Long Chao Shou: Snack City - Sichuan Style in Chengdu!
Long Chao Shou (龙抄手) is a chain of restaurants in Chengdu that offers up a number of snack style foods - Sichuan style. Some offerings include: Chung's dumplings (钟水饺), Sichuan noodles with peppery sauce (担担面), Meat Dumplings in Spicy Sauce (红油抄手), Cold noodles (凉面), Sliced Beef and Ox Tongue in chilli Sauce (夫妻肺片), Cold noodles with chicken shreds (鸡丝凉面), white fungus soup (银耳羹). There is a wide variety of dishes here to sample, none of them particularly large, and the idea here is to snack on a variety of things to make a meal. It's fast food, sensationally spicy, and tremendously tasty. A time honored treat too as I understood and so did experience for myself.
The name "Long Chao Shou" is actually a special name for the type of wontons served here. "Chao Shou" is a wonton made in the shape of folding hands and Long refers to the founder of the original restaurant, which dates back to 1941, hence the name Long Chao Shou. It is an institution of sorts in Chengdu and very popular among the local people in the city. As such, it is often very busy too, especially at lunch and dinner time. Even in off hours it is moderately crowded, which it a testament not just to popularity for namesake, but quality of food too. The menu is only in Chinese here, but you can not go wrong with any wonton dishes here in the Sichuan style, which is different from Guangzhou, Shanghai or Beijing style.
The particular restaurant we visited was in the Chunxilu shopping district. It is situated on a corner of streets with a large sign, blue in background and the Chinese characters 龙抄手 in gold lettering - you can't miss it really even if you don't know Chinese. It has a cafeteria atmosphere, you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table. Somehow they always know where to find you. The tables have numbers, so I expect that's how they do it. My Chinese companion ordered for us and we had some spicy wontons, a wonton soup, a beef dish that was simply sensational and some sort of folded pancake. Based on my experience I highly recommend trying Long Chou Shou to sample the menu: It's Snack City - Sichuan Style in Chengdu!
I give the Chunxi address here in Chinese: 四川省成都市城守街63号
Here are some branches to try while in Chengdu:
Chunxi Road Branch: No. 8, South Section of Chunxi Road, Jinjiang District
Huanhua Branch: No. 9-3, Huahua North Road, Qingyang District
Zhixin Branch: No. 1-14, Zhixin North Street, Wuhou District
Favorite Dish: Wontons, Wontons and Wontons - The specialty here and you can't go wrong with any of the Wonton dishes.
Leanna's: Restaurant - Bakery - Store: Rebel Without A Cause
You have to admire an American opening a restaurant in Chengdu, China to serve American food. That takes courage and the ability to appeal not just to the American taste, but the Chinese taste as well. Good food is good food I always say, regardless of where you come from, but this place falls short of that goal, and would not succeed even in America I think. Such restaurants are a rebel of sorts still in China, but this one is a rebel without a cause. I make reference here to the 1955 film with James Dean.
I hate to be critical of this restaurant, because the concept is really good, but it is done badly. First, the atmosphere feels like a library, and should be a bit more upbeat. Second, the menu offers the right dishes to represent American cuisine, but the dishes are not prepared well. Third, the owner is present, but does not interact with customers. The staff are friendly enough, but mostly Chinese. There should be an American or Western hostess to greet guests I think for people who come here for an American experience.
The meal here was simply awful. Tasteless soup for an appetizer, and the main steak dish I had was quite bad. The giant lump of potatoes was a dry mess, the steak had a strange sweet taste like it had been marinated in something too long, and the vegetables were a sorry accessory and just added to the misery of this meal. All this served on plates bigger than your head too, and I am sorry to say, but what a joke. My Chinese friends laughed about it and so did I. What a shame! I'm generous with 2 stars.
Favorite Dish: The cappuccino and deserts are great.
Kirin Hot Pot: Sichuan Style Hot Pot
The famous (or infamous) Hot Pot is something to try while in China, and especially in Chengdu, Sichuan style. The Hot Pot can be found throughout China and each province has it's own style using ingredients local to the area, but the Sichuan style may be one of the more famous in spicy style for the use of local red chili peppers and Sichuan Peppercorns. Don't be intimidated, go with the flow, and Sichuan style Hot Pot offers a spicy and mild version. The spicey/mild are often offered side by side, but separating the reservoirs of boiling liquid with a divider in the middle.
