Sichuan House is a great Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, just off Little Bourke in a laneway. This place is serious for those who like all things chilli and spice. This is not the place for tame plain food as I found out.
Upon entry I asked the waitress what was popular - and then upon her recommendation ordered the Kung Pao. After all - the menu showed only 2 chilli heat rating out of a possible 3 chilli’s. How hot could it be?
And so I dived in to my bowl of Kung Pao, which consists of chicken and nuts interspersed amongst a bowl of chillis. It was like eating a bowl of fire for me. Maybe I’m not used to the Sichuan tradition.
And so sweating profusely I pressed on determined to finish my bowl of Kung Pao. But I just couldn’t. I began to labour over each mouthful as the chilli kicked in. I was defeated by the house signature dish!
A pot of wonderful green tea couldn’t dull the numbness of my mouth.
I actually loved the Kung Pao! Very tasty with great flavours! It was just a little hot!
All was explained to me when I returned to the office where the resident Asian expert informed me that with Kung Pao you don’t eat all the chilli! You eat around it! Now I know!
The Kung Pao has an interesting history! It’s a classic dish in Sichuan cuisine, originating in the Sichuan Province of central-western China. Allegedly, the dish is named after Ding Baozhen (1820–1886), a late Qing Dynasty official. Born in Guizhou, Ding served as head of Shandong province and later as governor of Sichuan province. His title was Gōng Bao (宮保), or palatial guardian. The name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title.
During the Cultural Revolution, the dish was labeled as politically incorrect because of its association with Ding Baozhen. The dish was renamed "fast-fried chicken cubes" (hong bao ji ding) or "chicken cubes with seared chillies" (hu la ji ding) until its political rehabilitation in the 1980s.
After eating this dish I have a great respect for the people of Sichuan Province!
After a couple of weeks I was determined to return to Sichuan House and “man up” to the challenge of all things chilli! Having learnt my lesson from the Kong Pao I was determined to eat something that was maybe a 1 chilli fire rating!
After much deliberation I went for the twice cooked pork with rice. This dish was an absolute sensation. For me it had the perfect amount of chilli and heat. And the pork was superb cut into thin strips and cooked to perfection. The dish was cooked in quite a bit of oil but it seemed to work! I really enjoyed this dish.
Décor inside this restaurant is modern and the ambience is pleasant. I noticed several work groups and groups of friends.
Staff here are friendly and attentive. And the prices are excellent for the quality on offer.
Highly recommended! Especially if you like food with some kick!
Sichuan House, 22-26 Corrs Lane CBD – Chinese - Food 8.5 Ambience 8.5