy. I liked the chayote dish because I love preserved plums and the flavour was very strong. So this was a hit or miss at our table but a specialty of the restaurant and something new to try.

Next were two hot stir fries, shrimp in garlic, oyster mushrooms with pea sprouts, and a seafood fish maw soup. One of the stir fries was super spicy and woke up your taste buds. The garlic shrimp was lightly battered, fried and covered in a sweet, garlicky sauce that was amazing. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Following was the classic Shui Zhu Yu, poached fish in spicy soup, pot stickers, and a steamed duck served with pillowy steamed buns. Each piece of fish in the Shui Zhu Yu was tender and fell apart easily. The broth was more peppery than spicy, which is my preference and full of bean sprouts on the bottom. The plate of pot stickers were cooked well with a crispy bottom and juicy meatball inside. I liked the steamed duck as well, which was less greasy than other forms of cooking.

My favourite dish of the night was next, the deep-fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk. This dish was amazing, salty batter and sweet pumpkin, crunchy batter and soft filling. Sadly this dish isn’t offered on their normal menu anymore. I only wish the plate was served earlier in the night so I had more room to eat.

For dessert, a plate of deep fried ice cream was served. By this point I was truly stuffed but I couldn’t resist the puff balls of vanilla ice cream. The casing was cakey and the ice cream was still cold inside. I had to restrain myself to just four or five (or six) bites.

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