07 June 2011

Spicy Sichuan Restaurant: Sichuan Cuisine, Sydney (27 May 2011)

2 Cunningham Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Spicy dishes challenge the palate

Thanks to Ricky from Sichua for inviting me as a guest to sample dishes at their impressively sized flagship restaurant. One of the private rooms upstairs was organised for my family of five which could have comfortably seated eight. I loved how it had its own handy service buzzer although having one of the waiters also standing by in the room was just a bit too handy and close for comfort for us, so we politely excused her until needed by buzzing — probably more handy for larger groups. Upstairs dining is reserved for a la carte while downstairs is for the hot pot menu which apparently is very popular. The restaurant was pretty busy and full of mostly Asian customers so I guess that’s a good sign in my books. The somewhat oversized menu is filled with dish photos for easy reference.

A small false start of being told they’d run out of Sprite so a can of Fanta ($3) suffices — makes me wonder how did such a large restaurant run out of Sprite? The Cold bean jelly ($8.80) was larger than expected and well spiced with chilli. Having only a fork to serve the slippery noodles made it rather tricky. The Black fungus ($9.80) didn’t look the most appetising but surprisingly ended up being quite well-liked for its nice crunchy texture and spiced dressing. Cute looking Fried buns ($8, 6 pieces) were cooked to a crispy outer shell on one side. I liked the flavour addition of the sesame seeds and for extra flavour we dipped them in a Sesame oil with soy sauce, garlic, sugar and vinegar sauce. For crispy goodness the Pancakes fried with chopped shallot ($3.80) were about how much you’d expect to pay at any cheap and cheerful eatery. More shallot inside would have been appreciated for my liking.

The Ling fish fillet ($48.80) was served in a huge bowl — enough to share between eight I reckon. Definitely much bigger than expected from the menu photo and was missing the fish being presented on top. The abundance of sichuan pepper worked it’s magic on the palate providing a numbing sensation. I enjoyed the flavoursome dish although I wished it was easier to separate the fish from all the chilli and spices when eating with rice. I had high hopes for the Lamb ribs ($19.80) but unfortunately was rather disappointed. Definitely not a good match to the menu photo. For us it was too overly spiced and the expectation of picking up and eating the meat off the bone was not possible since it all had fallen off the bones. The flavoursome Kung bao chicken ($15.80) was one of our favourite dishes of the night except for the oily base. The dish I recently had at Spice Temple had larger pieces of chicken with less oil in the sauce.

Northern China dumplings with meat and vegetable ($9.80, 12 pieces) can be ordered with either leek or chinese vegetable — our preference ended up being the leek version which was more tasty. It didn’t seem to be served with a particular dipping sauce which I thought was unusual. I tend to prefer dumplings that are cooked more like a potsticker with a crispy base. The Rice fried with pork mince and mixed vegetable ($12.80) was as expected and for dessert the Glutinous rice balls filled with sesame paste ($4.80, 4 pieces) were a lot smaller than expected. We didn’t really enjoy the consistency and flavour of the rice balls, perhaps we were just expecting something sweeter. I was hoping there would have been more dessert options on the menu to choose from.

PROS: Spicy dishes for those who enjoy their chilli kick, Some reasonably priced dishes, Interesting d├ęcor, Plenty of seating, Private rooms available for more intimate setting, Many of the customers were Asian, Another restaurant located in Glebe
CONS: Dishes can be challenging to those that aren't used to spicy food, Some dishes didn’t quite match the menu photos creating false expectations, Location is a bit hidden to pedestrian traffic
MUST TRY: The hot pot menu downstairs next time
WORTH TRYING: Ling fish fillet with vegetable in chilli oil for the numbing sensation, Black fungus with coriander, Kung bao chick

Chinese green tea ($1 per person)

Cold bean jelly in spiced flavor ($8.80)

A little difficult to serve with a single serving fork. Had to ask for a spoon as well to make it easier to serve.

Black fungus with coriander ($9.80)

Fried buns with sesame on top ($8, 6 pieces)

Sesame oil with soy sauce, garlic, sugar and vinegar sauce, Chilli sauce

Pancakes fried with chopped shallot ($3.80)

Ling fish fillet with vegetable in chilli oil ($48.80)
WORTH TRYING :-) for the numbing factor

Menu photo of what I was expecting

Lamb ribs with spicy sauce ($19.80)

Menu photo of what I was expecting

Kung bao chicken with red pepper and peanuts

Had a bit of oil in the dish

Northern China dumplings with meat and vegetable (choose leek or chinese vegetable) ($9.80, 12 pieces)

Rice fried with pork mince and mixed vegetable ($12.80)

Lots of spicy flavours from all the other dishes left in the bowl

Glutinous rice balls filled with seasme paste ($4.80, 4 pieces)

Fanta ($3) — they ran out of lemonade which is a little strange for such a huge restaurant

Enormous sized picture menu

The hottest looking dish on the menu

Private room

Service call button

Outside private rooms

Interesting toilet wash basin and mirror

Upstairs dining for a la carte menu

Downstairs dining for hot pot menu

Waiting area with tv?

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Spicy Sichuan Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Jim said...

Sounds and looks delicious.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

I've been meaning to get to one of these Sichuan restaurants. I think my uncourageous taste buds keep stopping me

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Man, some of those dishes look so fiery! Looks quite all right though.

property maintenance brisbane said...

Delicious!! To look all these recipes i am feeling hunger. This blog is Superb.

Simon Leong said...

hi j bar, some of the dishes more appealing than others.

hi tina, gotta perhaps try the sichuan at least once

hi joey, they sure were but not as hot as House

hi PMB, thanks for dropping by :-)

Holy F. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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