I live in Houston and love writing reviews of the local restaurants and stores I visit with family and friends.
Sichuan Cuisine in Houston
My husband and I were delighted to discover Pepper Twins, a Chinese restaurant in the River Oaks Shopping Center of Houston. They have since opened other locations in the Houston metro area, as well.
We were both hungry for some good Chinese food. Spicy food pleases our taste buds. Knowing that Pepper Twins offers Sichuan cuisine (also spelled Szechuan) gave us extra incentive to visit it.
We had another reason to try this restaurant. Are you familiar with Groupon? I had noticed television ads for some time. One day I discovered more about it by doing an online search. For the last several months, we have been happily using Groupon coupons to get us into restaurants, museums, and other places at discounted pricing.
Pepper Twins Restaurant
There are many excellent online reviews of this particular restaurant.
Dr. Yunan Yang (a former cancer researcher) is the owner. She often imports such things as dry and fresh green peppercorns as well as authentic noodles from her hometown of Chongqing in southwestern China.
Chongqing sounds like a gorgeous cosmopolitan city. It is the fourth largest city in China and is often referred to as the “Mountain City.” Its natural terrain includes lakes, forests, and much beauty in the category of flora and fauna.
Yangtze river cruises often start at this location.
The semi-abstract paintings on the walls of Pepper Twins reflect this type of rolling terrain.
Below is a video showing much of what there is to enjoy in Chongqing.
People living in the Sichuan province in southwestern China are known for consuming foods with bold and spicy flavors. These include such items as garlic, chili peppers, star anise, and ginger.
There is also the Sichuan pepper, which is unlike any other type of peppercorn. According to what I read on Wikipedia, it has “slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth . . . that sets the stage for hot spices.”
Our friendly waiter asked us if we liked spicy foods. He also advised us that anything we ordered could be adjusted in the kitchen as to the level of hotness if we desired.
The spicy wonton chips served at each table were delicious! Generally, I skip eating them but found myself indulging in several of them because of how tasty they were.
Each of the 17 tables in this restaurant was set with brown cloth tablecloths and white cloth napkins, which offered a sharp contrast to the brown. The photos that I snapped showed some of the tables devoid of tablecloths or not yet fully set up for the next guest.
As one might imagine, this restaurant is a popular place. Reservations are advised. The day we went there for the first time, we lucked out in getting one of the last available tables.
Closed on Mondays, every other day of the week, they are open from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and from 4:30 PM to 9 PM. Without reservations, it is probably safer to get there (like we did) after the lunch crowd or earlier in the evening before they get swamped with customers.
My husband and I ordered two dishes and knew that we would be sharing them since things are served country style. A big bowl of glutenous rice came to the table in a large insulated, covered dish.
The salty pepper shrimp was one of our choices. A total of 16 perfectly cooked good-sized shrimp, along with mild crunchy onions, made for a delightful dish. I am guessing they soaked their onions in water to eliminate the pungency because they were genuinely mild. My husband does not enjoy a raw onion taste, and he kept adding them to his plate along with the delicious shrimp. As you can easily see, it was peppery but just right as far as we were concerned.
We ordered sweet and sour eggplant with Berkshire pork and loved every last bite of it! When in Asian restaurants, I am always happy to find eggplant with garlic sauce on the menu. This eggplant dish was every bit as savory but had an extra depth of flavor with the ground bits of pork and other seasonings.
The second last photo below shows my plate with some of everything ordered placed upon it. Believe me when I say that we both had seconds and loved every last bite! Nothing but excess rice was returned to the kitchen when our table was cleared!
We had happy tummies when we left and have returned to try more of their entrées. It is tough not to order the very same thing each time. It is that delicious!
Multiple Locations Now
The first location of Pepper Twins and the one we visited is the first one listed below. Since that time, other sites have opened, and there are plans for even more openings soon.
- 1915 W. Gray St. A, Houston, TX 77019
- 315 Fairview St, Houston, TX 77006
- 3915 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098
- 1315 W Grand Pkwy S, Katy, TX 77494
- 9721 W Broadway St #103, Pearland, TX 77584
- Coming soon: Galleria Mall at 5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027
- Coming soon: 5161 San Felipe St, #300, Houston, TX 77056
- The Science Behind The Tingling of Sichuan Peppercorns
© 2020 Peggy Woods