Cheng Du 23 is in a stripmall, but do not let the locations, or the pictures of the three red chile peppers on the front facade, deter you. This is an excellent Chinese restaurant and while wonton soup, egg rolls, General Tso’s chicken and other standard American/Chinese dishes are available, check out the Chef’s Specialties, Szechuan and House Specials sections of the menu for a memorable dining experience. Heat levels can be adjusted to your taste.
We were invited to a press dinner, where over fourteen dishes were served. Yes, we tasted everything. Here are some of the highlights from our meal:
Pork belly wrapped around cucumbers and scallions.
Tender pork shank with bok choy in a brown sauce with whole garlic cloves and scallions.
Colorful and creamy boiled eggplant with salted egg topped with sliced scallions was a comforting dish and highly recommended.
Pieces of fish fillet, which were served in a pie plate with soft tofu, hot bean paste sauce, scallion and crispy soy beans on top reminded us of ma po tofu, but more interesting because of the addition of the fish and textural contrast of the crunchy soy beans with the soft tofu.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
Other show stoppers were the Fire House Chicken with chunks of white meat chicken combined with black mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots, celery, garlic, leek, dry chilies, king oyster and hot-bean paste sauce (which set off an alarm in our mouths) and the numbingly spicy Kung bao chicken with peanuts, Szechuan peppers, soy sauce black vinegar, diced chiles and scallions. Steamed juice buns, which we always order, were filled with minced pork. We put them on a soup spoon, drizzle with soy/vinegar sauce and pop them into our mouths.
Open daily from 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM; Dim Sum on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 3 PM.
Cheng Du 23
6 Willowbrook Boulevard