58 Beach Street 02111
This week we went to the 5 Spices House. As per usual, when the food started coming out it was plain to see that we had over-ordered and faithfully we made a vow to order less the next time we went to lunch.
The first dish to arrive was the Sichuan Cold Noodle. I love cold noodle dishes and unfortunately have not found many places that do them well in Boston. This cold noodle dish was perfection. The cold noodles were tossed in a bright red but not too spicy sauce that had a strong flavor of sesame that was balanced by sour notes. The noodle dish was topped with a heaping helping of crisp cucumber that was finely julienned and added a crisp texture to the cold slimy noodles.
The next to arrive was also bright red in color: the Sichuan Spicy Pork Dumpling. Despite its 5 alarm, frankly terrifying hue, the dumpling sauce was not too spicy and had a strong sweet sesame flavor. The dumplings themselves were a little blasé. To be honest, the meat texture inside was a little reminiscent of Chef Boyardee and the wrapper dense and chewy. The fact that the dumpling sauce is so mind-blowingly good was what camouflaged the sub-par dumplings.
We also got one of our standard favorites: Salt and Pepper Squid and to be fair this was not a disappointing version. The pieces of squid were quite large which is maybe why the squid came out a little tougher and chewier than I like. But the batter was crisp and light with an excellent balance to the spices.
Finally (!) came the Baby Bok Choy with Black Mushrooms (apparently we thought that we NEEDED a vegetable dish in order to make this a well-rounded meal). This was a good execution of what can be a standard a fairly boring dish. The baby bok choy were not overcooked and the mushrooms were tossed in a tasty variation of some kind of sweet oyster sauce. Incidentally, the bok choy was REALLY good with the sauce from the Sichuan dumplings.
his restaurant specializes in Sichuan cuisine and apparently the “dry hot pot” is one of their specialties. We decided not to go that route due to the mostly disparaging reviews online but I think we will need to try it next time.