Xing Xing Sichuan Dish
How do you end a meal loaded with countless flakes of dried chilli, whole Sichuan peppercorns and the sour tang of preserved vegetables? With a few soft, chewy cylinders of glutinous rice completely coated in a crunchy layer of brown sugar, that’s how. Eating one is like having a churro fresh out of the fryer.
This is the order of things at Xing Xing Sichuan Dish, the swanky Sydney outpost of a Sichuanese institution. The key flavour notes that most of the menu hits are spicy, sour and numbing. That shows up in everything: from silky pork-and-prawn wontons; to thinly-sliced, jelly-like pig ears; to a tart soup filled with soft hunks of white fish and pickled gai choy (bitter leafy greens).
This is a chain, but don’t make any assumption on food quality based on that. Xing Xing has one of the best reputations within Sydney’s small Sichuan community (although Spicy Joint gives it a run for its money). The fit-out may help (it’s far prettier than many of its Dixon Street rivals). But the service – long waits for meals aren’t uncommon here – can sometimes dampen an otherwise excellent experience.