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In the USA, where there are Chinese there will be Chinese restaurants. Extensive coverage of Chinese restaurants around the nation attests to the significant role of Chinese food in American food culture. Today, we will visit a Chinese restaurant in New York that offers traditional Chinese food —”Zest Szechuan”.
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Authenticities Are Our Specialty
The love for spicy food has gained enormous attention around the world, and the Szechuan Cuisine is like a rising star, being one of the most respected cuisines in the global culinary industry. ZEST serves as a connecting bridge between Sichuan’s local streets and New York City. At ZEST, we use the best quality ingredients to serve the most astonishing food you never thought was possible.
Zest established in 2016 in the heart of this beautiful city, NYC. We want to introduce the most mouth watering, most trendy and modernized Szechuan platters to this city, hence we are constantly in search of the newest creations through the streets of Sichuan, China, so we can bring you the most up to date tastes.
Zest Szechuan welcomes everyone, whether locals or travelers, to step inside and join us on an trip to explore the taste of Authentic Sichuan.
- 551 reviews
- Authentic Chinese food.
Located in central of New York City.
Ordered three dishes, all good.
Pepper fish is very delightful. Fish is fresh, tender, with the fresh crips flavor from green hot pepper, very nice.
The rice, however, is little bit under cooked.
Will recommend this to others.
- Disclosure: I was invited for a tasting.
We reached there at 7:30 pm on a Thursday evening and were seated immediately even though the place was pretty full. This was my first time eating Szechuan food and the servers were very nice- they explained the menu in detail along with the different type of spices used in the food. The food is very spicy and the peppercorn tickles your tongue, so understand your spice level before ordering spicy food!!
Mapo tofu, grilled fish hot pot
The portion size is huge, which compensated for the above average cost.
The ambiance is very average.
- Came here for dinner with a friend. Ordered a cucumber preserved egg for appetizer, grilled fish on a sizzling plate, thin slice beef in a sour tomato soup. So overall this place is very good. 5 star, you don't come by a Szechuan restaurant in midtown that can bring flavor like this.
Been to many others places but this spice is just right.
Price is also very reasonable.
- Manhattan and the Midtown area is quite devoid of good authentic Sichuan restaurants. I am so glad to have found this spot just a few blocks from Times Square! Came here on a Wednesday dinner at 7pm with a reservation for eight friends, we were given a table upstairs for our group. We ordered the following (definitely missing a few since we feasted like Queens and Kings of old): chili beef tendons 夫妻肺片，cucumbers salad (黃瓜） as our appetizers. For main, we got Chongqing spciy chicken (重慶辣子雞），Chongqing grilled fish （重慶烤魚）， chongqing hotpot beef (重慶火鍋牛）， Lamb with cumin (孜然羊）， shrimp with egg yolk, Mapo tofu （麻婆豆腐），Stir fried snow peas (蒜蓉豆苗）
Disclaimer: we were invited by the owner for a summer invitational tasting event, so the meal was gratis.
I love the ambiance here. It's not going to be your go to fancy restaurant, but you know it be popping when on a Wednesday night the entire floor is packed with patrons! Casual spot to hang out, bring friends, and enjoy a hearty Sichuan meal.
Portion sizes are quite massive here. Come here with an empty stomach!
Let's start with favorites. Cumin lamb and the salty egg yolk shrimp were BOMB. Cumin lamb was fresh, seasoned aggressively, and that cumin taste you can never go wrong with it. The numbing effect that cumin and peppercorns can have go really well with the lamb, and it was stir fried with a bunch of onions and peppers which were flavorful and aromatic! The salted egg yolk shrimp was DELICIOUS. I love the egg yolk crust on the shrimp as it adds a new depth of flavor, and the shrimp wasn't too greasy.
Next favorites would be the hot pot beef. I didn't expect it to have a tomato broth in it, but boy was that flavorful. It comes in this ridiculous looking chinese porcelain bowl that according to the owner, was once served to the emperors during the Qing dynasty (not the actual bowl, but a replica). Boy did we feel like royalty when that dish came out. The sliced beef works really well in the broth, and loved the addition of tomatoes in it to really bring out the flavors in it.
Chongqing spicy chicken was great as well. Reminded me of a cooler version of a Kung Pao Chicken, albeit less saucy and definitely more spicy. Think hipster and a turnt up fiery version of KP chicken.
Shanghai Dou Miao was perfect - love the balance of the garlic in it, flavors were on point, and it wasn't too greasy. So was the cucumber salad and the beef tendons in chili oil.
Last dish was the Chongqing grilled fish. REALLY cool concept! What they do is they first fry a massive whole tilapia, then grill it, and then douse it with their Chongqing style sauce/broth. At first I was concerned that it was going to be oily, but it turned out to be just right! Flavors were on point, the fish was fresh, and the fish was massive and seasoned really well. Level of heat was good, although personally I would love to see the option of customizing how spicy you want the dish to be so that I can maximize the amount of chili's in it. Overall, great dish, and I can see why its such a seller here!
Service was great, and our waiters were really friendly and attentive. Lisa, who manages the restaurant, was super friendly and we ended up talking more about the history of the restaurant, what directions that their team wanted to take the restaurants, and some cool experimental dishes that they're rolling out soon. Definitely was really inspiring to meet such a hardworking and entrepreneurial person! Looking forward to see where she takes the restaurant in the future!
Sign me up as a regular here, because I'm sold that this spot is good for legit Sichuan food!
- Looking for some great, reasonably priced, authentic Szechuan food close to where you work or live is rather difficult in this city. You're usually taking a long trek to Flushing or Chinatown which is really out of the way if you live Uptown Manhattan. Luckily there's a diamond in the rough right by Bryant Park. It's literally tucked away in this city, but I'm here to expose them. Trust me, it's that good.
I came here with my gf after work on a weekday. I got there around 6pm and the place was somewhat busy. As the night went on, the restaurant was rather packed. They have a 2nd floor which was for large parties so there's plenty of space. The service is pretty good. Pretty much if you're looking up at them or simply wave them down, they'll come to assist.
We ordered one appetizer and two entrees:
Sliced Beef & Tripe w Peanuts & Chili - I personally love tripe and spicy food. Naturally I got this for the appetizer. Served cold, this dish is pretty simple, but pretty good. The spicy is not too overpowering and I personally think it's a good warm up for what's ahead.
Hot & Spicy Bullfrogs - I never had fried frog legs so this was a first. It pretty much taste like chicken. A very unique dish with that nice kick to it. I'd highly recommended trying some good ole frog legs in your lifetime. If you tried alligator before, why not frogs? Also an FYI, like a chicken wing, there is bones...lots of them (not like a fish though).
Chong Qing Whole Fish - The main event, their best seller, and I can see why. Besides the whole the nice sized fried Tilapia which is then nicely sliced in half, it's served with various other garnishes. Off the top of my head, there's bok choy, vermicelli noodles, beancurd, peanuts, potato, taro, and I think I covered everything. We got this less spicy so it was more bearable (secretly would have loved it to be spicier). For $40, this is a hell of a deal.
Tired of reading yet? Good, my fingers are tired. Hope I helped you make some important life choices!
- Great food. Authentic and fresh. Great services also. My wife's from Guiyang, a city close to Szechuan. She said this is one of the best that she's had in the US
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