This is definitely a different kind of experience. There is the hot 'Hot Pot' (spicy) and the not so hot 'Hot Pot' (mild). They fry up all kinds of things in a liquid or oily brew here that keeps on boiling: an assortment of usual types of meats and seafood, as well as vegetables, mushrooms and dumplings, but many internal organs too like kidneys, liver and intestines also. There are various dipping sauces and everyone is to help themselves to whatever is sizzling in the 'Hot Pot'. I suppose not everything served is to everyone's taste, but there is enough variety to satisfy anyone.
Kirin Hot Pot (麒麟锦庭火锅) offers the Sichuan Hot Pot experience, with good service and variety of ingredients. Though not all the ingredients were appetizing or appealing to my Western taste, they seemed in good quantity and taste to my Chinese dinner companions, who recommended this place for a dinner gathering. Watch out for the Sichuan peppercorn, which produces a rather odd tingling, lip and tongue-numbing experience! A unique and interesting sensation to be sure, but just a little taste on the top of your tongue will do you, lick your lips and Oh My!
About those Sichuan peppercorns, here's a Food Science story from the LA Times (Septemper 12, 2013) - Why Szechuan peppercorns make your lips tingle: Food science
I give the address in Chinese: 四川省成都市天仙桥路1号
Favorite Dish: It's all about the Hot Pot here
Casa Mia: Something Italian in Chengdu
If you are in the mood for some Western food while in Chengdu I can suggest an Italian restaurant called Casa Mia on Kehua Bei Lu (Kehua Middle Road), located near Sichuan University. Casa Mia is next to a restaurant called "Vanilla Sky" that also offers Western food, just for reference. I give the address of Casa Mia in Chinese too: 成都科华北路123号. Finding restaurants in Chengu that serve Western food is challenging, and finding ones that serve good food maybe more challenging. The restaurant has free wifi too, as do many restaurants in Chengdu.
Casa Mia ('My House' in Italian) has two floors to the restaurant and is nicely decorated, though the second floor is more cozy for dining I think. They have a good Italian menu, from soups and salads to pastas and pizza to fish and meat dishes. A decent sized selection of all things Italian, with pictures and English in the menus. I would not go so far as to say the food was outstanding, but adequate fare for Italian and maybe a bit above average for Chengdu. Casa Mia is worth trying and I enjoyed some Western food here for a change from Chinese, good as Sichuan food is.
I had a caesar salad and lamb chops with vegetables, while my dinner companions ordered some salads too (including a potato salad) as well as a pizza, some patsa and stuffed potato skins. There were no complaints from me or my Chinese dinner companions and it seemed everyone enjoyed the food and atmosphere of the place. The only downside is that for a Western restaurant the staff do not have strong English skills, but as I said the menu has photos and English, so at least you can point to what you want. Something Italian in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu to experience if you want a bite of something Western to eat!
Favorite Dish: The stuffed potato skins were quite tasty
Pan Sun Shi: Sample a selection of meats
The restaurant name Pán Sūn Shì (盘飱市) translates as 'dish meal city' or 'dish supper market' and is taken from a poem by famous Chinese poet, Du Fu (杜甫), called 客至, which translates as 'Guests Coming' or "A Visitor Arrives" and has the line:
盘餐市远无兼味 (pán sūn shì yuǎn wú jiān wèi), which is something like "Far from the market, my food has little taste" or "As the market is so far away, I have little worth eating". I include a couple of links about the poem as I found it interesting:
Anyway, this restaurant was apparently founded in 1925, but not sure if this is the original location or not. However, the neighborhood it is located in does seem older than your typical modern looking Chengdu, so it's possible it has been here a long time. The decor inside is decent looking, but rather an odd collection of styles it seems. There are lots of different types of meats to try here (chicken, duck, goose, beef, pork, etc.) and some other strange looking things too. It seemed to be sort of a 'Meats-R-Us' type of place. We had a 'sampler' plate of meats along with some vegetables. The food was good, not really spectacular, but fine for a lite snack type of lunch. I had the impression it was a bit more expensive than anticipated from what we ordered.
Address in Chinese: 四川省成都市华兴正街64号
Favorite Dish: A place for meat lovers, and try 'em all in a sampler dish.
