After yum cha at HK Chinese Restaurant, we still weren’t quite satisfied with our fill of Chinese food, so we decided to make a trip to Cary for 35 Chinese Restaurant’s Szechuan cuisine.
(Note: there are two 35 Chinese Restaurants in the area, one in Cary and one in Chapel Hill. What I’ve heard is that the Cary location is by far the better one, although I haven’t been to the one in Chapel Hill.)
There were four of us, so we ordered two dishes from the “Appetizer” (冷盤, or cold dish) menu and three from the “Entrée” menu. (I don’t remember the exact English translation of these dishes, but they should be something similar to what I have…)
蒜泥白肉 (Suan’ni Bairou; Sliced Belly Pork in Garlic Sauce)
Top: Fuqi Feipian; Bottom: Suan’ni Bairou
香菇豆腐煲 (Xiang’gu Doufu Bao; Mushroom and Tofu Pot)
乾扁四季豆 (Ganbian Sijidou; String Beans Western Style)
Top: Huiguo Rou; Middle: Xiang’gu Doufu Bao; Bottom: Ganbian Sijidou
We asked for everything to be less spicy (少辣), although I, being a genuine Hunanese (湖南人; a province in China well-known for their hot cuisine), can tolerate pretty spicy stuff. The good thing about asking for less spicy is that less chili sauce is used, meaning everything is less oily.
The Fuqi Feipian’s taste is very authentic, but it’s also the most oily and spicy dish out of the five (which is probably why it’s authentic). If you like Fuqi Feipian though, you’d probably enjoy it. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you about the oil…
The Suan’ni Bairou was definitely my favorite dish of the meal. The texture was just right (well, pork belly is almost always great), and the sauce was done really well. It was a great mixture of sweet & salty, as well as garlic taste.
The Huiguo Rou’s meat pieces were cut into very thin slices – the thinner the better for pork belly – and flavored with black beans and leeks (大蒜苗), making it a dish with what my friend called “many layers of flavor.” Another great dish!
The Xiang’gu Doufu Bao wasn’t too impressive. The kind of tofu they used was not the regular bean curd, but tofu puffs (油豆腐).
Finally, the Ganbian Sijidou was pretty decent. It was made with pickled mustard and seasoned with salt, instead of with the usual ground pork and rice wine, but the taste was still pretty good. However, in my experience, to get the freshest vegetables, it’s still probably wiser to ask your waiter or waitress which vegetables are available and ask the kitchen to prepare it a certain style for you.
Overall, 35 Chinese is probably one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants I’ve had around here, and splitting 5 dishes between 4 people resulted in $14 per person, which wasn’t too bad at all.
Restaurant: 35 Chinese Restaurant
Price Range: $12-20 per person
– Worth the trip, especially when you’re craving real Szechuan food.