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5.1 /6 Excellent 122 Reviews

The Sichuan

Old Street Chinese ££££ +100
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About The Sichuan

Real fans of Chinese cuisine will, for one, know that China’s vast terrain comprises many distinct regional cuisines and, secondly, that if you like spice, Sichuan cookery is the way to go. In London, there’s one restaurant that is confidently laying claim to be the epitome of this particular style, aptly naming itself The Sichuan. And, with one of China and London’s most celebrated chefs at the helm in this prominent Islington kitchen, you know that The Sichuan is the real deal. Reservations at this top-ranked Chinese restaurant’s City Road premises are strongly advised.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 11:00 - 23:00
  • Tuesday 11:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday 11:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday 11:00 - 23:00
  • Friday 11:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 11:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday 11:00 - 23:00
The Sichuan, 14 City Road, EC1Y 2AA London

Further Information

A righteous amount of fuss has been made about the defection of leading Sichuanese chef Zhang Xiao Zhong from HuTong in The Shard to Islington’s The Sichuan. Zhang is a peerless talent when it comes to the famously spicy cuisine that originated in his hometown of Chengdu. He himself is from a long line of celebrated chefs, and has proved his own merits over a decades-long career that has seen him showered with awards and prestigious appointments around the world. Now that he is ensconced at The Sichuan, whose premises down the City Road stretch if Islington match Zhang’s high calibre Chinese cuisine with a luxurious sense of Far Eastern style, it’s time you made a booking to experience Sichuanese cuisine at its very best.

Islington locals and City of London workers know that a good time to catch a table at The Sichuan is at lunchtime. And we don’t mean it’s not busy – given the quality of the Chinese cuisine on offer here it reliably is at all times – but rather that you can experience the power of chef Zhang’s Sichuanese cookery for a great price thanks to the restaurant's lunchtime lunch sets. Grab a mixed dim sum platter, the humorously titled Numb and Spicy Wontons, or the so-called Legendary Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles. Perhaps the best way to experience The Sichuan is to hire the large function room and have a banquet, but even a la carte dining, with views out over the canal, is an experience that’s hard to match no matter how hard you scour the city.


122 Reviews

5.1 /6 Excellent 122 Reviews
Quality/Price: cheap
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Service: friendly
Atmosphere: entertaining
Noise: quiet
Food: heavenly
62 6
35 5
12 4
7 3
3 2
3 1
4 reviews so far 6
10.07.2017 07:41

This restaurant has stepped up its game - the Szechuan fish is particularly delicious. The best Chinese in this neck of the woods without a doubt.

1 review so far 6
06.07.2017 09:30

Not that familiar with with Sichuan cuisine but as a first experience this was amazing. The flavours were very clear and delicious compared to your average China Town destination. Some of the dishes tasted absolutely exceptional (whole sea bass, black fungus, aubergine). The restaurant has nice spacious tables in a good setting for large parties and service was also happy, smiley and fast. Thanks for a great evening!

1 review so far 6
05.07.2017 08:59

Excellent - authentic food. Been to many chinese restaurants and I think this much better than many in Chinatown. All at a reasonable price. They also Serve cobra on draught.

1 review so far 6
29.06.2017 19:25

This restaurant was absolutely buzzing at lunchtime! Had to wait a while for reserved table, but staff couldn't have been better. Food arrived quickly and was delicious. Recommended.

1 review so far 6
11.07.2016 08:23

We really enjoyed our meal at The Sichuan. The food was really great and the waitress was very friendly and efficient. The salt and pepper soft shell crabs and the hand torn aubergine salad were delicious and we enjoyed the house speciality of grilled fish. With many other exciting and interesting looking dishes on the menu, we'll definitely be back. Very good value for this part of town too.

