Sichuan Spicy Restaurant, 1-9 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
I don't think Sichuan is reknowned for subtlety. The interior of this restaurant is quite garish and very red. The chairs are highly ornate, yet cushionless (ow). The waitstaff wear traditional Chinese dress, again all red (which makes their yellow smiley face badges seem slightly strange - sort of like David Lynch meets Studio Ghibli). Anyway, the place was jam packed, but we didn't care because we'd booked.
After wading through the full-colour encyclopaedic menu, we ordered what turned out to be a really good combination of dishes, considering we were flying by the seat of our pants a little.
Smoked duck - fantastic. One of the best duck dishes I've had in a long time. Nice juicy meat, crispy skin and a great smoky flavour (hence the title).
Kung Bao Chicken - Not as spicy and a bit sweeter than some I've had, but overall a good all rounder in the stir fry department.
Beef on Hot Rocks with Sichuan Pepper Sauce - this dish is actually served on hot coals. Apparently some people try to eat the coals. Don't eat the coals. The meat was super tender and the coating of Sichuan pepper made our mouths tingle (but in a good way). Lots of yummy herbs (mmm coriander) and onions.
Pork and Leek Dumplings (steamed) - not as good as my favourite dumplings in the whole word (to be found at "Crazy Grapes" restaurant in Chinatown) but still pretty good.
Green Beans with Mince - this was my favourite dish (and not just because I chose it). The beans were fried with some yum chilli sauce and served with pork mince. Delish!
We polished off all the plates, and I was just full enough.
Tsing Tao beer is the perfect compliment to this food, although a minor crisis eventuated when the waiter began bringing the main dishes BEFORE the beer!!!! Luckily after some pointed and desperate looks in the direction of the bar area, our beers arrived a couple of minutes later.
Valuewise, it's great! It ended up costing $25 per head (including alcohol).
Three out of five of our party were suffering hangovers, and by the end of the meal they were considerably perkier. Success!!
I think i'll definitely be back for another visit. As one of our party pointed out, you could go there about 25 times and still not have ordered everything on their massive menu. Variety is the spice of life!!