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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review - Sichuan House, Chinatown

Sichuan House on Urbanspoon
I asked a colleague and fellow Foodie – "M" to suggest a venue for lunch. A short stroll down Chinatown at the end of Corrs Lane, off Little Bourke St was a doorway whose aromas just seemed to beckon with the promise of chilli, spice and something exotic. Here lies "Sichuan House" (formerly known as "Dainty" - I had to put this in as most people at my place of work still refer to this place as "Dainty" - BTW they have moved to South Yarra - I smell a visit in the air)
I had walked past this restaurant many a time but never ventured up the short staircase to the dainty room above.  No points for set up or décor as this was just a basic table and chair affair, but the room was filled with tantalising tang of the dishes being freshly prepared in the busy kitchen behind the counter.  Hectic waitresses bounded across the floor with sizzling plates stacked to the hilt and the “ding” of the service bell kept them returning back to kitchen to pick up another order.
“So what do we order?” A veteran diner to this establishment, M was quick to point out the highlights of the menu. Looking around at what other “lunchers” had ordered I could see, Kung Pao Chicken, Lemon Chicken – the only dish that glows but what caught my eye was the huge stack of pork served up a few tables down.  Bring on the Cumin Pork Ribs.

Wow!!! What an explosive arrangement.  Delicately soft pork ribs – too chunky for chopsticks – double cooked crispy goodness, coated with a very spicy cumin and chilli rub.  This dish is amazing.  From the pyramid of meat perfectly positioned to the piquant sauce that makes your tastebuds bounce. Top Pick!
Not to be carnivores favouring only meat dishes, we ordered a side called Salt Flavoured Eggplant.  Yet again another stack (hardly a side dish), this time of carefully placed eggplant slices.  I think they could have come up with a better name but nevertheless, fish flavour with a strong hint of garlic, chilli and sugar dancing around lightly coated crispy eggplant. 
Till then I had only had eggplant fritters, dip and grilled antipasto style.  This new experience was unexpectedly fantastic.  If all veggies were prepared for me like this you won’t hear any complaints about eating my veggies ever again.
We ran out of belly space and time so we unfortunately missed dessert.  The two dishes we ordered were ample for three to four people sharing and came served with steamed rice. At around $20 a head for quality food Sichuan House would rank very highly on the shared lunch list.  Besides, I would like to see one person go through a stack of pork ribs that big.   Our appetites were truly satisfied and we even had leftovers packed up to take home.  Definitely a place to visit again, and again and again.


Anonymous said...

Sichuan House Seafood located at 395 Victoria Street, Abbostford booking number: 99136235, has the same cuisine but has better environment and services,managed by the owner. Slightly more expensive but absolutely deserved a go.

ngizee said...

Hi Anonymous

Sounds good, will have to give it a try sometime. Sichuan food is kind of addictive and I'm always looking for new places to try.

老饕客 said...

Hi, like your blog and the photos. Come to Sichuan House seafood next time, and you will find a lot more about Sichuan Cuisine.

ngizee said...

Sichuan House Seafood looks inviting - I would love to visit there soon. Any suggestions of the must try dishes?

Thhu said...

I've been there and standout dishes have to be the chilli oil chicken (contrary to name not actually that spicy), the snow crab or lobster is excellent, tea tree smoked duck, Sichuan 'bbq' eggplant, fish flavoured abalone and scallops to name a few. Happy eating!