1 review so far 5
09.06.2016 18:35

Authentic Sichuan flavours - good combination of 'la' (hot) and 'ma' (numbing). The pigs ears in chili oil starter was excellent, but no Sichuan pickles available even though on the menu, which was a shame. The shuizhu niurou (beef in spicy sauce) was excellent but maybe had a little too much potato starch thickener and would have been better a little looser and a little more oily. The laziji (chicken in chilis) was battered, which you see in Sichuan restaurants in the UK (red chili, for example), but not really in China itself, where the chicken is cooked without batter - that makes the dish lighter and better in my view. Dan dan mian noodles and shaochou dumplings were both good - noodles slightly over-cooked, but that's being fussy. Overall, good Sichuan flavours that made me think of Chengdu and restaurants like Longshaochou and the now closed Chengdu Canting.

1 review so far 6
09.02.2016 07:03

Excellent attentive service, all staff polite and helpful, great choice of dishes on the menu to suit all tastes, great value for money. Vsited The Sichuan approximately four times in last two weeks during lunch hour and would never tire of visiting due to great choice of food on offer

1 review so far 6
30.04.2016 12:03

Compared from their website, the actual experience exceeded my expectation. My original expectation was only to enjoy authentic Sichuan food as I've always been a fan of Sichuan food, but the restaurant was a lot larger and well decorated than I thought (compared to what I've seen from their website) and service was great. When I arrived at the restaurant, it was filled with Chinese customers which is always a good sign that their food is authentic. I absolutely enjoyed the food and will definitely come again sometime.

1 review so far 6
16.06.2017 08:31

Great place! I love my asian cuisine, and I was pleasantly surprised when I tried The Sichuan. I went back 3 more times that week! Service is great, setting is lovely and the food is amazing.

1 review so far 6
03.03.2017 02:39

The best sichuan food I've ever eaten. Portions are generous and the chef's skills are exceptional. We particularly enjoyed the deep fried beef with cumin, the gong bao prawns (huge and succulent) with cashew nuts and celery, and dan dan noodles - accompanied by a Chilean merlot. Wonderful not to have to worry about MSG and to know that the flavours were all authentic.

1 review so far 6
13.04.2016 08:41

The Sichuan was excellent, the food delicious and the service was charming. we had a really good meal and enjoyed our evening. I would recommend this restaurant and will visit again.

1 review so far 5
15.12.2016 06:05

I went with my girlfriend for a dinner for two. It was our second time there. Food was good standard and waiters were friendly and attentive. The only less than ideal situation, was that they had to keep open the main entrance door to keep the steam out/keep the place cool, and we sat quite close to it, so it was quite draughty and food got cold quickly.

4 reviews so far 6
17.10.2016 09:05

We went for a farewell gathering for a colleague to leave for another job. There are many people during the lunch time. We ordered in advance so had hardly any waiting. the food was well cooked. environment was great for a cold overcasting day. good place to catch up with friends for lunch!

1 review so far 6
25.03.2016 10:20

AMAZING flavourful and traditional chinese cuisine. Really good value as well! After living in Shanghai for a few years, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for the real taste of the east as there are not many chinese restaurants in London that are such good value and offer the same flavour.

1 review so far 6
12.10.2016 22:17

This is probably the best restaurant serving Sichuan style cuisine. The dry wok Lotus, cumin beef and wok fried Green beans are some of the highlights on their extensive menu. Great value in terms of prices and best to come with a group so lots of dishes can be ordered and shared.

1 review so far 4
06.10.2016 10:29

My first time there and the food came out very promptly which was good. I've been to a few Sichuan restaurants in London and I will rate this the lowest...but I may need to try more dishes there. The dan dan noodles in particular had the taste but the soup was very thin and clear, which is not what we expected. I will definitely go back and give it a go a few more times though.

1 review so far 6
03.01.2017 01:03

We booked our table online and when we arrived at the restaurant the accueil was warm and friendly, the food was sublime .very delicious and enjoyed every bit of it and the red wine was good. The service was excellent and will definitely go back at Sichuan. Thank you.

