Granma's Chen's Beancurd Restaurant
Not sure about the Chinese name of the restaurant, but it's very well known among locals and tourists, although we didn't see any tourists the 2 times we went. The original famous Sichuan Tofu dish with minced meat and tofu in a spicy sauce. In Japan, it's become "Japanese" (like pizza in the US), so we really wanted to try the original. Well it was quite a shock. Nothing to do with the Japanese washed out version, not only "hot spicy", but with lots of spices and tasty and authentic. It was an eye opening experience after a lifetime spent eating Japanese Mabo Tofu.
The service at the restaurant is very very average. No English spoken, but apparently somewhat understood. We went there twice and tried other dishes, the most interesting ones are still the tofu dishes, we also had some good soups.
Downstairs is more casual, for a quick meal, and upstairs is more of a dining place with round tables, but the prices are the same I think and the atmosphere is Chinese at both -- eat , enjoy the food and no frills.
They sell the Ma Po Dou Fu mix and we bought some and tried it at home, but it wasn't very good. Maybe we didn't have the right ingredients, or maybe it just wasn't the right environment.
Across the street there's a Tao temple (I think) where we had tea outside in the temple grounds, quite pleasant. The restaurant specializes in Tofu (Dou fu or Dao fu in Chinese, Tofu is Japanese). There was one dish which we really liked: it said "flower tofu" on the menu, and it's actually "flower" like when we say "flower salt" in France -- meaning the finest. "Flower tofu" is tofu made with a much finer strainer to obtain a lighter and smoother texture, without becoming like what we call "silk tofu" in Japan (because it was passed through silk as opposed to rougher "cotton tofu"). Japanese tofu doesn't really taste of soy bean and is really bland, but Chinese tofu retains that soy bean taste. Flower tofu is so fine textured that it doesn't hold as well as the usual tofu, so it looks like it's shaped in a bowl and turned over. The Flower tofu dish is not spicy, it comes in a whitish sauce with greens, and may seem a bit bland if you only like spicy strong tasting stuff, but we really liked it -- it makes you realize what tofu should really taste like. It was a nice contrast with the spicy Ma Po Dou Fu. Oh by the way, we're Japanese so we could sort of read the menu in Chinese "flower tofu" was written in Chinese characters, I don't know whether they have an English menu and I don't know how they have translated it into English.