Monday, 30 November 2009

Restaurant Review: Chilli Cool

Since a couple of friends were celebrating their birthdays in the Big Chill House in King's Cross I thought it would be a good excuse to go and have dinner at Chilli Cool, a local Sichuanese style Chinese restuarant. I've been their once before, but it was a bit of a rushed affair, so this time I thought it would be nice to linger over it a little more.

By the time I met 3 friends at the station I just wanted to get indoors and out of the rain. Thankfully one of them had the biggest umbrella I've ever seen, sort a marquee on a stick. Wonderful planning on his part, except it did mean he had to walk in the road every time we came to a lamp-post because otherwise it would get stuck between them and the wall running along the other side. Still given the dismal weather it was nice to see the steamed up windows of the restaurant. When we got in we were faced with a simple but busy place with a small front section and a far larger back room and an amazingly pungent smell of fried chillis and copious amounts of Sichuan pepper that hit everyone right in the back of the throat. After a little bit of coughing we got used to it and asked how long it would be for a table. We got told 2 to 3 minutes which turned into twenty, but the benefit of this was that we had all chosen dishes to share. This combination of chilli and Sichuanese pepper is what this type of Chinese food is known for, and has been made far more known in the UK by food writer Fuchsia Dunlop.