Sydney, we have a problem. Apparently we're short of restaurants (yeah, right). Not just any restaurants, a leading Melbourne restaurateur believes there's more room for Sichuan cuisine. If he's correct, the July 13 opening of Dainty Sichuan Noodle Express at World Square, the latest restaurant arrival from Melbourne, will fill a yawning gap.
"Sichuan is one of the most popular [regional] cuisines in China," says David Loh, co-owner of Dainty's Sydney spin-off. "Sydney has Spicy Sichuan, and Spice Temple touches on it, but we haven't found much else in Sydney."
Loh says the Sydney restaurant will have strong emphasis on noodles. "Sichuan food is spicy, but not so much you don't want to keep on eating it. The numbing sensation you get isn't from dried chilli, it's from Sichuan pepper."
The restaurant, which slides into the former site of a sushi train, is a mix of Chinese red, rolling-pin light fittings and express service. Loh recommends novice diners kick off with chongqing noodles with chilli oil and a Dainty Cola. "The cola is from China," he says. "It's just a coincidence it's called Dainty."
Open daily 11am-10pm.
Shop 10, 19b World Square, 644 George Street, Sydney