Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
When I received an invite to dine at Alley 41, a Sichuanese restaurant in Flushing, I realized that it has been years that we have been saying we should go in that area to try some authentic Chinese cuisine, but we never went. So I gladly accepted the offer and we went on a Friday evening. Its owner, Mr Yao Hua comes from the Sichuan province and immigrated in the US in 1999. Here, he worked in various restaurants before opening Alley 41 in 2017, doing its best to keep the flavors authentic and shipping 80% of its ingredients from the Sichuan Province in China.
“Although we maintain the highest standards of taste and freshness, we pride ourselves on making our restaurant accessible and affordable to all. I hope that more people who enjoy Sichuan cuisine can share new memories with us, enjoying the finest flavors in an authentic Chinese atmosphere.” Says Mr Yao.
Sichuan cuisine is known for being spicy but they can accommodate your taste. Good, because looking at the menu displayed on an iPad, lots of dishes have chilies next to it and a few with more than just one...You might be overwhelmed by the dishes because for sure only a few are your classic Chinese dishes. They do have for instance scallion pancakes but they call them handmade thousand layer cake. And it is really food: crispy and delightfully greasy as you would expect, it did not even need a sauce on the side.
They have few vegetarian dishes for sure and their handmade noodles with spicy sweet sauce is a must have: these very long noodles are a bit of a challenge when you are not the best at handling chopsticks and I was a bit scared that my white shirt would end up with lots of that reddish sauce, but I managed to eat without any accident, going back at it, the sauce not being that spicy and well balanced between the spiciness and the sweetness. This is a must have!
Another vegetarian dish is their vegetable with black mushrooms, made with bok choy and mushrooms, my only regret was the lack of variety of vegetables.
Then you have meat and seafood, and I admit that they serve some of then usually eaten parts that I was not much in the mood to order, also because Jodi was there and she would have lost her appetite: liver, kidney, intestines, duck head or tongue are few examples. So I chose frogs that I guess she is more used to seeing in my plate and picked the frogs with dry pepper. This quite spicy dish was extremely flavorful with basil and cilantro coming through as my tongue was burning. The frog legs were good but they cut them with a cleaver so you must be careful with the little bones.
I also tried their Chef’s special tea smoked duck. This duck was fantastic: well cooked, not dry, smoky with a skin nicely glazed. If you love duck, this is a dish to order.
We left full, the portions being quite big. Alley 41 is a good foray into Sichuan cuisine, especially if you like spicy food. I would go back there and this time maybe get more adventurous...
Enjoy (I did)!
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Alley 41 - 136-45 41st Avenue, Flushing, NY 11355