Monday, September 22, 2014

Dainty Sichuan Noodle Express, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

I’ve been a bit slow to try many of the places in Emporium but a couple have definitely caught my eye. 

One of these was Dainty Sichuan Noodles, the latest rendition of the growing Dainty Sichuan empire.  Similar to a lot of other eateries in Emporium, it’s kind of flash for a shopping centre eatery, and towards the back where we sat you could be excused for forgetting you were in a shopping centre at all.

In keeping with being somewhere you pop into while shopping and unlike the other Dainty Sichuans, which specialise in al le carte and hot pots, Dainty Sichuan is about smaller and quicker individual noodle and rice dishes.  Handed a menu as you take a spot in line, choose what you want and order and pay when you get to the front.  You’ll be handed a number after which you can search for a table. 

Snooze isn’t a fan of spicy food which obviously  narrowed her options in a Sichuan restaurant.  She fairly quickly settled on the pork mince with (chick) peas.  In an unusual turnaround she was a bit ambivalent about this, finding it had less flavour than expected.  While I don’t normally like chickpeas as much as Snooze does I did like the delicate savoury flavour that the pork and chick peas had.  Generous size serving as well which she was unable to finish.

I decided on the spicy stewed beef.  Not as spicy as expected, what really stood out was the extreme tenderness of the beef.  In fact this resulted in a minor case of splashed soup on shirt, with the beef falling apart under its own weight when lifted with chopsticks.  In addition to the moderate use of chilli there was just a hint of that wonderful tongue numbering Sichuan Pepper.  And the dish was nicely fragrant, something Snooze particularly commented on.

Good, solid quality noodles, very generous in size and at a reasonable price.  Fairly popular too, as while the line for ordering wasn’t long when we arrived most of the seating was already filled.  Service was a little brusque but better than many of the cheaper Chinese places around town, and quite fast.  All in all a pretty good option for noodles for lunch.

Food – 7.5
Ambience – 7.5
Service – 6.5
Price – 7

Emporium lower level
287 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Dainty Sichuan Noodle Express on Urbanspoon

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