One rainy night, a few months ago when I had a sprained ankle, I hobbled up to the door of my new apartment building and waited behind a woman who was delivering a heavy load of takeout containers.
"Where is this food from?" I asked her, wanting to learn more about delivery options in the area.
"We are 一品粥 (yi pin zhou)", she said. Finally they let her in and we made it to the elevator.
"You live in which apartment?" she asked, and added, "If these guys don't pay for their food, I'll give it to you!"
Yi Pin Zhou is a chain of Cantonese style places. Their main product is congee and they do it very well - always creamy and rich tasting. The Fang Cao Jie branch, where the generous delivery lady was from, is open very late at night. They also have roast goose, cha siu pork, and a steam table with a few dim sum. The signature 一品粥 congee is very good but includes cubes of Chinese spam (火腿), which I always pick out. Today, because I am still fighting off the loosening grip of a cold, I ordered the chicken and mountain yam congee (鸡肉山药粥）. I also got a basket of shrimp dumplings (虾饺).
I've been on a quest for shrimp dumplings lately (more on this to come). These were just OK. The wrappers were gummy and the shrimp stuffing was a little too pasty, but contained nice little cubes of bamboo shoot for crunch. I thought the dumplings were a decent value for Y10. They don't have soy sauce and vinegar on the tables; I had to ask for it and they brought me a little dish of good, light-tasting soy sauce. The chicken and mountain yam congee (Y6)was mild, fragrant, and delicious.
The menu has pictures, but not of everything. (Every single style of congee, for instance, doesn't have a picture.) Other menu items really can ramp up your bill, though. I've never loved the dim sum options I've tried here but the congee is definitely on a higher level than the standard in Chengdu. I also like how, if you want vegetables, they will stir fry an order of kong xin cai or whatever greens they have in season for you. This branch is very crowded at mealtimes, espcially on the weekends.
Update May 30: Picture taken earlier this year (I'd forgotten about it), outside Yi Pin Zhou
Address: 芳草街45号附1号 Walk north along Fang Cao Jie from Fang Cao Dong Jie.