2 reviews so far 6
13.05.2016 23:44

Delicious Sichuan food - highly recommend the steamed sea bass, and the crispy duck pancakes. Just north of the City on the way to Old St, great location near Moorgate or Old St tube stations, and not far from Liverpool St. Room is bland but food is great.

2 reviews so far 6
24.01.2017 13:34

Great food and service. As a group of 8, we went for lunch and the whole party was pleased with the quality and quantity. I will definitely be coming back here for the Seabass, which we didn't get chance to have. Overall, a wonderful experience and great value!

1 review so far 5
26.05.2016 11:08

Very good food and pleasant atmosphere. After becoming familiar with Sichuan food in Chengdu and Hong Kong (and loving the real cuisine) my impression was that there were some concessions being made for the Londoners who are not familiar with the authentic style. But very good – and I will definitely return.

2 reviews so far 6
08.04.2016 15:37

This is the second time I have been and I really loved it. I must say it was nice to come mid-week in the evening as the place was much busier so it had a great atmosphere to add to the great food.

1 review so far 6
01.03.2016 13:46

the waitresses are so nice! and food is just awesome, authentic, reminds me of amazing food i had in beijing, sichuan and hunan! please keep the good work up. I enjoyed the hunan dish (green pepper stirfry with pork) much more though...

4 reviews so far 6
03.05.2016 08:52

The food is authentic Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is clean and tidy. Waiters and waitresses are helpful and kind. There is hardly any table vacant when we were there. it must be a very popular choice of lunch venue in the city!

2 reviews so far 5
20.05.2017 09:46

Food praised by Jay Rayner and Giles Coren is better value than Chinatown, and it has better service too. An excellent local restaurant, and one I use with fair regularity. Favourite dishes include the sliced pigs ear, spicy dumplings and the white fish poached and served hot and numbing oil

1 review so far 5
27.11.2016 13:19

Mostly excellent food. Squid and soft shell crab in particular, as well as sweet and aour fish. Aromatic duck was ok, a bit dry, probably should have stuck to Sichuan dishes. Staff were lovely. Definitely a welcome addition to the Chinese eating scene and better than anything in Chinatown.

1 review so far 6
04.10.2016 10:38

Great service, great food. The food is authentically Chinese - the Pig's Ear salad is the best as is the beef with green beans. We had an amazing evening and I can't wait to go back for seconds and thirds!

1 review so far 5
15.03.2016 00:26

Some may find it hard to find but it's easy. Staff were very helpful and willing to advise. Food is great if you're a local and unable to get to Chinatown for the like - service seemed a bit slow given it wasn't a busy Monday night

1 review so far 6
12.02.2016 10:42

The dishes were really good, especially the chicken we ordered that night. The environment was nice without much exaggerated decorations as some Chinese restaurants do, the owner (I think) was quite friendly and humorous. I would definitely go again!

1 review so far 6
27.05.2017 09:17

Great food, the choice of dishes is vast as it has something for everyone. The dishes I had were so delicious. Good service and it seemed a really popular place. I would definitely go back time and again.

2 reviews so far 6
17.05.2016 10:13

Good food at good value (had the lunch set for under £10- total bill for 1 was £18, including an appetiser and tea), efficient service, acceptable ambience. Would definitely return again. Too bad they don't do delivery :P

1 review so far 6
12.04.2016 11:57

With a starter more than we could quite manage. Very friendly staff. Dishes spicy and not quite you would get at more anglicised places on the high street. Well worth a visit and good value to boot.

1 review so far 5
20.07.2016 08:23

Enjoyed a lovely lunch in this very pleasant restaurant. Menu is outstanding and has great clarity to avoid incorrect ordering. Service was friendly and food was tasty and plentiful. Looking forward to extending my experience to an evening meal. Would definitely recommend to others.

3 reviews so far 5
23.01.2017 12:18

We had a variety of dishes and each complemented with each other, and they were all delicious! The grilled fish was definitely worth having and the sliced lotus pieces was another highlight. Will be back to try more dishes from the extensive menu.

