Monday, August 24, 2009

Szechwan Garden- Lafayette Road, Indianapolis



Eggplants with Basil Sauce:

Pork Intestine in Szechwan Broth:

Click images for larger views of the menu:

You might pass by this place thinking that it is just a generic Chinese restaurant but we found it to be a really special dining experience. We don't go out for Chinese food very much because we'd prefer to make it home and control the ingredients (healthier oils, not too much...). We made a point of going to Szechwan Garden because back in May, reader Tom B. told us that DW Market was a good eat in/take out place. We wanted to check it out and went there a few months ago but it was closed. One of the employees stuck his head out when we pulled at the door and said that they had some roof damage and were doing some repairs. We went back about a month after that and it was still closed. Finally, we passed by and noticed that the front had a new sign that said Szechwan Garden (even though the big sign by the road still says DW Market). We went there for lunch and we were so pleased with the experience. From the pictures that Tom sent us, it appears that they really did an upgrade to the interior. There are pretty curtains and cool lights above the lovely upholstered booths all making for a simple, elegant atmosphere. It is a big open space but it doesn't feel cavernous.

We couldn't tell from the menu whether the lunches came with anything (such as soup). It turns out that they only come with a bowl of steamed white rice but that is fine because the portions are huge. We could have very easily ordered soup or an appetizer and split an entree and have been quite satiated. Keep in mind that, if the prices seem high, you can easily get two meals from these portions.

Good news for vegetarians; there are a lot of options here. Mrs. WYA! ordered #V11- Eggplants in Basil sauce. We love eggplant so we figured that we couldn't go wrong with this dish but it was even better than it sounded. The menu is a little light on details about what all is in the sauces but whatever was in the thick sauce that enveloped the eggplant chunks was divine. The basil was not dried and from a container on a spice rack but big, fresh leaves.

Mr. WYA! decided to try one of the more exotic options by ordering the Pork Intestine in Szechwan Broth. The little chunks of intestine were fried crispy (hint for the squeamish, the larger the chunk, the more obvious it was it was intestine). The dish was tossed in a variety of peppers, ranging from the standard pepper to the peppers that you would only eat on a dare and the red pepper flakes were evident everywhere. On the menu, this dish had a star by it so we assumed that it indicated that it had some heat so, if you aren't into food with a burn, don't worry- there are still plenty of options on the menu that aren't starred.

We got that really warm, welcoming feeling that we get in the restaurants that we love the most. We were greeted by a gentleman as we walked in, he stopped by later and asked how everything was, and then he went out of his way to thank us and say goodbye when we left. We love giving our business to people who really seem to appreciate it.

Szechwan Garden (formerly DW Market)
3649 Lafayette Road
Indianapolis, IN 46222

Szechwan Garden on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Great review!

We've been twice since they opened as Szechwan Garden and our experience both times has been the same as yours. We've experimented with new dishes, everything has been extremely good, and the owners are so friendly and appreciative.

I'm glad they now have take-out menus. They didn't have those yet when we were there last.

One other thing to point out are the hours. They are open 7 days a week, from lunch time to late at night, even on Sundays, making it a good choice for take-out or last-minute dinner decisions.

Tom B.

Kevin said...

Lafayette Square comes through again. I'm glad you let us know about this place, I hadn't heard of it.

WYA! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great place, I agree.
For authentic Chinese dishes, there are TWO restaurants within walking distance - Szechwan Garden and Great Garden in the shopping center behind the Chase Bank / Speedway gas station.

Great Garden also serves dim sum all day.

Both highly recommended and yes, they both open late till 10.30pm or 11pm nightly.

Anonymous said...

Nice atmosphere, great decor, friendly people.
But the food, loaded with MSG. If you are like me, would have allergic reaction to even small amount of MSG, definitely avoid this restaurant.
I ate at restaurant using MSG before, but never could actually feel the MSG crystal on my tongue when biting into the green beans.