After a weekened movie, we decided to grab dinner at Kalvin’s Szechuan Restaurant on Victoria Drive.
In spite of “Szechuan” in the restaurant’s name, this is not really Szechuan restaurant. The menu offers dishes that span not just Szechuan region, but also Shanghainese and Taiwanese cuisine.
It’s tiny little place, has less than a dozen tables, and unless you arrive before 6pm, reservations are recommended. The tables are tight and room small, so it feels quite crowded in no time.
We started with stir fried eggplant with garlic and pork
This is wedges of purple chinese eggplant, stir fried with minced pork, lots of garlic, and chilies. Soy and oyster sauce round out the flavours here. We asked for “medium” heat, but I felt it was mildly spicy. That said, this was my favourite dish of the meal. The eggplant is tender but still had structure (it didn’t disintegrate into a stringy mess). The garlic sauce was rich and aromatic.
Next was Thai curried beef brisket
This is braised beef brisket cubes, with potatoes, red peppers and onions, in a thick red curry sauce. The brisket was fairly tough. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be as firm as it was, but my instinct was that it needed more braising. The vegetables were the right doneness, but the red curry sauce was very mild. It didn’t have a very pronounced curry flavor, and more over, it didn’t really have much in thai flavors either (no noticeable lemon grass, coconut, or fish sauce).
Lastly we had Chicken with Three Spices (aka Three Cup Chicken)
This dish is bone-in chicken pieces, stir fried in garlic, ginger, then flavoured with soy, rice wine, and sesame oil. The sauce is finished with a little sugar, and it’s all tossed with some fried basil leaves. This was a really good dish. The chicken was meaty, and the sauce was thick and both savoury and sweet.
Our servers were very good. They were smiling and pleasant, attentive and efficient (truly a rare combination in the chinese restaurant scene).