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Spicy City in Anaheim Hills: Upscale Chinese food perfect for a date or a party

Shredded Pork with Peking Sauce and Lotus Buns at Spicy City
Shredded Pork with Peking Sauce and Lotus Buns at Spicy City
Edward Simon

Spicy City Chinese Restaurant

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Just about everybody loves Chinese food. However, when it comes to finding a restaurant for a special occasion or business affair for a group, everyone always seems to pick the same old type of place. Most people's choices come down to either a banquet room in a generic chain restaurant, the same thing in a more upscale restaurant, or an independent restaurant that specializes in group dinners. The one thing they all have in common is that a group dinner menu at one looks very similar to any of the others. Spicy City in Anaheim Hills is intent on providing an alternative to that, though. Not only do they have a vast array of food options to serve every taste, but they have a private dining room with some interesting options to make any event an especially fun one.

Steamed Fish with Hot Pepper is an authentic Szechuan dish at Spicy City
Edward Simon

Sarah Yang and Tony Xu are the partners who have created Spicy City. Sarah explained, “We have both traditional and more American style Chinese food. For any culture, when you go to a different country, you adopt, so we do have American style Chinese food as well as more traditional Chinese food. It is called Spicy City, because Tony is originally from Szechuan which is famous for their food, and very famous for their spicy food”.

Spicy City is a two-story restaurant, located in a plaza in Anaheim Hills with plenty of parking. Downstairs is the main restaurant, with a nice full bar serving mixed drinks such as a Mai Tai, Apple Martini and a Blue Hawaii. The main area has traditional Chinese décor and plenty of booth and table seating. Upstairs is a private room, suitable for large parties. The room is a perfect size for a wedding rehearsal dinner, corporate function, retirement dinner, business meeting or a special birthday.

What really makes the upstairs perfect for a special event though are two rooms connected to it. One room contains an automatic Mahjong table. Mahjong is a Chinese game created over 2500 years ago. It is also popular in the United States and the room gives a chance for players to enjoy the game while in the upstairs dining room. The other room contains a professional card table, perfect for a group to play their favorite card games. Both rooms not only give everyone who is in the upstairs event room some fun, but also can serve as a separate small room for small, intimate business meetings that may need to be held in conjunction with the main event.

One of the reasons Spicy City works so well for special events is the mix of traditional and American style dishes on the menu. For a group that includes a wide mix of people with basic tastes and familiarity with Chinese food, items such as Egg Rolls, BBQ Spare Ribs, Won Ton Soup, Moo Shu Pork, Beef with Snow Peas, and Orange Flavored Chicken should appeal to everyone. Dishes like Beef Lo Mein, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and Sweet and Sour Pork go back to the days when Chinese food was an exotic treat for most Americans. Fried rice and noodle dishes round out the menu along with several desserts.

Groups that have a more adventurous side or a familiarity with the regional specialties from Szechuan, Hunan and other regions of China, will be happy too. Steamed Juicy Dumplings, Roasted Whole Fish with Hot Special Sauce, Deep Fried Chicken Cubes with Red Dry Chili and Chongqing Hot Pot are just a few of the dishes that diners who usually venture to restaurants in Monterey Park, Alhambra and Irvine. And for those who may have come here from China, Brotherhood Eel, Hunan Style Lamb Pot, Pork Intestine in Dry Pot and Frog with Chili and Hot Sauce are true tastes of their homeland.

Beef with Broccoli is one of the dishes that caters to the desire for a good, basic Chinese-American dish. Lots of fresh broccoli and tender beef in a mild sauce make Spicy City's version a winner. Another dish whose origins are unclear, with some claiming it originated in Hong Kong while others say it made it's appearance in one of America's Chinatowns, is Walnut Shrimp. Spicy City's version takes large shrimp, lightly batters them for just a touch of crunch and serves them with a slightly sweet mayonnaise and honey crisped walnuts. The combination of sweet and crispy makes this a favorite.

Kung Pao Chicken is one of the dishes that bridges the gap between true Chinese and American Chinese dishes. A true import from China where it is a universally popular dish, Kung Pao Chicken has been adopted as a favorite here too. It is an excellent dish for someone who wants to try something that is not too spicy but still has the kick that the dish is famous for. Spicy City's version is loaded with tender chunks of chicken, and peanuts and the Szechuan chili peppers add the requisite bite. .

One of the dishes from the traditional side of the menu that stands out is the Steamed Fish Filet with Hot Pepper. The fish filets are steamed until tender and served in an interesting sauce with scallions and Szechuan chili. This is a great example of the Chinese chef's skill, spicy and yet with many layers of different flavors all complementing the mild fish. Another example of a truly delicious, authentic dish is the Shredded Pork with Peking Sauce and Lotus Buns. The dish, similar to Peking Duck in the way it is presented, allows the diner to prepare his own 'sandwich' using the pork, hoisin sauce and scallions. The Lotus Buns are perfect for filling with the delicious pork, soft, slightly sweet and able to hold the filling without falling apart.

Spicy City is definitely an upscale Chinese restaurant, making it perfect for that special date or a nice dinner with a few friends. The atmosphere is conducive to enjoying a leisurely, elegant Chinese meal. The food is top notch and Tony and Sarah have achieved their goal of putting an assortment of dishes on the menu that can please any kind of diner. Add in the fact that it can make a unique, delicious place to hold a group event and Spicy City shapes up as a real winner for excellent Chinese food.

Spicy City

5555 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road

Anaheim, CA 92807

PH: (714) 974-8889

Website: www.spicycitygroup.com