Saturday, March 13, 2010

Still searching

For a great Chinese restaurant in the off-season...

Last night we went to the Szechuan in Gouvia.  This is the sister restaurant of one that we'd originally gone to quite often, years ago when we first moved here. It's still located on the "Disco Strip" on the drive out of town..  It was (at the time) the only Chinese we could find on the island. 

It was always an uneven experience, in that, it was either very good or "meh...".  Still it WAS a Chinese restaurant and this IS Corfu...

The Gouvia restaurant is very lovely and has been made a "year round" place with the addition of big glass windows with elegant curtains. (In the summer it's an open patio.)

 We went a couple of times in the summertime and it was pretty good though a bit pricey.  We meant to go back but somehow didn't, and we thought we'd save it for that point in the wintertime where we really craved some Chinese food.

Now it's deep non-season, and it was time.

We split an order of fairly bland egg rolls (the sauces were good and gave them some flavor...)

And we got to enjoy a lovely fresh flower on the table!

Then our main dish arrived.  I had hot chili chicken (spicy) and T had Szechuan Chicken.

My chicken was pretty good. When you ask for spicy they add more hot chili pepper pod seeds. (It totally passed the leftover test though, as we brought a small amount back - T left 2 Tablespoonfuls!- and I am eating it cold as I write...)  Thankfully, the portions were more generous than they'd been the last time we at there!

T's Szechuan chicken was sadly inedible.  The sauce wasn't bad but the chicken pieces (which I suppose were meant to be deep fried then tossed with the sauce) were soggy and with the sauce on top, sort of turned to an inedible mush. 

This was rather surprising as I would guess it might be considered their "signature" dish!

The waiter was really very charming and when I called him to the table, he took the dish back, offering T another meal, (ANY meal)  but T had tasted my dish and just decided to eat the rest of my spicy chicken instead, which was fine with me.  (The only thing I thought was perhaps we'd come too early -we were there at 8 pm- and perhaps the oil wasn't hot enough...?)

The highlight for me was the egg fried rice, which was very flavorful (and I am not usually crazy about rice!)

There were quite a lot of take-outs coming and going over the course of our meal, but it was only as we were leaving that another table filled with customers.

So all in all, yes, we had Chinese food last evening, but no sadly it was NOT outstanding.

Still it'll do in a pinch, and for a closer--- the fortune cookies that came with the bill (adjusted to mirror our failed meal),  sent us along with good fortunes and the little farewell "fruit cordial" was interesting but not the best ending to the meal.


  1. What a shame it was disappointing. I love Szechuan Chicken, but it has to be done well doesn't it?

  2. If the oil was hot enough for the egg rolls, it was certainly hot enough for the chicken! MY guess is that they batch pre-fried the chicken pieces in batter, then kept the lot at serving temp in a bain marie which will kill anything deep-fried, turning it limp and yeck. It's common practice here in France and annoys the bejeezus out of me! (I'm dead fussy, no really.)

    And yes, agree with Ayak, it needs to be done well!

    Warm hugs and quiches, Kitty xo

  3. Would a hibachi place (you know, the Japanese communal table style) do well in Greece?

    Chinese food usually does taste great the next day!

  4. Dear Ayak,

    OH yEahhh. when it's soggy it is horrible. still i keep reminding myself that this IS Greece and Chinese food is not commonly enjoyed here like in other countries.

    Dear Kitty,

    It did cross my mind about the egg rolls - and also all the take outs! I figured they had to have had it going for that.

    You'd think that they wouldn't pre-make anything with such a low number of people eating in the restaurant... ah, I say that but then I remember I am in Greece, and that means that sometimes it can be a charming but alternate universe.

    But I hadn't thought of premade food, and sadly that explanation is far more likely.

    Dear Eric,

    Personally I would LOVE one!

    I am betting that in the summertime it would go over very well as Corfu has not just British tourists, but French, Italian, German, Dutch and Scandinavian tourists, as well, and they are all far more intrepid and adventuresome in their eating habits than most of the Greeks are.

    Generally the best meal you'll get here is a traditional Greek meal, which can be out of this world. There are also a few exceptional Italian places that are amazing.

    Asian food... not too well represented. (sometimes I dream of Pad Thai like I had in once in Bangkok.... ooo that was good.)

  5. Oh that is a shame, it ruins an evening when one person has a terrible meal. All was not lost though and the rice sounds good.

    I found your blog from another blog. Greece has always fascinated me but I have never visited. I shall be interested in reading more about your life in Corfu. I come from Australia where we have nearly as many Greeks as Greece!

  6. I've been enjoying a few of your older posts and could watch the Shiba Inu puppy cam all day!

  7. Dear Lily,

    Welcome! I am so glad you are enjoying my blog. I love Greece (obviously). It's a marvelous and complex country.

    My blog isn't strictly about "Greece" as it is about my life and 'point of view' of living in Greece, while at the same time (of necessity) dealing with family in the US.

    I would love to visit Australia. I have a lot of friends who live there, but it seems I missed my window of travel opportunity a little over 10 years ago, when I actually could say I enjoyed flying in airplanes and the chaos of airports. Now it just drives me mad.

    Ah well. I'll go in my next life, for sure!

    [I checked out your blog and I love it! And yes Facebook IS a marvelous and wondrous thing. I think I might write a post about it and how I got sucked in! Thanks for the idea!]

    Dear Wanda,

    I ADORE those puppies! I always hate it when I click in and the live camera is off and I have to watch "reruns"! (I watched it last year too!)

  8. I have yet to find a Chinese restaurant close enough for us, I hear there's a good one in the city. I guess I haven't tried too hard yet because I don't want to get disappointed. I was disgusted by our attempt to patronize a "Mexican" restaurant. Nothing about the place was Mexican except for the name...Mexican.
    Bad stuff. :)
    I'll have to look soon, I really need some spring rolls!



Related Posts with Thumbnails