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Dining in Chengdu

Sichuan cuisine is a league of its own, the food seems so much in contrast to the slow ambience the teahouses. Sichuan is the center of spicy hot Sichuan Food.jpgdishes- eating here is a passionate affair, even more so than in the rest of China. Almost ervery dish is mixed up with a ferocious package of burning chilies and the special Sichuan pepper that leaves your mouth numb. Some of the most famous Chinese dishes have their origin here: Kung pao chicken, stir-fried chicken with peasants and chili added with a heavy hand, is world famous but there's nothing like eating it in a Sichuan restaurant. Mapo tofu, stewed tofu with minced pork and of course chili, is another favorite. The curiously named dish " ants climbing up a tree" is vermicelli with ground pork and, guess what. chili. When you see the dish you'll understand. It might not be the most appetizing name for a dish but it still tastes great.

What is really going to test your threshold for pain is another local specialty: hot pot, literally " fire pot". Imagine fondue but with a serious kick to it. All kinds of thinly sliced meats and vegetables are put into fiery soup, shiny red from chilies, garlic, onions and Sichuan peppers. This is  what the Sichuanese treat themselves to, especially in the winter as it's bound to get warm you up. Hot pot restaurants are normally very lively places - probably because of all the beer that's downed to keep the pain from the chili at bay. It's a shock to the senses and your taste buds will be tingling long after the meal, but don't worry. Other delightfully spicy dishes include the meaty fuqi feipian, dandan mian a spicy noodle, huiguo ruo a spicy dish for fried pork slices and beef stewed in a spicy broth. You can always head back to a teahouse and relax again after the ordeal and soothe your tongue with green tea. The spicies seem to have affected the temperament of the Sichuan people. More emotion is displayed openly here than in any other place in China.

Pearl dumplings are Leshan's most famous snack. When Emperor Kangxi visited Le Shan, he downed five plates of them in one sitting and dubbed them" Pearl Dumplings." Also try Zhou's chicken, a yummy cold chicken dish invented by a Mr. Zhou. A good place to eat is He Jie Xiaochi, a food street that features many restaurants and food vendors.

Highly Recommended Restaurants in Chengdu

Baguo Buyi
● Chinese name: 巴国布衣
● Add: 20 Siduan, Renmin Nan Lu, Chengdu
● Tel: 028-8553 1688

Chen Mapo Tofu
● Chinese name: 陈麻婆豆腐
● Add: Renmin Zhong Lu, Chengdu

Gongshi Xiba Doufu Dajiudian
● Chinese name: 龚氏西霸豆腐大酒店
● Add: 121 Dong Da Jie, Zhongqu, Leshan
● Tel: 0833-210 0848

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