I have been going to Szechuan Chef in Chelmsford for a long long time. A group of us used to go every Monday and Wayne (the owner) told the kitchen what to cook and we eat what was served and really enjoyed it. Sometimes it was just a few of us so we didn't get many courses but other times it was 10+ of us and we really pigged out. I even started to like eggplant after eating it here. He has had a small daily lunch buffet that wasn't really too exciting and for the time being it is on hold. He has a lunch special menu, again nothing really exciting but some good stuff on the back of it. However, you can now order almost anything off the menu as lunch size portions for lunch prices. Obviously, half a duck doesn't scale down but most dishes do so this is a great chance to try dishes from the special Chinese menu without having to pay full price.
The interior is bright and scrupulously clean and to the right is the front desk with a new? Bar area. This used to be a waiter's station behind a screen.
Decided to try a few dishes from the Chinese menu to see what the reduced prices and portions would look like. Started with Mapo Dofu that come out vegetarian since I forgot to ask for "with meat" but it was still excellent but could have used some more Sichuan peppercorns. Nice level of heat and plenty of chili oil and plenty of food.
Next was the Spicy Chili Chicken from the Chinese Menu where it has three stars and the funny thing is, on the main menu it only has one star! Tender chicken and with all fresh peppers it had plenty of heat. I'm not sure if I agree with the tree star heat rating but would go with two. Apart from that this was a very tasty dish. With a small white rice, this comes to $12 something before tip and I think that was VERY reasonable. I'll be back to try more specials at these lunch prices and the portions are certainly big enough for me at lunchtime.
Update. After finishing the leftovers, I must have gotten the Spicy Chili Chicken from the Chinese dishes menu (1 star) instead of the 3 stars of the Chinese Menu.