Friday, June 5, 2009

皇城坝小吃店 - Huang Cheng Ba Snack Place

Wuhou temple and Jinli Street are tourist central in Chengdu, which means a lot of snacks (小吃) are consumed in the area. Huang Cheng Ba is a block or two west of Wuhou Temple.

I'm much more used to eating this kind of food on rickety tables while sitting on a plastic stool. The heavy carved wood tables and benches suit the area and the menu perfectly, and the warm yellow dishes and crocks look beautiful on the tables.

The pot stickers (锅贴) are a specialty here. Mine had a reheated quality, unfortunately. I will order them again only if the place is busy. In the back is a dish of garlic tossed cucumbers (凉拌黄瓜).

The white fungus soup (银耳汤) is gorgeous; a little cool, a little sweet, with dates and goji berries like red jewels. Would come back for this alone. Did, actually.

Steamed dumplings (蒸饺子). Far too many places in Chengdu serve steamed dumplings that have sat too long in the basket and been allowed to harden. These were way beyond that, actually cracking on top. Highly disappointing.

Cool Skinny Three Ways (凉拌三丝). The three things were bean threads, lettuce heart, and seaweed all tossed together in a spicy, crunchy, vinegary pile. Once I watched a monk eat this with rice. He emptied a couple of packages of dried flavoured tofu snacks on top, for protein I would guess.

This being a tourist area, prices are on the high side. The servers are well trained and can help with the menu, though I haven't met any who speak English and some have strong accents. There are a few pictures of menu items along the top wall and outside, but it's otherwise all Chinese. They have some noodle dishes that I am eager to try, but it's been too hot to even think about eating noodles lately. Will keep everyone posted. Storefront:

Address: 皇城坝小吃店 武侯区武侯大街259号; about five min walk west on Wuhou Da Dao from Wuhou Temple.

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