My wife and I visited Szechuans Dumpling on a Friday evening with no reservations. We were seated immediately at about 7:15 PM. The cocktail list is limited so keep that in mind. We had a Kendal Jackson Chardonay ($8 glass), and a Bonterra Merlot (also $8 glass). We decided to start with a bowl of Miso Soup which our waitress suggested we share. Share is an understatement. The Miso Soup ($6.25) easily could have fed 6 people with some to spare. I had 3 servings and my wife 2 and we still had plenty for take home. The soup was not too salty and had lots of large chunks of Tofu. The soup was quite satisfying. Next we ordered Fried Shrimp Vegetable Dumplings ($7.50) and steamed pork Mini Dumplings ($6.95_. We found the "fried" dumplings were a bit more tasty and were NOT deep fat fried...they appeared to be slightly browned in a pan. Both dumplings came with a healthy number of individual dumplings. In fact, you could easily make a meal for 2 out of 2 or 3 types of dumplings and a bowl of Miso Soup....keep that in mind if you want to keep the price low. Both my wife and I loved the dumplings. Next up came our "entrees". My wife ordered Shrimp with Broccoli ($13.95) which came with a healthy amount of bright green broccoli but only a fair amount of shrimp. Both my wife and I loved it as well but we wished there were a more of balance of broccoli and shrimp. Being a person who likes spicy food, I ordered the House Special of the evening which also happens to be on the menu normally, Szechan Fish Fillet ($14.95). It came in a large bowl and was easily more than even my healthy appetite could handle. It had lot of fairly large pieces of white fish (probably tilapia). The fish flavor was definitely overwhelmed by the large volume of spicy sauce containing bok choy and other vegetables. It contained a large volume of dried red chili peppers. Note: when I cook with dried red chili peppers, I use whole peppers but remove the seeds and after cooking remove the peppers before serving. The dish had both the roughly chopped peppers and the seeds. It was spicy even for me. Although the fish was overwhelmed by the sauce, the dish was delicious, but I think I might skip it for something a little less spicy next time. We ordered some Taiwanese noodles with chicken, aka Chicken lo mein ($7.25) which again easily fed 4 people. Bottom line... don't over order which is what we did. We ordered easily enough food for 4 - 5 people! We also enjoyed a second helping the next night! The total including $16 in wine was $72.85. We felt the service was excellent on ordering, but they were a bit quick to deliver the food and make sure it was what you ordered. The food was delivered by a server who came from "out of no where" and delivered the food, with an announcement of what it was and was on his/her way before you could even figure out if that was what you ordered. Fortunately, there were no mistakes. My wife and I said we would return but keep our order to a bowl of miso (or other) soup, a few fried dumpling items and an order of noodles of some kind. We would also skip the wine. We would probably get out for about $30- $35. We came on a Friday evening after lunch hour and found parking on Massachusetts Ave (well north of Arlington Center) to be adequate.
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