Sichuan House

5 Jan

Sichuan House
22-26 Corrs Lane, Melbourne

Last week James and I had dinner with Joel and his girlfriend Meri. We had to walk down a crazy narrow alley to get to Sichuan House (how do fat people fit through? Maybe they go around) and like most alleys, this one smelled like pee.

The menu was a picture menu, which I’m quite a fan of. I like seeing what I’m getting. Everything on the picture menu seemed to be a shade of orangey red, which boded. Also the steps, floors and tabletops were slightly sticky to the touch, probably from the copious amounts of oil used to cook everything.

This is the first dish that arrived but I can’t remember what it was, though I think it was one of the 3 chilli rated chicken dishes on the menu. This was one of my favourites. It was spicy and not too oily.

The next to arrive was fish flavoured eggplant (sometimes referred to in menus as fish fragrant eggplant). This was alright, but suffered in comparison to Dainty Sichuan’s version of the same dish (though Sichuan House’s eggplant wins at presentation). It had a strange aftertaste, like maybe they’d used old oil to cook it or something.

Next up was fried quail. I’m a sucker for the batter they use for this. The prawn crackers were a bit meh, but I wasn’t expecting much there.

We got this dish because of the poetic name – ants climbing trees. This one was rated 2 chillis, though we all found it spicier than the 3 chilli chicken dish. It was very oily but yum – the black beans gave it a very earthy taste.

Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. Pretty self-explanatory!

Overall it was a satisfying meal, but James and I both thought that Dainty Sichuan in South Yarra beat Sichuan House hands down. Of course, Dainty Sichuan was the beneficiary of a perfect storm – it was straight after the Pan Pacs, so I was happy and ravenous, the weather was hot, the drinks were cold, and spicy fried food hit the spot so hard.

Reviews of both Sichuan dining places emphasise how scary hot the food is, how a 3 chilli dish is nearly inedible. But we all found the 3 chilli chicken fairly unspicy as long as you avoid the giant chillis. It’s not even like I have superhuman taste buds – I have at times found the KFC Zinger Burger to be a touch too spicy (though unlike my cousin, I have never been felled by a Mintie).

The portions are very generous – the four of us got five dishes and had enough for 3 takeaway containers, the service is fine, and the location is good. But I think next time I’m hankering for fish flavoured eggplant (which was a revelation the first time I had it) I’ll head to South Yarra instead.

Sichuan House on Urbanspoon


6 Responses to “Sichuan House”

  1. seguementation January 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    The first dish was some kind of fried chicken thing, very tasty. I’m pretty sure it was only rated “2 chilis” because I wasn’t allowed to order the 3 chili version.
    Dainty Sichuan was much spicier and also had better beer. =)

    • pamperedhousewife January 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Oh was it? Well there you go! I would have rated it maybe 1 chilli!

  2. Kalo January 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    dainty sichuan fkn pwns sichuan house, dainty sichuan is actually better than any of the sichuan restaurants i tried in china… it is the awesome

    • pamperedhousewife January 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      ORLY! That’s actually pretty good to know – I won’t feel embarrassed if I take my parents there! The other Chinese places I’ve discovered and my parents like: the XLB from Hutong and the duck from Pacific Seafood BBQ House.

  3. Kalo January 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    yeah, even my actual chinese friends say its the business (actual chinese as in not fake chinese like you and vinny)

    • pamperedhousewife January 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

      Aw I can’t help being a banana. =( When I go to yum cha with my white friends, the trolley lady always looks to me to make the food decisions and it makes me panic.

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