Anyone have any recommendations for Chengdu? I want to head out there to have some delicious food. Anyone live there and have recommendations for the best food? Price is not a matter (especially in China)
The one place I've found that I would definitely like to go to is Yu's Family Kitchen 喻家厨房.
I've seen quite a few bloggers recommend this and TK supposedly went so that's enough to make me want to go too.
Phil, I will be posting about the restaurants I have researched so far. When will you be in Chengdu? We are there from the 7th until the morning of the 10th of November.
Side note - have you booked your internal flight to Chengdu yet? I found that china eastern has a website which is harder to find en.ceair.com - I purchased a flight there which was 1/3 of the cheapest fare I could find on North American websites.
I am so glad that you are going to Chengdu, which is a real Food Paradise!
If you are visting Chengdu, you can have a try with Sichuan Cuisine with most famous spicy food like hot pot, mapo tofu etc.
My suggestion is that try to visit the places with lots of people even you have to wait for some time. it is just too many places to mention. I recommend eating hot pot and some sichuan cuisine.
Besides, you can also visit the food street to have some local snacks. Such as a place named as Huang Cheng Ba (Imperial palace dam 皇城坝).
If you want to know basic about food in Chengdu, you can check some recipes I made in my blog http://www.chinasichuanfood.com with most of the dishes from Sichuan Cuisine.
What are some specific restaurants that I have to eat at to experience the best of Sichuan food and Chengdu have to offer?
I am quite familiar with Sichuan food and have had it all over the world but not yet in the Sichuan province - that is why I am traveling there! My wife is Chinese so we will have no trouble finding and ordering at estaurants which do not cater to foreigners.
There is a museum of Sichuan food with a restaurant that served some of the best food we had on our 2 week trip.
For Ma Po Tofu, there is a restaurant named for the dish that does a traditional version of the dish very well. Good service and I remember having a good vegetable dish there as well (maybe pea shoots?).
We were disappointed in Chef Yu's. We live in NYC and found the meal there to be too 'Western' for our tastes. It's fun to see how a chef plays with sichuan flavors in such refined ways but we left craving hot pot and more traditional, rustic Sichuan food which is just so good.
I can post pictures from the rest if the trip but I won't remember the names of most of the restaurants but certainly I can describe the dishes.
We had a guide with us and as a result, we were much sloppier about writing down specific places than we normally would be but let me check and report back.
Enjoy your trip!
The whole fish dishes were really special. There is also a restaurant called "Ma Po Dofu"
These are the restaurants I have found so far that I may be trying.
I will update after my trip.
Yu Jia Chu Fang
Yu’s Family Restaurant
Gong Ying Pin Ming (corner shop; look for the picture window), 39 Wenfu Yuan Jie (Street) -- walk a minute or two past the entrace to Wenshu Monastery, it will be on your right. A wide selection of local xiaochi.
Chen Ma Po Doufu
Chen Ma Po Doufu (Chen"s Bean Curd Restaurant) since 1862 is very well known among locals and tourists. This restaurant is famous for the Sichuan tofu dish with minced meat and tofu in a spicy sauce. The service at the restaurant is very very average. No English spoken, but apparently somewhat understood. Downstairs is more casual, for a quick meal, and upstairs is more of a dining place with round tables.
Address: 19 Qinghua Lu (Road), Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Yang Yang, 32 Jin Yuan Xiang, Wu Hou District; 86-28-8523-1394.
32号 Jinyuan Alley
Wuhou, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
This restaurant sits on a lane that runs between Yulin 3rd Alley and Yulin 2nd Alley (Yulin San Xiang, Yulin Er Xiang), both of which run off of Yulin Dong Lu. Yulin District, Chengdu.
Okay so we went to Chengdu and this is what I've learned.
1) the cheap restaurants are not very clean and the quality/source of their meat/products is questionable
2) the food at cheaper restaurants is okay
3) the best food is found at expensive restaurants
5) hotpot was good but not noticeably better than anywhere else
I preferred Sichuan restaurants in malls/tourist areas (jungli/kuan alley) over their small family run counterparts.
This can be attributed to a few factors.
Firstly these "expensive" restaurants need to have a good chef or they will go out of business = hire the best chef money can buy. Secondly they can afford to buy better and more delicious ingredients.
The one exception to this rule was the noodle place across from wenshu monastery (wenshuyuan). Super super busy so you knew there was a good turnover of ingredients. Pay for what you want and they will give you a ticket for each dish. Give the ticket to the kitchen window. Find a seat and wait for your food.
Chen's mapo dofu is just down the street from this restaurant. I thought the mapo dofu there was okay and my wife disliked it but for 18 rmb I would still have tried it just to say I have tried the original mapo dofu.
One of my tips is to order a variety of the noodles and small dishes at the more expensive restaurants. It is usually about $2 for a small bowl (where it would be $1 at the cheap restaurants)
I found the noodles and small dishes to be my favorites normally as we would order a few different ones and at least one of them would be amazing. We had many iterations of oil boiled beef, oil boiled fish, mizheng rou, Dan Dan mien which were my favourite dishes.
One dish which I saw around a few times was chicken with a green sauce. This was quite an interesting dish - I think mostly ground cilantro and Sichuan peppercorns. I would recommend trying this one once too though I do not know the name of it.
The best of the restaurants we went to was in Jingli Alley on the further side. I will have to ask my wife for the name later.
I would also recommend going out to the panda research base. About a 30 minute drive each way (50rmb taxi each way).