100 Favorite Dishes, No. 74: Spicy Fish in Oil at Royal Sichuan
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.
It's not as hot as you'd think.
Hungry? Grab a friend and make haste to Royal Sichuan. Actually, take a few friends if you can, because the more you bring, the more you'll explore. But bring at least one or you'll never make it through this dish, and you'll probably want to save some room for some ma po tofu, anyway.
Granted the spicy fish looks, well, spicy. There's a raft of toasted chilies sitting on top of the bowl when it arrives -- so many your waitress follows with a spoon to fish most of them out. But the chilies are more for presentation and the subtle, toasty aroma they cause to waft up from the bowl.
They add a little heat to the soup below, too, but just the right amount, resonating with the warmth of the broth and imparting a delicate smoky flavor.
Now get to work. Cast a few more of those chilies off to the side so you can get to the broth below. There are huge hunks of white fish lurking beneath the surface, among a massive tangle of bean spouts and errant chilies. This is a soup you eat like an aquatic explorer, or perhaps a naval sea captain navigating land mines. I've never seen a table make it to the bottom of a bowl. Will you?
No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher
No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas
No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing
No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah
No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake
No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet
No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co.
No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me
No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen
No. 87: The White Album at Spoon
No. 86: Ramen at Tei An
No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco
No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu
No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon
No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata
No. 81: The Toddfather at Cattleack Barbecue
No. 80: The Biryanis at Chennai
No. 79: Shish Tawook at Qariah
No. 78: Arepes at Zaguan
No. 77: Goat Momo at Everest Restaurant
No. 76: Steak Tartar at Gemma
No. 75: Escabeche at Joyce and Gigi's
No. 74: Guisado Verde Tacos from La Nueva Fresh and Hot