If you are looking for a touch of spice in your life, then you should look no further than Chilli Panda, in Newcastle Street, the home in Perth of the spicy cuisine of Hunan – the birthplace of Chairman Mao, and particularly well known for the extensive use of chill, garlic and shallots.
It has a spare fit out – untreated concrete walls, adorned with stylised Chinese prints, wooden screens with meld mesh inserts, and polished concrete floors.
The menu is presented on an Ipad – you flick through the various sub headings and select those dishes you want and the order goes through to the kitchen – I am not a fan of this trend, I still prefer a paper menu to read my way through – but anyway, it seems to work. Chilli Panda is unlicensed but wine glasses, along with a water jug and tumblers, were quickly to hand.
Now we have been before and knew that the dishes are generous in size – similar to those at the various Sichuan places around town – so with that in mind settled on one dish, along with steamed rice – fish fillets in hot chilli oil.
And just as well, too – it was indeed large – a substantial bowl filled to the brim with a mix of tender fish fillets, sprouts, spring onion, dried red chilli, fresh coriander, all swimming in a heady brew of chilli infused oil. And spicy? Absolutely – sweat inducing, eye watering, mouth tingling, but above all highly enjoyable if you love spicy food. Well cooked rice soaked up the juices and oil – all in all, a lovely dish.
Chilli Panda has brought the food of Hunan to Perth and does it in style. A must.