Jie Yi Lou Teahouse and Restaurant: Three Kingdoms Experience in Jinli
Jie Yi Lou (结义楼) is a teahouse and restaurant in the Jinli Pedestrian Street area of Chegdu, a place famous for its many restaurants, bars, and shops in an ambiance or theme of the culture of the Three Kingdoms period (220 - 280 AD). The restaurant and teahouse is a place to relax and have some tea, but also offers meals for lunch and dinner too. A show featuring some Chinese Sichuan Opera performances is offered for patrons periodically during the day. This in itself is worth it to stop by for a while to see a show and enjoy tea, lunch or dinner. Of course, in keeping with the theme of the Jinli area, the Chinese Sichuan Opera is of the Three Kingdoms form.
The interior decor is rather a combination of industrial/modern and cultural/traditional with a central area for diners in the main central area, a stage towards the front for performances, and corridors on either side of the central area. Nevertheless, the contrasting styles here seem to work in providing an interesting look to the place. The food is good too and we had a selection of various dishes in sampling. It's a fun place to enjoy a meal and watch the show performances too. It sort of captures the spirit of the Jinli area of Chengdu, which can seem sort of touristy, but has enough traditional elements to capture some Chinese culture too. Overall, a place worth a visit for a meal and to enjoy some performance artistry.
Address in Chinese: 四川省成都市武侯区武侯祠大街203号
Favorite Dish: Spicy dumpling dish & dumpling soup was excellent!
Jaichanwei Hand Made Zhajiangmian Noodles: To die for local noodle shop
For 55 cents you get real Ecstasy in a bowl of hand made hand pulled noddles in this family run small noddle joint hole in the wall place. this is the local Sichuan version of one of my all time favorite comfort foods Zhajiangmian and for those who want to order it in Chinese:炸酱面 which means fried sauce noodles.
Places like this all over china is what the trip is all about VTer -- I can not wait to leave a fancy place (eating as little as polite) and go to a local family run noodle shop or dim son place my idea of heaven.
If it cost more than 10 RMB I do not want it frankly -noting to do with the cost everything to do with the local color the closeness the frank intimacy of eating at a local family run Joint !!!
Favorite Dish: Zhajiangmian is the only dish i watched here is what they do
Dice scallions, onions and garlic.
Stir-fry onions and garlic until they are slightly brown.
Add meat choice of beef or Pork to the wok. Stir-fry the meat until it is slightly brown.
Added a black bean sauce,to the mixture with soy sauce some water and simmered.
Serve this meat sauce over handed pulled noodles in a bowl with side dise of shredded Chinese cabbage, fresh soybeans/edamame, pickled yellow radish, vinegar and hot sauce. the difference between what i had in Beijing and In Sichuan, they seem to not fry the scallions at all. They are added chopped up, raw at the bottom of the bowl plus lots Red chili oil is also added to the bottom of the bowl. I ask for less red chill oil because i do not like it that oily. YUM !!!
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Restaurants everywhere: Mt Emei Restaurants
We were a little perturbed by all the fish, snails, snakes, tadpoles, chooks, rabbits, duck - you name it - on show outside the restaurants - "Fresh is Best" - you choose your meat and they kill and cook it for you!!!!!
My daughter, Nikki, preferred to think of it as a petting zoo!!!
Teddy Bear Hostel: Teddy Bears' Picnic
We dined at the Hostel as it was pouring and did not feel like venturing too far after our exhausting day at Leshan visiting the Giant Buddha. The food did not disappoint.
After explaining to the owner of the Teddy Bear Hotel (Andy) that I do not eat celery - he wasn't sure of this word/vegetable, so took me to the rear of the hotel - to the kitchen and showed me the vegetables on offer and asked me to point out the ones I didn't eat !!!!!
Then asked me if there was anything in particular I did like and hence food cooked to your liking - the food was the best we'd sampled in China.
If you are staying or visiting Mt Emei drop into the Teddy Bear Hotel and try their Eggplant Dish it is mouthwatering and I wished I'd stayed in the kitchen to learn to cook this magnificent dish.
Rong Cheng Lao Ma: Spiciest Hotpot!
