45 Riverside Avenue (in Medford Square)
Medford, MA 02155
MBTA buses 94, 95, 96, 101, 134, 326: 37 Riverside Ave @ Medford Sq. (Stop ID: 63241)
Su-Th: 12 noon-9:30 PM
Fr, Sa: 12 noon-10:30 PM
Chilli Garden's ma po tofu (麻婆豆腐) is sufficiently spicy that I brought the leftovers home and seasoned another entire box of silken tofu with the remaining sauce. No shortage of sichuan peppercorns here.
We had the Ma Po Tofu with Minced Beef ($9.50), the Dan Dan Noodle with Minced Pork (擔擔麵, 5.95), and an order of Wonton with Chili Sauce (红油炒手, 5.95 for ten wontons). All three are mainstays of Sichuan cooking.
I was less impressed by the dan dan noodles than the other dishes, mainly because of the noodles, which were somewhat generic thin white noodles, somewhat limp. The sauce in all three dishes was quite similar. All were equally spicy and full of sichuan peppercorns, leaving that characteristic tingle in the mouth. They all had the same kind of character and lots of it.
I think I need to go back and try the Double Cooked Pork Belly (四川回鍋肉, 10.25; 6.95 as a lunch special with soup and rice). That's another typical Sichuan dish.
Chilli Gardens menu has their Sichuan specialties on one side of the menu and its American-Chinese selections on the other side, along with some lunch specials. Tellingly, the Sichuan specialties and the lunch specials are the only ones translated into Chinese. We did not order any untranslated English language dishes and do not recommend that you do so, either.