Le Shan Chicken
Hao Noodle and Tea by Madame Zhu's Kitchen
401 Sixth Avenue (at 8th Street), New York, NY 10014
Chili oil is hot. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, what lends credence to Madame Zhu's version – Le Shan Chicken – is the perfect application of Sichuan peppercorns to the cold brew dish. Those zesty little bursts hiding beneath the tender chicken bites are not for everyone. However, if that particular firework flirts with your version of the Holy Grail of Chinese flavor, this appetizer for two has just enough depth charges to make you want to lift the bowl and drain the oily red slick. When the waiter tried to clear my plate, I bit his hand. That sauce wasn't going anywhere until I sopped up every last delicacy we ordered with the leftover heat in the pool.