Professional trencherman. I think that's what I'd like to put on my next business card.
It's the one word which is actually meaningful on the garbled Chinglish ode to Sichuan cuisine at the entrance to Golden Sichuan Restaurant. A trencherman, according to the dictionary, is a hearty eater, its origin explained by its medieval usage as some who "frequents another's table; a hanger-on or parasite". Perhaps I'll accept the former definition.
No. 605: Deep fried delicious rudder fish $6.00
It's my second visit to Golden Sichuan, although the first did not include my camera. Today it's a quick lunch in an otherwise empty restaurant. There is only one other diner during our visit, a tourist who orders a serve of spring rolls whilst he pores over his fold-out map of Sydney.
The interior looks much like any other fancy Chinese restaurant, with fish tanks, banquet chairs and a mezzanine dining level. It's a huge change from its former existence as a Thai eat-in mini foodcourt.
It's the open preparation area at the front window that I love the best. Little plates of pigs ear, slices of lotus root and tangles of seaweed keep the usually bored chef company. The direct line of sight and sound, however, means there's no mistaking the ping of the microwave mere seconds before our first dish arrives.
Described on the menu as delicious deep fried rudder fish, the look of disappointment on both the G-man's face and I is obvious. The picture on the menu had convinced us it would be freshly fried. It's a lot chewier than we'd expected, the fish almost fibrous in a beef-jerky kind of way. The battered exterior is rough although the dryness of the fish makes it perfect for soaking up the accompanying saucer of chilli oil.
No. 511: Noodles in Sichuan style (small bowl) $5.00
The G-man was waxing lyrical about the noodles in Sichuan style, a dish he'd tried before. It's a modest sized bowl of slippery rice noodles topped with the most delicate mound of sweetened pork mince and a handful of sliced green onions.
No. 607: Spicy flavoured bean jelly noodles $7.80
I'd chosen the spicy flavoured bean jelly noodles, keen to try this amazing-looking dish. It's worthwhile slipping over to the preparation area and watching the chef peel back ribbons of noodles using a special grater over a wobbling disc of bean jelly. The grater has special grooves, resulting in noodles with fantastically pretty ridges to them that act as handy carriers for the spicy chilli oil.
Daubed with chilli bean paste and sprinkled with sesame seeds, this is my favourite dish of the day. The noodles are cool and smooth, sliding down your throat with ease, the contrast of cold jelly noodles magnified by the heat and oiliness of the chilli.
No. 503: Deep-fried and steamed bread in sweet sauce $5.80
It's not a huge meal but the buns with condensed milk put us over the edge. I'm a little aghast when the G-man dips his steamed bun into the leftover chilli oil on our table. In hindsight, that actually leaves more condensed milk for me.
The steamed buns have that lovely delicacy of peelable skin with a soft and fluffy interior. It's the fried buns that have us both in throes of ectasy. Just the colour is amazing, a rich toffee hue that gleams and glistens.
And then that first bite. Oh my. It's like the fluffiest white bun with a thin crack of toffee. A bun brulee. It's ridiculously good.
It's a shame that service is extremely distracted though. A cross between confusion and resignation. Maybe they're still trying to figure out the meaning of the board out the front. My head still hurts from thinking about it.
The Sichuan Cuisine Synopses
The Sichuan cuisine is abbreviated chuan cai what is the one of the eight Chinese famous dishes system. The history is glorious, the flavor is unique, renowned and famous around the world.
The Sichuan cuisine is focused on color, smell, taste and shape. The taste is an important character in Sichuan style. The taste and broad are very famous. The Sichuan cuisine taste's composition mainly has "the hemp, spicily, salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and fragrant".
The 7 kind of flavours are ingenious matching, flexible, formulates hot, harsh, the red oil, and the white oil, and so on. The several dozens kind of unique compound taste are wonder the modulation. It may be called head of the Chinese and foreign cooked food. It won the "a vegetable standard to hundred vegetable and hundred tastes" praising. You can enjoy "the food in China, the taste in Sichuan".
The Sichuan cuisine in the cooking method that is the complex processing including raw material, climate and trencherman request, grasps, specifically, nimble utilization. In the 38 Sichuan cuisine cooking method that the popular is still including fries, the explodes, fever, salt, halogen, the stir-fry before stewing, soak and especially, more than 30 kinds of the cooking method that is good at slightly fries bakes, and dry stir-fries before stewing grows perceptibly. The Sichuan cuisine and the Sichuan scenic spot is equally world famous. It should become world-famous."
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Golden Sichuan Restaurant
17-19 Goulburn Street Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 1868
Open 7 days 10.00am-11.30pm
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2/27/2009 01:10:00 a.m.