“Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may diet.”
No truer words have been spoken than the nuggets of wisdom that you discover after cracking open a fortune cookie, especially this gem that we received at Trizest, a Sterling Heights restaurant that specializes in spicy Chinese Sichuan food.
The hallmarks of Sichuan cuisine are numbing spices and fiery peppers, but there’s a lot more complexity to the food of this Chinese province. Whether you’re unfamiliar with this style of cooking or well versed in its nuances, Trizest is one of the best spots locally to explore this region through one of the expertly prepared dishes on its vast menus (one in English and one in Chinese). You could come in every day for a month and not only could you order something new but each dish would also be consistently fresh and delicious.
Whether you speak Chinese or have no clue, you’ll still be able to find plenty to partake in that isn’t General Tso’s chicken (although they do have a decent one). But you don’t come here for Americanized Chinese staples. Dishes that are rare finds on other metro Detroit Chinese restaurants include pork intestine and pig’s blood curd in a wok, spicy pig stomach, and spicy kidneys.
Head straight to the house specialties, where you’ll find Trizest’s best dishes. The squirrel-shaped fish is perfect for sharing in a big group, with two pieces of perfectly fried fish that retains its craveable fried exterior even after it’s doused in perfectly balanced sweet and sour sauce. Another must-try is the Sichuan lamb with vegetables in spicy bean sauce, which will make anyone who hates lamb a convert (it doesn’t taste gamey). The mapo tofu is another must, with just the right amount of numbing spice; it’s not so numbing that you lose feeling in your taste buds.
One of the best dishes is a cold appetizer: the Yibin flame noodle, which is cold noodles topped with minced nuts, preserved vegetables, and chili oil. It sounds almost too simple. In fact, it is a wonderfully sophisticated blend of flavors and textures. I may or may not have ordered a bowl and ate it by myself. There’s also a few Korean noodle options and Hour Detroit associate art director Jenni Choi swears by the zha jiang mein, noodles in soy bean sauce.
For years, the Sterling Heights staple has been serving authentic Sichuan food without a care on being trendy or cutting edge. Service can be slow, but it’s always friendly. Sometimes you’ll even see the staff casually eating in the dining room too or prepping green beans; they don’t put on any airs. They don’t need to – the food speaks for itself.