1 review so far 2
22.03.2016 09:41

The food here is delicious - really good. But the service was APPALLING. At least at lunchtime on a Friday. We waited 45 minutes for food, couldn't get a jug of water (we asked 4 times before giving in and going to the bar to get it ourselves) and ended up having to take one person's lunch away as takeaway because it took so long to arrive. And just getting it put in a box was a massive hassle! We were all pretty impressed with the food but unfortunately the time it took to get it means this just isn't a place for a work lunch.

3 reviews so far 4
13.03.2016 01:17

Food lovely but service v slow. Had to ask for menu 30 mins after arrival. Then 20 minutes to get someone to take order. But i do think its because they were v busy with big parties Food was yummy. Lovely flavours. Would recommend just not if you are in a hurry

1 review so far 6
27.12.2016 12:09

Excellent spicy Sichuan food with very good waiting staff. Best to tell them to stagger the delivery of dishes because if not and if they are not busy the whole lot arrive at once.

2 reviews so far 5
03.06.2016 21:57

Service was a little scatty and there were weird omissions such as no white pepper (hot and sour soup needs it). But the quality of the cooking was very good, and I quite liked the eccentric service by the end.

1 review so far 5
21.02.2017 16:51

Great food! All sorts of tastes to try out; not just spicy options. Restaurant was flexible with us pushing our reservation back. The place was busy when we got there and service was prompt throughout. Will be going back soon!

4 reviews so far 6
15.05.2017 09:18

The food is fantastic and the service very friendly. I've been a few times now and will keep coming, I would say this is one of my two favourite Sichuan restaurants in London.

1 review so far 6
09.07.2016 02:15

Fantastic food at great value. Would recommend if you want an authentic Sichuan experience - the best cuisine in all the regions of China! (Especially if you like it spicy - absolutely delicious...)

2 reviews so far 3
29.11.2016 18:28

It has got quite busy during a lunch time and there were some mix up with the orders. My friend had a first bite without realising that she was eating a wrong food. Also the dim sum that we ordered as a starter came very late, almost after we ate the mains. Staff are friendly and food quality is generally good, but some improvement is needed.

1 review so far 5
10.11.2016 11:26

Good location- rare Chinese restaurant in City. Nice place especially if you get the higher zone tables with lovely view. Delicious food if you like proper Chinese food not Chinglish food. Warm service. Recommend the fish and chicken especially.

1 review so far 6
14.02.2017 08:52

Great food and service. Will be back again to eat. Also was amazing value. Would recommend the grilled fish it is absolutely delicious but has a bit of a kick to it.

2 reviews so far 6
20.02.2017 09:21

Very good place for a business lunch. Attentive staff but not overly so. Excellent and authentic Szechuanese food all carefully prepared with some Cantonese dishes available on the menu as well.

1 review so far 6
26.06.2016 21:19

Came here with a couple of friends to enjoy a Sunday lunch. Was truly happy with the Amazing food and excellent customer service! Very impressive! Will definitely come back here again!

1 review so far 6
31.05.2017 18:24

Amazing food and flavour! So good to find such an authentic place with a great atmosphere- even for a Tuesday! Great service, really friendly and good value. Loved it- definitely recommend

1 review so far 6
23.09.2016 08:21

Great, authentic Chinese food, and cheap with it. Doesn't look like much on the outside but the real deal inside. Try the fish fragrant aubergine, and dry wok lotus slices.

1 review so far 6
22.03.2016 14:39

After reading a great review of this restaurant in Time Out, we thought we would book a table. We were certainly not disappointed - fantastic service and food. Highly recommend!

1 review so far 5
27.06.2016 10:52

An interesting and varied menu, fair prices, good cooking and attentive service-I look forward to my next visit. A word of warning-when they indicate that a dish is hot and spicy, they really mean it.

1 review so far 5
29.01.2016 18:27

Very spicy indeed! The waiters are all very friendly. Can get 10% if paid by cash. You can tell the waiter how spicy you want your dish even if there's no symbol on the menu.