A month ago I was walking along Sussex Street, heading to Mamak for a bit of lunch. I'd recommended the place to a dude at work and this was going to be his first time there.
As we got close to Goulburn Street, we noticed a couple of ladies walking down the street, carrying a steaming pot of something. Possibly rice. At each set of lights they would put the pot on the ground and rest their arms. It struck as a bit odd. And when I say "odd", I mean "unhygienic". With no lid on the pot, and people all around, how could it be clean?
Me, I didn't care. I live under no illusions about the conditions in the kitchens of some of my favourite cheap eats. I've probably eating things I shouldn't have, many times. But I was worried for the work dude. Could this pot be headed for Mamak? Was this pot going to be his first impression of Mamak?
Thankfully, the pot didn't go into Mamak. It went into a Chinese restaurant next door to Mamak.
A Chinese restaurant called Golden Sichuan, where I just ate.
See, I'd heard that Golden Sichuan was worth trying, and I had the address, but I didn't know that it was the final resting place of that pot, on that fateful day. I admit it, I hesitated at the door, wondering if I should go in for a bit of pot luck, or to walk past, straight to my normal Szechuan restaurant of choice, Red Chilli in Dixon Street.
But you know what? It was all fine. All pot related crimes are forgiven. We navigated away from the boring dishes and opted for some Szechuan staples like mapo tofu and kungpao chicken. While not as good as Red Chilli, they were still great.
Steamed pork dumplings and spring rolls were a curious choice on our part, but they turned out fine. But it was the Szechuan-pepper-laden dishes that impressed most. The dried tofu in chilli sauce was definitely more-ish.
The beers also weren't as icey as the ones at Red Chilli (which never fail to arrive seconds after ordering), but a cold Tsingtao always hits the spot when chilli oil is present.
Service was also good and the restaurant had a comfortable vibe to it.
While I wouldn't hesitate to come here again, I still prefer Red Chilli Szechuan when I want to eat fire. Not just for the taste, but their menu is a bit more expansive and tempting. And because it's so close by (in fact, two Red Chilli's are close by) I think it's always going to end up on top.
But you could do a lot worse. Because Golden Sichuan is good.
RATING: Okay, may go back [?]