Red Chilli in Chatswood is undoubtedly a godsend for the true connoisseur of authentic Chinese food. This is a restaurant that serves true Szechuan style cuisine only at its best. This is made abundantly clear when you see the numerous Chinese patrons that visit this establishment everyday.
If you are after an epic Chinese feast, Red Chilli is the place to be. A prior booking is highly recommended, as the place is always full of customers who can't get enough of the delicious cuisine that is served here.
A prior booking is indeed what we made for dinner for our party of 14 - a mixture of adults and children. Mind you, we gave it plenty of time, booking as early as a week ahead. The staff who welcomed us at the entrance were pleasant and greeted us warmly, and without delay whisked us all to our tables right in the middle of the restaurant.They did not seem to be the aloof and non caring types of hosts that one could frequently come across in a busy Asian restaurant.
From the moment you enter Red Chilli, you are taken on a journey through the south western culture of China. The regal seating arrangements with the carved tables and red cushion covered chairs; to the golden chandeliers cascading down the ceilings, as well as the interior decoration has been well thought of and well executed to depict a proper Chinese restaurant in the mainland. Looking around, you could not escape the feeling that you were indeed transported to another place in China.
I have not tasted such an extensive variety of dishes or such interesting flavours of Chinese food in the recent past as what I tasted at Red Chilli. One of my favourites of the night has to be that tantalising dish of lobster tail ($89.00 - serves around 10 adults) that has a surprisingly large quantity of meat. This dish came with a special kind of peppercorn that is used for cooking in the Szechuan region of China. This is not something for those who are faint hearted, and for those who shy away from spices. This particular peppercorn is able to create a sensation that numbs your tongue and lips; but when you come out of it, you sure will be glad that you tried it, for there is nothing that would compare to the taste these little devils create in your mouth. So for those who love a hot, spicy and authentic Szechuan dish; do go ahead and order the spicy lobster tail.You can specify when ordering if you want your dish to include a smaller quantity of peppercorns.
The deep friend chicken dices with hot dry chilli ($18.00) was a favourite at our table for both the adults and kids. The dish that comes with deep fried, bite sized pieces of chicken hidden in a sea of dry, dark red chilli pieces is another that would make your taste buds sing with glee. This dish goes down well with a bowl of plain white rice. For those who cannot handle the heat, I recommend staying away from those deep red half inch pieces of chilli, and digging in deep to find those crispy pieces of superbly seasoned chicken.
The other dishes that we tasted included traditional style dumplings, smoked duck and fried pork strips with vegetables.The various dishes we ordered arrived at our table in a surprisingly short time and were attractively presented. Each and every dish had a distinct flavour of its own. It was evident that the chefs at Red Chilli knew exactly what they were doing, as the spices and herbs they used gave each dish a flavour that was different from the other.
The service was excellent in my books. The young man who was assigned to our table constantly hovered around, making sure the pot of hot green tea was filled; the rice consistently replenished, and the empty dishes were cleared. This restaurant is a BYO establishment with a charge of $3 per wine glass.
Where: 1/272 Victoria Ave Chatswood NSW.
Why: Authentic Szechuan food.
Cost: Around $35 per person
When: Lunch and dinner
Good for kids: Yes. High chairs available.
Take away: Yes