To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the popular Sichuan and Cantonese restaurant San Xi Lou in Coda Plaza, a second branch was opened in Times Square, Causeway Bay. The décor has a young, fresh feel to it, with a tasteful balance of contemporary elements such as birdcage lighting among traditional Chinese features. The restaurant is famous for its tongue-numbing dishes such as the spicy Sichuan-style soup and mapo tofu, but we sampled some less spicy fare. We started with sliced pork belly with mashed garlic (HK$90), which comes with soy sauce, and chilled asparagus lettuce with chilli sauce (HK$68), light and refreshing fare that was bolstered by an injection of heat from the chilli. The green chilli and preserved eggs (HK$58) was another tasty dish – the chilli does not override the subtle taste of the eggs, but offers a balance – and the marinated cold chicken with peanut in spicy sauce (HK$198) was another winner. The beef in spicy pumpkin stew (HK$328) provided warmth after the cold dishes, and was hearty and flavourful. We really enjoyed the rice vermicelli in fish soup (HK$48). For dessert, we tried the mountain spring water tofu pudding (HK$78) served tableside in a beautiful wooden box. The tofu was soft and silky and perfect with a sprinkling of sugar. The restaurant is a perfect spot for gatherings with family and friends. Service was efficient and friendly.