Fans of spicy Chinese food in Seattle have a new reason to celebrate. After months of preparation, Chuan on Capitol quietly opened to the public earlier this week on East Pike Street in Capitol Hill, and will likely have an official grand opening by the end of next week, says owner Yao Huang. The restaurant specializes in Sichuan flavors and chili dry pot dishes — similar to the popular hot pot in presentation, but without the meats delivered in boiling broth (hence the name). Customers can choose a variety of meats as the base — such as spare ribs, fried shrimp, rabbit — or order a vegetarian-friendly option with toppings such as enoki mushrooms, lotus root, and tofu. Side dishes on the menu include beef noodle soup and shredded pickled potatoes.
Last November, Capitol Hill Blog first reported on the details of Chuan’s construction and spoke to Huang about his immigrant background and desire to create a “modern Chinese food restaurant.” As promised, Chuan features a sleek, spacious dining room, with some technological touches (customers can order by iPad). It also joins an increasingly robust Sichuan scene in town. Not only is there the excellent Seven Star Peppers and Bellevue’s Frying Fish, but Chengdu Taste — the massively popular Sichuan chain that began in California — is planning an outpost in the Chinatown-International District. Hey, the more spice, the merrier.