finally, my quest to find an adequate substitute for my favorite sichuan haunt in PA may have come to a successful end!
perhaps my previous virginity regarding sichuan food has kept me from discovering the chili-haven that is tian fu on uhlandstrasse – after all, it’s been around for over a decade, and it took me this long to find it.
i’ve gone three times now (more than any other resto this summer), and i’ll most definitely be back – for their delicious cucumber salad with chili oil, their stir-fried water spinach, the ma po tofu, or any of the braised dishes brimming with my latest serious addiction: the sichuan peppercorn. its unique floral aroma and slightly numbing qualities, making it possible to ingest large numbers of very spicy chili peppers predominant in many sichuan dishes, has become a flavor i not only crave, but can conjure in my mouth days later. i suppose there are unhealthier addictions.
i urge anyone looking for good sichuan food in berlin – a city where cantonese restaurants still make up the vast majority – to visit tian fu right now! sure, you have to insist they not be shy about the desired spiciness. but that remains the dilemma of any caucasian – that is, until you become a regular. i dare consider myself one by now. (reservations highly recommended, even weekdays).