Tuesday, April 22, 2008

dainty sichuan restaurant, chinatown.

OK, OK, so i know that this is a bit late - one whole week to be precise.

to be honest, my lips have been recovering this whole time. and to those girls that thought i had "very sexy lips", please don't feel deceived, regardless of the fact that they only looked like that because i was in agony...

what hasn't already been said about dainty sichuan that i can say? it's probably the spiciest restaurant in melbourne (don't correct me if i am wrong; my friends would think it fate, and then suggest a date to try the proclaimed hottest), but beneath that, it's great value for money (notice i didn't say "cheap"), the flavors are amazing, and balanced perfectly, and the atmosphere it hard to describe. think of a restaurant that is fully packed. the smell hits you the moment you get in - it's part tear gas, part desire. the scent is intoxicating - chillies, sichuan peppers, and garlic. it's enough to make you cry, and it instantly brings a rose color to your cheeks, and you begin to feel sweat. then you look around. and you look at everyone - red faces, red eyes, sweat pouring down their faces. they know. you are one of them. you've come for your fix. and it's something you can't avoid. you just have to accept it. "be one of us" you hear them say. but their lips are not moving. instead they are chewing contentedly on chongqing chicken (see above). think of popcorn chicken, but done RIGHT. maybe they're gnawing on crab legs, careful not to get too many chili seeds. but by the time you walk in, the damage has been done.

I admit it, i'm a wimp. give me a nice mild, chili free dish any day. but sometimes, nothing can top that zing you get from a good chili hit, balanced perfectly with garlic and other spices. it's enough to make me want to go back right now (except for the pain, of course).

As you can see, the photos aren't the best. that because i was fighting to get my fair share of the food: eggplant (i didn't even get time to take a pic!), caramalised and rich, creaminess, and the sweet, sweet pain of the chilli.

pig's ears, crunchy and chewy, the flavors balanced perfectly, each crunch of cartilage brings a flavor explosion.

my favorite dish, the innocuous cucumber with garlic. how is it something so sublime can be so simple: smashed garlic, fresh cucumber, a small amount of seseme oil and soy sauce.

And finally, spicy fish. no, that's not soup. it's chilli oil. the fish is firm, tender, and fresh. just right to be taken, and caressed and nurtured. dare i say it, it's even better than the namesake dish at spicy fish restaurant.

So how much was it for these treasures? like than $20 per person, including drinks. will i be back? maybe after i get health insurance!

that's all for now. this friday i'm organising hot pot, so expect pictures from start to finish.


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

There's fish in there? Is it fried fish? Can imagine it being caressed by the layer of chilli oil as you lift it out of the bowl. :-)

I think I'd enjoy the eggplant dish. The mere description is causing me to salivate.

I see the bottles of soybean drink. Did it work? Hehe.

msiagirl said...

haha some really nice descriptions here, especially the smell of the restaurant as it hits you, coming in. I always like the hotstuff :) I laughed at the pictures cos there were these HUGE mounds of food and then later on, not so huge...hope you managed to grab your share with one hand while trying to click the camera.