Truth be told, I haven’t heard all that much about Chinese Taste in South Salt Lake . I’ve ummed and ahhed over stopping by ever since they’ve opened – but never quite pulled the trigger. Then this last week, I randomly stumbled over this Yelp review. Apparently Gastronomic SLC had inspired the reviewer in question to try them, and literally 24 hours prior to me looking at the review – they’d updated it with more glowing praise. I was in.
Like a capsaicin-jonesing moth to the Sichuan flame, I was immediately drawn in by the spicy boiled fish. A dish that few cook around these parts; and one that was memorably executed by the now long lost Chef Gao.
This was a decent, if not slightly subdued rendition of the classic; at least if you have an asbestos lined tongue like I seem to have developed over the years. If you’re new to the dish, and more meek, you will want to tread lightly here.
The dish is an electrified blast of flavors. Sichuan peppercorns provide the X factor at the heart of the maelstrom, a fizzle and tingle across the tongue, decaying into a gentle numbness. Gobs of garlic, ginger, fermented lava beans, peppercorns and chili layer on to make a complex cast of flavors. Amidst the storm is flaky white fish, and here, also some cabbage and bean sprouts – each adding some crunch and funk.
I rounded things out with an order of the sesame balls, little deep fried spheres of red bean paste with nutty coating. I figured the sweet would add a fun foil to the spice.
I ordered this via DoorDash, price was $15.99 for the fish and $4.99 for six of the sesame balls. The boiled fish came in two huge containers with a small side of rice, easily enough for a couple of meals, though you might want to bring some extra rice (and spice if you’re like me) to the table too.
424 State St suite f, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
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