The truth is that we initially had a hard time finding Lost Heaven. In my defence, I was still stupidly jetlagged and my dining companion was a friend down from Sydney so it was much like the blind leading the blind.
Lost Heaven isn't actually that difficult to find but even if you can't find it at first, you'll be glad when you do.
We settled in at a table of the huge upstairs restaurant, that's above the border of China town on Bourke St, and prepared ourselves for some serious Sichuan; Lost Heaven's signature offering.
With the months-old Sichuan house being a member of the Hutong family, I couldn't resist a start of the famous chilli oil dumplings. Sichuan would have to wait a moment. A discerning nod of approval later and it was onto a bowl of Spicy Fish; white fish poached in water, oil and chilli making it deliciously tender, served by our host who scooped out the masses of chillies before the devouring could commence. Full marks for flavour, texture and temperature on this dish.
Then it was onto the star of the night. The Sichuan (we had the chicken ribs) at Lost Heaven holds all the zing and kapow that any good Sichuan dish should pack. It had the right amount of heat for a base with plenty of chilli on top to turn up the volume as required. The veggies were fresh and crisp, perfectly al dente for this kind of dish. A small portion of rice helped keep the tastebuds from entering overdrive, all matched beautifully with an Oyster Bay SB.
You'll also find dishes like steamed barramundi with diced hot chilli, the Lost Heaven signature Spicy Hock or scallop with eggplant clay pot in sichuan chilli sauce.
While the space at Lost Heaven is highly inviting, its not quite as contemporary as East, or as cosy as Hutong. But it has the right setting and ambience you'd wish for in China Town; much nicer than some of its local counterparts which we've all been guilty of visiting for a late night intoxicated feast. On that note, Lost Heaven is open til late seven days a week.
A fan of Sichuan? Give Lost Heaven a shot. You'll be glad you found it.
206 Bourke Street, all the way up the escalators. Bookings accepted. www.lostheaven.com.au