Restaurants & Bars

China & Southeast Asia

ChengDu, April/May 2009 - Report


More from Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants & Bars China & Southeast Asia

ChengDu, April/May 2009 - Report

beetlebug | | Apr 30, 2009 10:56 PM

I've been in ChengDu for two days now and I'm in eating heaven. I'll be here for another day and a half and will continue to add to this thread.

We've been eating a lot of street food and it's been overall, unbelievably tasty. I do have to get past my ick factors when it comes to flies and kittens roaming around my feet, but that's me.

So, in no particular order, here are some of the areas I went to and what we ate.

We tried to do something "educational" so we went to WenShu Monastery. Unlike other temples I've been too, this was one more for praying and communing, v. tourists taking pictures everywhere. The gardens in the back were lovely. But, the streets around there had some great street food. One place, was this noodle stand and it was a production. The lady had all the different jars full of spices and sauces. When you placed your order, she would grab the bowl of noodles and immediately start spooning the requisite condiments into the respective bowls. We ordered Tien Sui Mien, which is essentially noodles with spicy sauce, and an order of suan la chow sau, dumplings. Both were wonderful and you can really taste the difference with the quality of sichuan peppercorns here in China. We also saw these fried banana bread things, but you had to buy them by the kilo (which was like 10 fried bananas to the bag). They smelled great but we had to pass.

We then wandered to the Sichuan University Area. Specifically we went to Guo Jia Qiao Bei Jie (near the intersection of KeHua Jie) and had a lot of snacking treats here. On the side parallel to Sichuan university, there was this amazing stand that was making fresh flat breads and crepes. They also had a pot of various stewed meats and eggs and you chose what you wanted the flat bread stuffed with (Guo Kui). We went for braised pork belly. The flat bread was fresh off the griddle and so puffy and hot. The stuffed meat just melted in to the bread itself. We also had a crepe like thing, where the guy spooned out batter, onto the griddle, cracked an egg and proceeded to add, peanut sesame sauce, crispy bits of bread and a bit of meat. The contrast of the hot crepe, the softness of the egg and the crispness of the bits of bread was so pleasing. Both these set us back less than a US dollar total.

Later, we wandered to the other side of the street (cross KeHua Jie) and looked at the food booths there. Unfortunately, we were kind of full and passed on numerous types of dumplings and noodles. But one stand grabbed our eyes because of the rotating pot. Inside were these fried fried dumplings. The bottom was crispy and when you took a bit, it was slightly hollow on the inside with a very thin layers of fragrant meat. Despite our fullness, we each polished off an order.

The last street food area we went to was on Heng De Lu (near the intersection of Yi Huan Bei Si Duan). We hit three different stands here for lunch. The furthest stand on the block was a dumpling stand. We ordered two different kinds - pork and chives and pork and celery. Both were amazing, especially since they were making the dough and dumplings right before us. They were the cutest little dumplings, about the size of a quarter.

After, we wandered over to the noodle stand and that was pretty mediocre. The noodles had a great texture but the accompanying sauce never quite soaked into the noodles.

The last place we hit is actually closest to the intersection. Instead of a specialty, they had a full menu. We went with water convulus, home style eggplant and this pork and bamboo like vegetable (gao shan). The latter two were nothing short of amazing. The eggplant were thinly sliced and stirfried with crisp mild hot peppers. The gao shan were very thin and stir fried with hot peppers and pork. They were remniscent of bamboo but tastier. There was also a bit of tomato in it.

More reporting to come.