This is part of a set of reviews taken over a few days in which we gorged ourselves silly at the numerous Szechuan Chinese restaurants located near Central Market. The street is 136 and the best landmark I can give is they are just east of the KFC on Monivong. I have placed a map at the bottom of the review with the street highlighted in red.
Shan Dong was the next on the list to try and I found it to be quite the same in terms of interiors from the rest of the restaurant row.
Usually when you sit down at these places, the waitress will put down the generic small plate, bowl for soup, a saucer for dipping sauce, soup spoon and chopsticks. Shan Dong elevates it a bit by offering some peanuts and a mouth scorching side of Kim Chi.
Because of this change up, we decided to go a bit crazy and order a menu item over $2.00. For the order, we had Fried Dumplings ($1.50), Noodle soup with Duck ($2.00) and Spicy Fried Beef ($4.00).
The duck soup was rich with the flavor of the duck prominent with each bite. The bok choy was cooked al dente and added a greatly appreciated crunchy texture to the softer noodles. I also appreciated that it the fattiness of the duck was controlled and not overpowering. As a whole, it was a very solid dish that I would probably order again.
The Spicy Fried Beef was next. Green peppers, onion, ginger, and a whole bunch of chilies were stir fried up with some beef in a flavorful soy sauce. A pretty good dish but was a bit generic for my tastes.
As for the Dumplings; well, they were very normal but tasted great when dipped in some soy and chili.
As a whole, Shan Dong falls in the middle of the restaurants we have been to. The duck soup was definitely my favorite with the other two dishes solid but nothing too impressive to write home about.
2.5 out of 5 nyamies
The duck soup was delicious. Not overly flavorful but it smelled like eating a bowl of duck gravy … which is making my mouth water thinking about it. And the duck meat itself was great.
The dumplings were not stand out but pretty tasty.
I really liked the fried beef. The stir fried veggies were really nice and the beef was surprisingly tender. But for all of the red chili peppers mixed in, it really wasn’t that spicy which was a bit strange.
3.5 out of 5 nyamies