Skip to main content

Sichuan Bang Bang, Kenmore

Direct from a four year stint in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, Renata Roberts has opened a mouth numbingly sexy Sichuan diner and take out in my old stomping grounds in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.

You’ll find Sichuan Bang Bang at 8 Wongabel Street in Kenmore, just tucked off the side of Marshall Lane.  I walked past it many days on my way home from secondary school.

Renata is specialising in Sichuan provincial dishes, with delicacies from Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangdong, Beijing and Canton, amongst others. Using her experience managing Michelle Garnaut’s  M The Glamour Bar on Shanghai’s celebrated Bund and her passion for provincial Chinese food, and using largely local Australian produce, Renata has created a dimly lit eatery for locals to feast on the wonders of China’s authentic cuisine.

It's reasonably priced fare - the most expensive dish is $20  and you can ask for the chilli level to be adjusted to your taste.  I'm not a big chilli lover and I found some dishes were too hot for me, but everyone else at the table loved them.

While we enjoyed the offerings on the lunch menu (see below), perusing the dinner menu caused some mouth watering moments, especially the Shangainese pork spare ribs in vinegar sauce and the Spicy drunken and fried quail. Luckily, two of the lunch specials Mapo Doufu (Sichuan bean curd with minced pork) and Kung bao chicken (chilli, capsicum and spiced peanuts) were the daily specials on the lunch menu.

Returning to Brisbane after 13 years, Renata views her home town with fresh eyes.

“Brisbane has a thriving community and a strong fascination with multi-cultural cuisine so I knew it would be a perfect location”, she says.  “So many Australians are travelling to China each year and experiencing the local fare.  My vision is to allow them to continue their love of the food, in Brisbane!”

Prior to her experience in China, Renata spent nearly a decade in Sydney and Melbourne, mainly as head of Events and Marketing for local hospitality hero Paul Mathis at Federation Square, and setting up and managing events at the impossibly chic Eureka 89 for Paul O’Brien.

She has sourced Sichuan Specialist Chef from Shanghai, Kieren Zou, who brings 17 years experience in kitchens in Shanghai, London and Sunnybank to the locals of Kenmore.

Aside from Sichuan pepper and a handful of Chinese key ingredients, the produce will all be locally sourced.  “The freshness of Australian produce will take superbly to the flavours of this cuisine, and I am excited about authentic Chinese cooking utilising Aussie grown and farmed fruits, vegetables and meats ”, Renata says.

Kieran agrees and says that although Chinese cooking has a simplicity in its produce, the mixing and cooking methods vary and the method, not the ingredients, determine the final nature of the dish.

Interior artwork is a stunning product of Northern Rivers celebrated artist, Kellie O’Dempsey who contributed several pieces to Shanghai’s M on the Bund and Glamour Bar.

Watch this space because Renata has plans for an eclectic drinks list and some Shanghai-inspired cocktails that will help guests find their inner Dragon.

Fried vegetable Gotye dumplings (named after the province rather than the singer:)

Spring onion omelette with oyster sauce

Minced pork dan dan dry noodles

Mapo Doufu - Sichaun bean curd with minced pork

Xinjiang beef

Pumpkin cakes with sesame seed

Tang Yuen - sweet sticky rice balls with peanut paste

Here's one of the Tang Yuen - it was a delicious mouthful of creamy, crunchy peanut paste wrapped in soft rice

Bottom line: Definitely worth the drive to Kenmore. Even better if you are a local. Takeway is a great option.
Best tip: The dessert was a real surprise.

Disclaimer: E,d+bK paid for this meal.


  1. I have been craving the Dan Dan noodles since leaving Chengdu. Sounds like I know where I can satisfy my craving.

    1. Some of the guests when we dined appeared to be of Chinese origin. I always think that is a good sign for a restaurant that specialises in ethnic cuisine.

  2. I got takeaway here last week and it was great. Super spicy though, so make sure to tell them to adjust the chilli if you're not into the hot stuff! The pork spare ribs in vinegar were delicious!

    1. Yep- it was too hot for me but I'd love it just a little less spicy. Next time I'll make sure to ask for that.


Post a Comment

I love getting your comments - really makes my day! If you like this blog please follow by email or subscribe.

Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island

Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.

I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.

1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.

Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.

2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…