General Tso at Sushi Village

General Tso's Chicken at the Sushi Village in Ottawa

General Tso’s Chicken at the Sushi Village in Ottawa

General Tso’s Chicken has not only become virtually ubiquitous in Chinese Restaurants these days, it has also spread to Tavern menus, and other establishments that serve mainly Western food. It was only a matter of time, of course, before it began cropping up on Japanese menus, such as the version at the Sushi Village Restaurant in Ottawa that you see pictured above. Unfortunately, this particular offering bore little resemblance the basic form and was really not very good.

The General Tso’s Chicken at Sushi Village was featured as the Appetizer on the Chinese Dish portion of their Menu, and the most charitable thing I can say about it was that was… interesting.

There were no vegetables included in this version (which would not be included in the original Taiwanese production, in any event), but this was an appetizer rather than a main dish, so it is perhaps not surprising that the usual restaurant ‘fillers’ weren’t included.

The chicken itself, to be fair, wasn’t all that bad. it was only dusted with flour rather than being battered (which is a plus to mind), and it was fried to the point of being nicely crispy on the outside. Unfortunately, the sauce that covered the chicken was completely off base.

General Tso’s Chicken is supposed to have a bit of a fiery bite to it. It is not a ‘hot’ dish, as such, but it should have at least little chili somewhere in the mix to give it a little spark. Here, though, the spicy heat quotient was zero (zip, zilch, nada, nyet, niente… etc.).

The actual result was much more like the sort of sweet and sour sauce poured over chicken balls in the lower end ‘Chinese’ restaurants. It was, to my mind, quite a bit like ketchup diluted with a little vinegar, and with extra sugar added. Not horribly bad, exactly… but really just not right. In all honesty, I rather think the good General might be rolling over in his grave at the thought of this production in his name…

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!