With Chinese food being so common and readily available, it’s very rare that you see a Chinese restaurant franchise. Specialising in spicy sichuan cuisine, this is the second restaurant franchise of this type to open up in Adelaide. Set in a heavy hard cover menu are impressive glossy photos that detail their offerings. From Sichuan Style Tea Smoked Duck to Sliced Boiled Pig Ears with Chilli Sauce, they’ve got all your traditional Sichuan dishes covered. Like all good restaurants that offer spicy food, they have a chilli rating that indicates the level of heat in the dishes.
Anything located in the new bus station was going to be impressive, particularly with the magnificent high ceilings. The main dining area is a large open space with plenty of natural light flowing through it’s glass frontage. The large low hanging lanterns and the custom made timber furniture cleverly add to the combination of traditional and modern.
To start off, we had the Stir Fried Chinese Cabbage with Mushrooms. I was actually impressed that the dish looked exactly like the glossy photo in the menu. The cabbage was firm and well cooked, while the mushrooms were soft and delicate. The sauce that it was cooked in made the dish well balanced.
The Shredded Pork in Peking Sauce came with five pancakes. The pork was lean and tender, and covered in a subtly sweet Peking sauce. The pancakes were soft and delicate, and the dish reminded me of Peking Duck pancakes.
The Sichuan Style Tea Smoked Duck was simply amazing. The duck meat was tender and succulent, and the smokey flavours were heavenly. The dish came with Chinese bread that was warm and soft.
The Cumin Lamb Ribs were well flavoured and cooked with Sichuan peppers. I could tell because my mouth started to go numb and I could taste the subtle hint of detergent. Fortunately, they didn’t go overboard with the peppers and the feeling wasn’t too long lasting. A few members of the group commented that the lamb was a bit tough and I completely agreed.
The Stewed Fish Fillets was cooked with Pickled Chilli and Vegetables. I was actually surprised at the sheer size of the bowl. It was large and the amount of fish fillets was considerably generous. The fish was soft and delicate, and it had nice subtle flavours that wasn’t too spicy.
The service was generally pretty good throughout the night. Drinks were constantly poured and all the main meals arrived at the same time. The waiting staff were so polite, particularly when clearing our dishes. There were only two blemishes that I could find; our steamed rice took a long time to arrive, and towards the end of the night, one of the managers gave us a dirty look because we hadn’t vacated the table after paying the bill.
For 5 mains between 4 people, it cost us $28 per person, which I thought was pretty good. The food was exceptional and you could tell quality ingredients were used. My favourite dish was the Tea Smoked Duck and the least favourite was the Cumin Lamb Ribs.
I came to this place with low expectations and left thoroughly impressed, particularly with the meals.
WHERE: 86 Grote St, Adelaide