Authentic Chinese cuisine tackles Fairfield County Olivia Foster '18 and tori lubin '18

A short ways past the notorious Dairy Queen on Post Road in Fairfield, lies a hidden gem for authentic Chinese food: Shu Restaurant. Located where Kiraku Asian Bistro once was, the subtle exterior does not make it easily identifiable from the outside. The Chinese characters emblazoned on the front door reveal the unique world of Chinese cuisine and spices waiting inside. The interior continues in this theme, with various Chinese inscriptions hung on the walls and subtle decorations such as exotic lamps that give the restaurant an oriental vibe.

Unlike the various other Chinese and Asian style restaurants in Fairfield county, Shu prides itself on serving authentic Chinese cuisine, straying away from the American-Chinese cuisine which is popular among Fairfield County. According to Luke Sauer ’18, who traveled to China this past summer on a program run by Staples Mandarin teacher Chris Fray, the dishes served in China are significantly sweeter than the Chinese meals we are used to here.

“I like authentic Chinese food better because American chinese food is too sweet and tends to be kind of blend and lacks the culture found in authentic chinese,” Sauer said.

With a menu that feels as though you’re searching through a bottomless pit, the plethora of choices is overwhelming but caters to a wide variety of people. Shu’s focal point is the Szechuan cuisine of China, which is traditionally spicy due to the use of chilli peppers, sesame paste and red chili oil.

hot and sour soup

Hot and sour soup, a classic Chinese appetizer, was also a must try. Arriving in a deep dish bowl, the bamboo shoot, mushrooms, and tofu, among other ingredients, were enveloped in a thick and creamy red broth. The soup had a spicy kick at the end of every bite, but overall the powerful individual flavors came together to form a delicate balance of spice and pungentcy. While its identity is not clearly apparent, the Szechuan pepper is the main spice and flavor bearer of the dish. The pepper is a direct tribute to the restaurant’s heavy influence from the Szechuan region.

Steamed Pork Dumplings

For appetizers, any of the three dumplings are a great warm up for your taste buds. Although their monochromatic gray color blended into the white plate, the steamed pork dumplings simplistic arrival was overlooked by their fresh taste and doughy casing. The pork was marinated with sesame oil and a burst of lemongrass which added a sharp tang of flavor.

Sizzling chicken with black bean

Next, the appetizers boast a selection of traditional classics, Chengdu popular taste dishes, and vegetarian, meat and noodle dishes. The most interesting arrival came with the sizzling chicken and black bean dish, which held true to its title by making its appearance in a crackling charcoal black plate. The chicken was sauteed in a heavy black bean sauce and surrounded by nicely cooked broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion. This dish had potential, but it ended up being the most traditional American style Chinese entree.

pork fried rice

A classic staple for any Chinese restaurant, the pork fried rice at Shu was delicate yet flavorful. The fried rice was beautifully cooked and sprinkled with candy sized pieces of pork belly, which tasted more like crispy bacon. To top it off, thinly sliced leeks layered the rice and pork adding a smoky flavor to the aromatic dish.

The pricing on the menu consisted of a wide range, however most dishes were in the teens and twenties, making it a reasonable choice for affordable dining. If you’re interested in venturing into the world of Chinese cuisine without buying a plane ticket, Shu might just be the place.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.