Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sichuan Jin River (formerly Sichuan Pavilion), Rockville MD

Rockville houses some of the best Chinese restaurants in the area, last year Sichuan Jin River 八山蜀水 opened up and added itself to this list as one of the top authentic Sichuan cuisine.  I used to go to Peking Palace in Germantown for Sichuan cuisine, but since Sichuan Jin River opened last year, we've visited this restaurant more since it looks cleaner and the dishes usually do not disappoint.  Peking palace is still one of my favorite places, except for the fact they really really need an interior decor makeover!

They have two types of menu, an authentic Chinese cuisine menu and an 'American version'.  Of course we always stick to the authentic Chinese cuisine, it has all kinds of dishes that I have yet to try.  Additionally, the chopsticks prepared looked clean and sanitized (according to casing), so that immediately won me over!

authentic chinese style menu

re-usable but clean chopsticks (so it says)

We ordered an appetizer and three dishes since it's the beginning of the week and we can always use some leftover for the rest of the week.  For the appetizer, we ordered the meat dumpling in Chili oil 紅油炒手.  I think it's simply the best in the area!  I've tried the same appetizer in several other restaurants and only A&J is up to par with Sichuan Jin River.  I know it's a simple dish, but Pacifiica Cafe in Kentland definitely fails the category because their meat dumpling was soaked in peanut butter sauce rather than chili oil...

Meat dumpling in chili oil 紅油炒手 

For the dishes, we ordered Sichuan Soft Tofu 四川豆花, cumin chicken 關公然雞片, and steamed taro with fatty pork 南乳芋頭燉肉.  The tofu dish was mediocre but was what I expected, it was also priced cheaper at $6.25.  Cumin chicken was above average, except the seasoning was not distributed evenly.  We had to do some mixing of our own to avoid eating a super salty piece.  Peking palace definitely has better cumin chicken dish in comparison, good flavor and less salty.  The steamed taro pork was excellent, even though it took a good 20 minutes before it hit the table.  We were pretty much done with dinner by the time it came out, so I only had a few bites.  Nonetheless, it was delicious and the hubby loved it!

Sichuan Soft Tofu 四川豆花

Cumin Chicken 關公然雞片

Steamed Taro with Fatty Pork 南乳芋頭燉肉

When comparing the only two authentic Sichuan restaurants around the area (that I know of), I'd probably still pick Peking palace if judging by food only.  As far as overall dining experience, Sichuan Jin River is much cleaner and it also serves excellent delicious food.  A word of warning though, this restaurant apparently is VERY popular on Saturday nights.  We waited at least 30 minutes for takeout last Saturday because the restaurant was jammed packed with at least 45 min to an hour wait!  If you don't like waiting for a table, try the place on a weeknight.

FoodiePop's rating: 4.3/5

Sichuan Jin River
410 Hungerford Dr
Rockville, MD 20850

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