On Friday night we were in the city for a gig at the Forum, and keen to try something new for dinner. I pulled up a year-and-a-bit-old bookmarked post from vegawesome! and suggested we give Sichuan House a shot. I had no problem snagging a table for two at 6pm, but they steadily filled up as we ate. I've since discovered that this restaurant is a favourite of many chilli-loving Melbourne bloggers (see link list below).
The menu's generally very meaty but we were able to spot several veg options that correspond closely with the Dainty Sichuan menu: cold noodles, potato shreds, garlicky cucumber and the two dishes we ultimately ordered, stir-fried spicy dry tofu and chives ($19.80) and fish fragrant eggplant ($17.80).
The dry tofu is firm and smoky, stacked high with lots of wilted greens and a few dried chillis. It was the right counterpart to the slippery battered eggplant, as sweet as it is spicy. A bit of steamed rice on the side ($2 per person) and we were well sorted. In fact, it was far too much food for the two of us, and they would have boxed up the leftovers if we'd been able to take them.
Sichuan House is BYO, and we contented ourselves with some of their cooling non-alcholic drinks - coconut juice for Michael and aloe vera drink for me ($3.50 each).
Sichuan House didn't distinguish itself strongly from our past Dainty experiences, but it didn't suffer badly from the comparison either. Service was friendly and fast, and we enjoyed our meal. Our only regret was that we didn't arrange to eat with friends and order more from the menu.
A review from fellow veg blogger Vegawesome! inspired our visit to Sichuan House. It's also won many omnivorous fans, see Couture Foodie, Eat And Be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die(t)!, From The Cockroach Trap, A Spotted Blog, Spoonfuls of Wanderlust (twice), DolceBunnie, Let's Get Fat Together, Foodie About Town, Sweet & Sour Fork and The City Lane. There's just one ambivalent review, on Diary of a Pampered Housewife.
22-26 Corrs Lane, Melbourne
Accessibility: Entry includes about six steps, and we didn't see a more accessible alternative. Tables are densely packed. We ordered at the table and paid at a high counter. Toilets were gendered, flat-floored and narrow.