Located at 3649 Lafayette Road, Szechwan Garden is part of Indianapolis’s “International Corridor”—the cluster of restaurants featuring food from all over the world near the 38th Street and Lafayette Road intersection. Given that you could choose to eat Indian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and other exotic cuisines in that area, you might wonder why you would decide on the relatively common Chinese. I can tell you why in two words—“dim” and “sum.” Szechwan Garden is one of the few places in Indy that serves dim sum, and, for my money, they serve the best.
If you’ve never eaten dim sum, all you need you need to know is that you order a variety of small dishes and then share them with your friends. Szechwan Garden serves all of my favorite dim sum dishes including ha gaau (shrimp dumplings), siu maai (pork dumplings), and lo mai gai (savory glutinous rice wrapped in a lotus leaf). In fact, I’d say their siu maai was the best I've ever eaten! (The lady who makes their dough and dumplings was a pastry chef in China, so she certainly knows what she’s doing.) They also offer a few items that I had not had before like Tianjin pancake (mung bean pancake), pan-fried taro cake, and scallion pancakes. Unfortunately, Szechwan Garden only serves dim sum from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays because they make everything from scratch and never freeze the dishes.
Szechwan Garden also features a full Chinese menu, which they offer at all times. I’ve only tried a couple of items off of it, though—namely the spicy calamari and the sautéed kong xing tsai. Both were excellent, but the kong xing tsai (a green, semi-aquatic leaf vegetable sometimes called “water spinach” in the U.S.) was a revelation. The greens were delicious, sautéed with garlic and oil. Interestingly, kong xing tsai’s high growth rate has caused it to become an environmental problem in Florida and Texas, which has led the USDA to designate it as a “noxious weed.” Best noxious weed I’ve ever eaten!