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Eric Banh's Secret Szechuan in Kent

"It's spicy as hell, but so delicious!"

Eric Banh
Eric Banh
Geoffrey Smith

Seattle is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems some Seattleites just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their under the radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.

Eric Banh is hard at work preparing his newest venture, 7 Beef, for a February 2015 opening. Eric and his sister Sophie Banh also own Monsoon, Monsoon East, and Ba Bar, a trifecta of Vietnamese deliciousness.

It's a wonder Eric Banh has time to do anything outside of his restaurant projects. When he does have free time, he makes the drive to Kent for some "spicy as hell" boiled fish at Szechuan First:

My favorite off the radar spot is Szechuan First in Kent. It’s a little out of the way, but so worth the drive! They make Boiled Fish, one of my all time favorites.

It’s made with Szechuan peppercorns, that not only numb your tongue a bit, but give the fish the most intense flavor. It’s spicy has hell, but so delicious!

When I eat it I get an endorphin hit from the spice. It’s kind of addictive. I highly recommend ordering a nice glass of dry Washington Riesling to go with it.

Szechuan First. 18124 E Valley Hwy, Kent. Facebook Page. (425) 656-0889. Sun - Thurs 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fri and Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.