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South China, Szechuan from the Owners of Tempt Asian Cafe in the Former Chef Chen's Space - S. Pickett Street in Alexandria - Closed


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This place has opened up in the place formerly occupied by Chef Chen's. The space is much bigger than Tempt Asian but still kind of drab despite a remodel.

We have been there a couple of times. They have a "Chinese menu" that is translated and easily available along with the usual Sino-American fare.

We have had the spicy fish pot that was Excellent. Also loved the Nanjing salty duck, bamboo cumin fish (although the cumin could have been more pronounced and beef in dry pot.

The spicy dishes are hot but not unbearable so.

Talked to the owner's son one evening before he went back to school. He said they have high hopes for this location and might even consider moving the whole operation here.

Asked couple of different people but didn't get an answer to why they didn't just name it Tempt Asian II.

My little corner of Alexandria desperately needed a good Chinese joint. I am  excited.

Looking forward to reviews better written than this one.

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Are you sure this is called South China and not New China? There's a South China in Del Ray; my Google searches show a restaurant (or a company) called New China at 660 S. Pickett St, but no South China.

This area is in desperate need of good restaurants.

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Are you sure this is called South China and not New China? There's a South China in Del Ray; my Google searches show a restaurant (or a company) called New China at 660 S. Pickett St, but no South China.

This area is in desperate need of good restaurants.

Well, it does have Akasaka which is overlooked for some reason.

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Are you sure this is called South China and not New China? There's a South China in Del Ray; my Google searches show a restaurant (or a company) called New China at 660 S. Pickett St, but no South China.

This area is in desperate need of good restaurants.

South China is what the takeout menu on my dining room table says. I am almost positive they even have a  sign now that proclaims it.

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Smita, thanks for starting this thread, this is another place I plan on trying soon for lunch. For some reason, I've been more disappointed by the Chinese restaurant choices nearby, over any other cuisine. I still shouldn't complain, I can get so many good dishes close by, & my kids have been exposed (voluntarily or not) to more restaurants than I had growing up in the hinterlands of NC.

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Went here for dinner with the GOP operative after a run in the miserable cold last night. Had been wanting to go for a while, but just never got around to it. It's in a very unassuming typical NOVA strip mall with a Salvadorean restaurant, and Ethiopian market/cafe, and a few other storefronts.

When we got in at about 8.30pm, we were the only guests there. The hostess and waitress were very sweet and sat us at a table. We were give both menus, and she was happy when we said we did like spicy and did went the Chinese menu. We went with basically their recommendations, and I also knew I was definitely getting the fish in hot sauce.

Started off with the Nanjing Salty Duck. This was fine. I don't know what it's supposed to taste like. Threw some of the chili oil on there. It's not quite hot, or cold, sort of cool temperature to it. Tender meat, comes off of the bone.

Then, the fish came. I love this dish at Joe's Noodle House and Hong Kong Palace and Sichuan Pavillion (in that order). This was good, but more liquidy, thinner then the other places. It was flavored well, pretty spicy, but not terribly so. There were definitely bright red chilis in there, and in a twist from the others, there are noodles at the bottom.

Chinese broccoli. Which tastes like Chinese broccoli.

Then, we got the double cooked pork. Tender meat, lots of green onions/onions. Pretty good dish.

I don't know. It's just as close as Hong Kong Palace, so if there is a choice, I'd definitely go to HKP, as of now. However, there is so much on this menu that looks interesting/unique and authentic, so after some more people review the place and give recommendations, I want to go back. The Salvadorean place in the plaza looked really, good, too.

Simul

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