Szechuan First Restaurant
When craving Chinese cuisine my family and I head for Szechuan First Restaurant located at 18124 E Valley Highway in Kent (in the same parking lot as Harbor Freight). We like sitting at one of the round tables near the back of the restaurant and prefer ordering family style so that each family member can self serve from each dish.
The green onion Chinese pancakes are thin flatbread-like fried savory, crunchy appetizers cut into wedges and served with a side of soy sauce. The pot stickers are boiled and then fried until crunchy on one side. Together these appetizers make nice start to the meal while the other dishes are being prepared
The classic pork wonton soup is served in a large bowl that then can be ladled into smaller cup size bowls. The pork stuffed wontons swim in a clear broth with chopped fresh green onion floating on top.
The cashew chicken includes expected ingredients of cashews, chicken, peas, diced carrots, mushrooms and water chestnuts plus an unexpect ingredient – corn and should be ordered with a side of rice.
The crunchy chicken in hot garlic sauce is spicey and the chicken is true to its name, crunchy. The dish includes crunchy squares of sauteed mild green and red peppers and onion.
The House Special Fried Rice includes three meats (chicken, beef and prawns) with peas and diced carrots.
The honey walnut rawns are peeled jumbo shrimp, lightly fired with candied walnuts and glaxed in a huney sauce. They are served in a crispy tortilla bowl.
One of our favorite vegetable dishes is the garlic laden Chinese broccoli, a long stem broccoli rabe cut into long strips and lightly sauteed with fresh chopped garlic.
The combined cost of the meal including tip is under $80 and fills four hungry adults with leftovers to take home for another day.
Although the restaurant is usually quite busy, the volume of the full house does not interfere with conversation at the table. There is a relaxed, joyful feel to the restaurant. While the staff move quickly, are effcient and attentive, there is an unhurried calm that allows diners to eat and enjoy one anothers company.
We first found the restaurant through Yelp where it has a 4 star rating with 291 reviews. Lunch and dinner are served seven days a week. Take out is available.