Friday, July 2, 2010

Dainty Sichuan, South Yarra by Big Fil

Sichuan restaurants seem to be becoming more and more popular around town, possibly due to the influx of students from mainland China over the last few years. Probably the best known is South Yarra's Dainty Sichuan.

I always have some concerns when a group of us are going for Sichuan, particularly if there are some first timers along. Hot and often oily, it is a style of food not to everyone's taste and I usually feel bad when someone doesn't like the food. Therefore unlike our second to last venture to Sichuan House where half the group had issues with the amount of chilli and Sichuan pepper in the food, this time everyone selected a mix of spicy and non-spicy dishes. The dishes below were my favourites of what we ordered.

First time visitors to Dainty Sichuan, but lovers of the cumin pork ribs at Sichuan House, we ordered both the cumin lamb slices and cumin lamb ribs. These were both good but the ribs were probably slightly better (I usually find the meat next to the bone the sweetest). The fried chillies with seeds served with the dish looked like they should be really hot but weren’t. In fact I found the dishes here significantly less spicy than their equivalents at Sichuan House (but then again there are a lot of things I haven't tried at either). The lamb slices looked amazing and were stronger flavoured than the ribs but not quite as tasty. It was also a much bigger serve than the ribs - all the dishes served in the woks were huge, far too big for most people to finish on their own.

The fish flavoured eggplant was the consensus favourite around the table. Fried to crispness on the outside, fluffy on the inside, it makes me wonder why potato wedges are so popular. Not overly dosed in chilli sauce, it is light and delicately flavoured. While I don't like the soggy eggplant you often get in restaurants this is an absolute winner.

The fish flavoured prawns used the same sauce as the eggplant and were almost as good. The prawns were large, nicely cooked and full of flavour. The sweetness of the sauce nicely complemented the sweetness of the prawns.

From the non-spicy dishes, my favourite was the chicken and mushroom wok. Again a huge serve, nicely fried and with just a touch of chilli. A little oily at the bottom, but in effect a nice stir fry dish.

Good food with large serves, nice atmosphere, not overly expensive but the service was a little chaotic. I probably prefer Sichuan House in the city because of the cumin pork ribs, and because it is closer to work, but would happily return here.

Ambience - 8
Service - 7
Food - 7
Price - 7

176 Toorak Road
South Yarra VIC 3141
Tel: (03) 9078 1686

Dainty Sichuan on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Great photo and brilliand blog title.
Melbourne Daily Photo

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