I was once overcome by the spirit of adventure and tried to eat a pigs ear. Obviously, the ear was no longer attached to the pig, and after trying it, my stomach felt like it was no longer attached to me. It was in 2008 and I was in Beijing for five weeks with work (I do leave Walthamstow sometimes). I was working with a group of Chinese students, and they would take me out in the evenings so I could experience the real China, which roughly translates as them making me eat weird stuff whilst they laughed at me. My opinion of Chinese food changed a fair bit whilst I was out there, this might sound obvious, but Chinese food is different in China than it is in the UK. I usually get my Chinese from the takeaway on Markhouse Road, it’s nice, but it’s not like the food I had in China. Taste of Sichuan however, is a bit different.
Formally a greasy spoon type cafe, it became Taste of Sichuan sometime in 2016. Normally I try to get to new stuff when they open, as someone once said, I’d go to the opening of a fag packet if it was happening in Walthamstow. It took me a while to get to taste of Sichuan though as the day job kept getting in the way. I’ve finally given it a try, and was surprised to find that the food was pretty similar to the food I had in Beijing. Even some of the dishes were similar to those I was teased with by my Chinese colleagues.
Mouth watering frog may not float your boat, and pigs feet may not be everyone’s idea of a lunch time treat, but don’t panic, there’s lots of good stuff on the menu. In fact, if I had a criticism of Taste of Sichuan, it would be that the menu is a bit too big. I felt a little overwhelmed by the all the choices, though I did eventually decide on pork dumplings to start followed by sweet and sour with sticky rice. Admittedly, not very adventurous, but tasty non the less. Depending on what you order, prices range from about £5.00 up to £15:80 for the mouth watering frog. The restaurant only accepts cash though, so make sure you take your pocket-money with you.
I’m sure if one of my former Chinese students came to visit, they would probably tell me the food in Taste of Sichuan isn’t entirely authentic. But I’m also sure they would agree that it is less westernised than the food in other E17 takeaways and Chinese restaurants. This is definitely somewhere I will go back to, ideally with lots of friends so we can order more dishes and share them. If you fancy trying them out, you’ll find Taste of Sichuan at 167 High Street.