Dinner at Spiced (Bellevue, WA)

Health Department closure several months ago notwithstanding, there was buzz about the new restaurant that served authentic Szechwan dishes. By authentic, I’m referring to the very liberal dose of Szechwan peppercorns that can leave your mouth numb for hours, a trait that is integral to Szechwan cooking, and to the equally liberal dose of dried red chiles. If you’re truly serious about this regional cooking, you have to accept these two linchpins as prerequisites to full appreciation.

Chongqing Chicken comes in large chunks in a batter featuring aforementioned peppercorns. The pepper lent the chicken a distinctive herbal and fragrant quality, a rendition not commonly served here. There were also the requisite amount of dried chiles. To my taste, more green onions would have been welcome.

Chong Qing chicken

The sliced catfish and tofu dish was excellent. Liberal amounts of ground pepper numbed the mouth. Slivered red bell peppers and large, meaty dried shiitake were also mixed in as well as Chinese celery that lent an exotic flavor of chrysanthemum leaves.

Sliced catfish and tofu

You get a lot for your money. Service here is spotty, and some of the staff speak very little English.

1299 156th Ave NE
Ste 135
Bellevue, WA 98007

One thought on “Dinner at Spiced (Bellevue, WA)

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  1. 11/1/2012: A friend, M, and I had lunch today. We ordered from the regular menu, two different preparations of fish that, while on the surface looked very similar, were distinctive. M’s Fish Fillet with Tofu in Hot Garlic Sauce was served in a vessel over an alcohol fire, which kept the dish bubbling for a good 15 minutes before the fire extinguished itself. The fish was battered and deep-fried, then tossed with fried tofu, all served over a bed of mung bean sprouts, the sauce garlicky and savory. Mine, Szechwan Style Spicy Fish Fillets, served in a stainless steel bowl, also was battered and deep-fried and also underlain with mung bean sprouts, but the generous portion of sauce made it like a stew, spicy and very oily. Both came mounded with an astounding amount of dried red chile peppers and liberally sprinkled with Szechwan peppercorns. Both were sublime and sinus-clearing.


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