“Where shall we meet for dinner”, I asked my friend Kate on the phone this afternoon. It’s not as if I really needed to, as I was pretty confident the answer would be “Red Chilli”, a Sichuan restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown.
Over the last few years, Red Chilli has become a real favourite for us, and we tend to make the same menu choices every time. We usually start off with a lovely garlic cucumber dish. We then usually have this wonderful chicken dish, where the chicken is cooked in chillis, and with your chop sticks, you have to pick out the small individual pieces of chicken, and hope you don’t pick up some of the chilli pieces which are very, very hot. We also usually have a wonderful greasy pork dish, cooked in onions and leaks which is fairly decadent.
Tonight, however, we expanded our repertoire. We ordered a dish Kate told me she had eaten in China and which she enjoyed very much. It’s duck smoked in tea. As you bring it close to your mouth and nose, you can identify the smell of the tea instantly. I didn’t pick it up in the flavour, but it’s definitely there in the aroma. And it’s tasty. Oh yeah, it’s tasty. And while I would normally gulp down some duck in an instant, it was the kind of meal that was good to eat slowly and really savour.