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'Very Good' Szechuan House; Arro Promising, Uneven

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Photo: Spencer Selvidge/EATX

Matthew Odam at The Statesman highly recommends Szechuan House, a Chinese restaurant on Burnet Road that opened in December of 2012. The critic suggest diners stay away from the traditional American Chinese food offerings on the menu and head straight for the spicy stuff. "If you're confused as to which dishes hew to the more traditional Chinese flavors, remember the word 'mala.' You can find that oily Sichuan peppercorn and chili pepper sauce in the sliced fish with fiery sauce ($12.95). Supple hunks of fall-apart boiled fish topped with crushed peppercorns bob in a steaming bowl of fragrant and floral broth dotted with cilantro and celery."

The critic also praises a particular waiter, named J., for his "comprehensive knowledge of the menu." Odam calls Szechuan House "my favorite Chinese restaurant in town" and rates them an 8 out of 10.

Virginia Wood of The Chronicle had an uneven experience at Arro, but she has high hopes for the French restaurant from chefs Drew and Mary Catherine Curren. Her first meal was "as sublime a meal as a restaurant critic could hope for. Each course was properly proportioned, flavors and textures were well balanced, every component of each dish was carefully executed so as to present a harmonious whole."

But the next visit was not so rosy: "The onions in the soup were caramelized to the point that it tasted like molasses syrup thinned with strong sherry, the beans in the cassoulet were seriously underdone, and the duck confit was wincingly salty. My bone-marrow-loving friend was disappointed to find mushrooms and bread crumbs masking a small serving of bone marrow ($11), and the bread that accompanied it was over-grilled to an acrid burn." Wood intends to return to the popular restaurant and hopes the execution becomes more consistent.
· Szechuan House Delivers Very Good Chinese Food in a Friendly Environment [Statesman]
· Does Arro Hit the Bulls Eye? [Chronicle]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage [EATX]


601 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 992-2776 Visit Website


601 West Sixth St. Austin TX