Sichuan Pavilion / Sichuan Jin River, web site, 410 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD, just north of Rockville Town Centre, invisibly deep into a strip mall with “Saigon” restaurant and Revere Bank. Enter on the north side of Beall Avenue (south side of the restaurant) between North Washington Street and Hungerfod Drive, across street from Taste of Saigon and the library, about 600 feet southeast of Bob’s Noodle 66. Don’t miss it! 240-403-7351, book in advance! (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [City Paper | Gazette.Net | Don Rockwell | Yelp]
Wow and double wow.
Get the Dan Dan Noodles and the Jelly Noodles. Get dumplings and more dumpling-like phenomena. This is the most authentic Sichuan restaurant around and it makes Hong Kong Palace look like Burger King. I haven’t yet “cracked” the best dishes on the main menu (I did like the crispy potato but thought the Chengdu chicken only decent), but it doesn’t matter. Just choosing from the starting, first section of the menu makes this a “Top Five” restaurant. First-rate ambience and clientele as well.
Thanks for the recommendation! Have been hoping to find some good Chinese food here for a while.
Glad you enjoyed Sichuan Pavilion. Bang for the buck, it is my favorite restaurant in the DC metro area. I have been to Sichuan Pavilion more than a dozen times, often with large groups. Each time it has been fantastic. The dishes are chock full of deliciousness (and are very, very spicy), while being far less greasy than usual for fully-spiced Sichuan. Sichuan Pavilion is in a totally different league than Hong Kong Palace, which I found uninspiring.
Next time you go to Sichuan Pavilion, I recommend ordering off the last page of the menu. It does not appear to be available online. The Dry Chicken with Hot Peppers is fantastic, with a ratio of 65% hot pepper to 35% chicken. The braised (or maybe “boiled”) beef with hot pepper is astonishingly flavorful. The string beans are perfect, as is the Ma Po Tofu (both with and without pork). The bok choy with black mushrooms are a great respite from the heat, as is the salt and pepper shrimp, which is crispy and delicious but not at all greasy.
The only things I would avoid are the egg drop soup, which is just average on a menu otherwise full of superlatives, and the vegetarian goose, which tastes like an ashtray. (It’s probably an acquired taste, but I’ll pass on acquiring it.) Everything else I have eaten I would order again (and again).
Now I’m getting hungry. I may have to grab lunch there tomorrow ….
It sounds like this is related to the restaurant with the same name at 18th and K NW in DC. Everything I’ve had there has been good or excellent, with special mention for the Ma Po Tofu and the DanDan Mien.
Went there on Friday afternoon (12/11) after reading this entry. Was every bit as fantastic as described; easily the best Chinese menu in the area. Thanks for the tip.
Went there for the first time today for lunch. Fantastic food, excellent and friendly service. We had the Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce, Pork with Pickled Cabbage, Beef with Bitter Melon and Dan Dan Noodles. Outrageously good food and outrageously reasonable prices.
Glad you enjoyed Sichuan Pavilion. Bang for the buck, it is my favorite restaurant in the DC metro area.The dishes are chock full of deliciousness (and are very, very spicy), while being far less greasy than usual for fully-spiced Sichuan. Sichuan Pavilion is in a totally different league than Hong Kong Palace, which I found uninspiring. It sounds like this is related to the restaurant with the same name at 18th and K NW in DC.
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Just had had dinner at Sichuan Pavilion with a group of nine. Phenomenal! We ordered about fifteen different dishes between us and all were very good. Some of the favorites: crispy anchovies with peanuts, spicy house style intestine and the steamed whole fish with ginger scallion sauce.
We also have a question: while we were eating we noticed *many* others in the restaurant were ordering a steam bun like material served with some kind of filling. The buns were split open at the table and filled like a taco. It’s pictured on the front page of the website but when we searched the menu online couldn’t find anything like it. After a bit of Googling and asking friends no one knows what they might have been.
We’ll be sure to ask about this next time we go but are curious if anyone has any information.
That was possibly the fried tea-smoked duck, which is mind-blowingly delicious. It is cubes of the tea-smoked ducked which have been barely breaded and deep-fried, and is served with bao (steamed bread/bun shaped like half-moons), hoisin, and sprigs of cilantro.
That’s their minced chicken with Ya Cai. If you get their Chinese menu it’s in the “Chef’s Special” section.
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This Sichuan restaurant looks like it’s been Americanized a lot, none of the dishes looks authentic as real Sichuan food from Sichuan. Here’s my question: you can use economic sense to judge a restaurant in your own area, in your own culture. But when you go to somewhere else, you have to face this question: will you and can you adjust your tastes on food? I am pretty sure most of the best dishes of authentic Sichuan restaurant in Sichuan will be too spicy to normal Americans.
I agree. I found it to be good but not up to the standard of China Star.
Has changed its name to Jin River Sichuan. Same serving staff, same option of Chinese or American/Chinese menu, same reasonable prices.
Over the last couple of years we’ve gotten the lunch special for dinner. I seem to detect a slight drop in quality, but that could be due to reheating or whatever. The place also changed its English name. In your opinion, is this place in decline?