None of the staff in this restaurant spoke much English, and our attempts at Mandarin were met with puzzlement and laughter (in our defense, the Sichuan dialect is very different!), but none of that mattered. Since we couldn't read the menu, our friendly waitress took us on a tour of the restaurant to see what other diners were enjoying and point out what we wanted to try, and nobody minded at all!
In the middle of our table was a massive pot of stew sunk over a brazier; divided into two halves, one filled with a dark red, fiercesomely hot and spicy and full of orangy fat and chilli peppers, while the other side contained a pale chicken broth - the 'wimp soup'! Then our choices started to arrive; lots of little plates similar to tapas. We had potatoes, strips of beef, mushrooms, noodles, tofu and ham, all of which came raw for you to chuck into the pot and cook. Once ready, you fish them out with your chopsticks, dip them in individual pots of oil and garlic, and enjoy!
It's a good place to take a large group of people and spend several hours over your dinner with a few beers. Lots of the parties of Chinese men were having to strip their tops off, they were sweating so much from the spices! Our selections, plus 2 soft drinks, came to 68Y.
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Chongqing Jiangbei Laozao Huoguo: Hot Pot!
When people think of Chengdu, they immediately think of hotpot. Introduced from Chongqing, Chengdu hotpot has its own style ranging from simple spicy to moderate, three or four kinds of spices, as well as fish head hotpot, medical herbs hotpot, etc. If you're not into spicy food then you should avoid these restaurants like the plague. Me, I like spicy food so went to this one located along Renmin Beilu.
What they do in one of these places is bring along a choice of hot-pot - a very large bowl filled with cooking oil and tons of chillies plus a well section in the middle filled with water and other things. You then order different kinds of meat, veg and salad stuff and cook them in the hot-pot as there's a gas burner underneath it at your table. I ordered a "mandarin duck hot-pot" which came with absolutely tons of chillies and other spicy stuff. Now, I like spicy food - just ask my local Indian take-away, but this was beyond anything I had even eaten in India. I ordered some beef and salami like ham sausage and a waitress showed me what to do plus I went over and looked at what another couple were doing plus what they had ordered as I hadn't a clue as to what to do. I also ordered some cabbage, potatoes, spring onions and bean sprouts to go with the meat which were put in the middle section. The hot-pot seemed to take a long time to get heated up and all the waitresses were watching what I was doing from time-to-time. The meat started to cook and I tried to fish it out of the oil using a draining spoon but then it was really slippery to get hold off with chop-sticks, which I have fun with at the best of times. The veg was cooking quickly by this time and so when I tried to fish it out, it had all but disappeared and I was making a mess everywhere, including on myself! Can't really see the point of it instead of being a bit of fun but I suppose, for the locals, it's just a way of life. Plus it wasn't cheap either!
Peter's Tex Mex Grill: Great western food
This restaurant is located in the south of the city where there are loads of restaurants and is best reached by taking bus No.55 if staying in the north of the city. This is serious carnivore food as you'd expect from a Tex Mex. I had 2 good smallish steaks as part of one dish, fries, veg and garlic bread plus a small bottle of beer for Y100.
Yulin life plaza: Yulin life plaza
It is a popular area full of restaurants, bars, KTVs and massage shops. The Food is typically local and cheap, for example with 8.3 EUR, you can eat a 1.5kg fish, plus 2 dishes and a nice beer. :)
Favorite Dish: BBQ fish (local specialty)
- Family Travel
Don't recall anyway!: Does not Exist
We wanted to go to this restaurant (name soon) because of a Lonely Planet recommendation. When we got there, all we saw was what you see in the below photo. Maybe we missed it. But I doubt it. So, consider this an update to the LP.
Favorite Dish: Didn't get a chance to find out.
The name is Irish, and they serve fish and chips and Guiness, but the feel inside is as follows:
"Old Hippie" sung by none other than the Bellamy Brothers, gold and silver foil with red lanterns...
Anything but an Irish feel. The food's good, the atmosphere fits a western bar, possibly even a pub. But the Guiness cost 60 yuan a pint, which is outrageous, especially since it was flat and tasted watered down... we went hee because the other places we tried in the area didn't appeal or said they were full... or didn't exist any more. Oh well.
If you're looking for a good place to go for western/Irish food, this is it. But it's not cheap.
They have TV for the big games...
Favorite Dish: Fish and Chips... good batter, good fish... I've had better, but I can't complain at all about theirs.
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