My eyes were watering, my nose runny, beads of sweat on my forehead. And no, I wasn’t suffering from a fever, I was eating spicy food.
Yep, I was definitely feeling a bit like Ben Stiller in that Indian Restaurant scene in Along Came Polly when eating at Spicy Panda recently.
Spicy Panda, a Chinese restaurant located in Chinatown specialising in Szechuan cuisine. Contrary to what you might have thought judging by the opening of this post, I love spicy food, whether it be Indian, Malaysian, Korean – you name it, I’m gonna eat it! Even though it may make me sweaty, runny-nosed or watery-eyed, nothing ain’t gonna stop me from eating the hottest vindaloo or that delicious laksa.
Moving along to the food review! Our visit to Spicy Panda saw us ordering a number of great dishes including:
This was by far the hottest dish of the night. This Szechuan Beef Stew was full of flavour which is typical of szechuan style dishes. Traditionally, szechuan style cooking uses a whole heap of intense flavour inducing ingredients. Szechuan beef stew is just an example of this, consisting of fennel seed, pepper, chilli and ginger just to name a few, creating a flavour that really packs a punch. Be mindful of the oil though – there was quite a lot of it!
This is a Szechuan dish that is known as Ants Climbing A Tree. The reason for this obscure name being that the ground bits of meat that cling to the noodles resembles ants walking on twigs. A friend of mine, who has a Chinese background, pointed out this dish is considered to be the Asian equivalent to spaghetti bolognaise. And how right she was. The noodles together with the ground pork tasted very much like a bolognaise.
This is a classic Szechuan chicken dish. Again, this dish was bursting in flavour; those classic Szechuan flavours of the Szechuan pepper really shining through. The black mushrooms were sooooo yummy. Perhaps the downside was that it was a bit oily.
Usually I like these types of pancakes as an entree or starter. This one in particular was not that great. The texture of it was almost rubbery, you might say and the flavour a bit bland. I mentioned in a previous post for Seoul-Ria that they had some awesome seafood pancakes and are probably the best I’ve had by far (to read about this post, see Ria-Mania in Sydney).
There you have it, foodies, it was a decent meal at Spicy Panda. For those that cannot handle the heat, you can still come here if you’re brave enough, otherwise, don’t even bother. Also, if you’re not a fan of pork, this is not for you either. The majority of choices on the menue were pork dishes. For me, a lover of spicy food, was satisfied with my meal. I was just thankful they had tissue boxes at every table – they came in handy that’s for sure.
If you’re interested in Szechuan Cuisine and want to know where the best Szechuan restaurants are in Sydney, check out: Put It In The Mouth.