Melbourne – Beating my stomach into submission with Sichuan House

The Gravina clan suffers from a hereditary illness.  It is a hideous condition that impacts on the most important aspect of my life, eating. I have christened this illness; ‘Gravina Stomach’ and I have to admit that for a long time I doubted its existence. But a few years ago I began to feel the first gurgling sensations that mark its onset.  I now know that a spicy meal will result in 24 hours of burning stomach pain and other unmentionable symptoms. However I will not let the affliction defeat me and in the spirit of walloping my stomach into submission I headed to Sichuan House for dinner.
There is something about an establishment in an alleyway off one of Melbourne’s one way ‘little’ streets and up a set of darkened stairs.  Even if everybody else knows about, evidenced by the lack of empty tables, it still feels like you have discovered something.  Sitting at a hastily made up table we were handed oversized menus in which there were photos of most dishes.  This did make for easy ordering, maybe too easy.
We shared 4 mains between 3 people.  It was an obscene amount of food.  Every dish was undoubtedly too large for a single person however we couldn’t decide between all of the fiery delights on offer.  The aforementioned photos in the menu didn’t help and neither did seeing meals arriving on nearby tables. 
If there is one dish that is recommended above all others at Sichuan House it’s the cumin coated crispy pork ribs. As the other dishes arrived on the table it was difficult to stop munching flesh of the bones to put the other food into my mouth. Although hot all of the flavours of the individual spices used in the dish shone through. They came covered in a mixture of dried chilli pieces, sesame seeds and spring onion.  It was a mixture that made my eyes light up, my mouth salivate and my brain tell my stomach to get back in its place. Putting out the fire in my mouth with sav blanc may not have been the best choice but I was too busy shovelling food into my mouth to beckon the waiter to bring water.
Ma Po Tofu proves that tofu is not just for vegetarians, mainly because in this dish it’s mixed with meat. Silken tofu is the star but pork mince adds to the texture. To round off the meal we ordered stir-fried eggplant which was succulent and rich as well as a chicken stir-fry which to be frank didn’t stand up to the other star dishes on the table.  Even though I was bursting at the seams I was still envious when the table next to us had beef skewers delivered covered with the same red chilli mixture that enlightened the pork ribs.
We definitely over ordered but this did mean that I got to take a doggy bag home.   And yes Gravina Stomach did come to haunt me but I didn’t let it get the better of me.  I just showed my stomach who’s boss by eating the left overs for dinner the next night. 

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5 thoughts on “Melbourne – Beating my stomach into submission with Sichuan House”

  1. I’m glad you liked the meal! If you have any suggestions on improvement it would be mighty helpful, I’m Thomas the son of the owner, Peter Hu and its really great that people are posting about our restaurant in blogs. Hope you had a great dinner and you’re welcome back any time 🙂

  2. Hi there, and might I say how awesome the Cumin Pork is. It definitely is the stand out dish for me. I have also eaten there and blogged about it on my blog

    To Thomas, the owner’s son (as in the comment above) Keep up the good work and keep those Fish flavoured Eggplant coming. These and the pork are my staple dishes at Sichuan House amongst the other delights you guys serve up.


  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

    Thomas next time I visit I’m bringing more friends so that I get to try more dishes. The most disappointing thing about my visit was that I only got to try a few things. The more the merrier I say.

    Ngizee thanks for stopping by my blog. It’s always nice to hear from fellow bloggers. Sounds like everyone rates the cumin pork ribs and the eggplant as stand out dishes.

  4. If you liked the cumin spare ribs, then you will LOVE the cumin lamb shank at the new Sichuan House Seafood, on 395 Victoria St, Richmond! It is the latest restaurant opened by the same expert team from Sichuan House, but with a touch of class seen in the gorgeous decor and improved service.

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