Brace yourself for big news, Sydney: Dainty Sichuan is coming. After seducing Melbourne with their mouth-numbing Chongqing flavours, the team behind Dainty Sichuan, a restaurant celebrated internationally for the quality of its Sichuan food, is planting a flag north of the border. Chef Tina Li and her husband, Ye Shao, plan to open a branch of Dainty Sichuan Noodle Express at World Square in the CBD at the end of March.
The Sydney store, the couple's first outside Melbourne, will be modelled on their highly successful branch at Melbourne's Emporium centre. "Our noodle shop is essentially about the street foods of Chongqing," says Li. "Noodles, particularly xiao mian, also known as Chongqing noodles, are a quick and delicious snack served up at just about every street corner."
Dainty fans can expect to see the celebrated bean noodles, as well as Chongqing noodles with various toppings such as stewed pork belly or spicy lamb ribs. Offal lovers will be in for a treat, too, with the likes of chilled pig's ears in chilli oil and skewers of smoky beef tongue and tripe.
Word that diners were taking containers of Dainty's chilled spicy green bean jelly noodles and duck with pickled chillies back to Sydney, Li says, made the decision to open a branch there pretty straightforward.
The menu at the Sydney eatery is expected to be similar to that in Melbourne, with some slight regional variations "It's hot and muggy, so we might have to tweak it," says Li. "In fact, it's quite a lot like the weather in Chongqing."
Dainty Sichuan Noodle Express, shop 10,19b World Square, 644 George St, Sydney.