Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serious Health Food at Puzhong Kitchen

"90% of illness is diet related. We all need to eat healthy!" is one of the messages on the walls of Puzhong Kitchen, a newer place on Xian Middle Road. The black and yellow interior is simple but comfortable, and there is a very clean open kitchen at the back.

My favourite part:

The menu is very short but changes every day, and is suited to the season. There are two staple foods, two soups, three vegetarian dishes, two meat dishes, and two 'refined fried dishes', which just means more elaborate wok dishes, usually including a seafood choice.

From the staple food section, I ordered the 组合粗粮 (rustic mix) - corn, steamed pumpkin, and purple yam. A very nice change from rice. I also asked for gai lan and lily from the vegetarian section. Each black dish holds an individual sized portion of clean, simply prepared food. (There are a few dishes with hot peppers or black beans, but none of the thick spicy sauces typical of Sichuanese food.)

One big surprise on the menu was imported wine, available by the glass. In fact, their "women's beauty meal" at dinner consists of one rustic mix, one vegetarian dish, and a glass of red wine. (There is a "men's body building meal" as well.) I went back a few days later to try the wine but there was only one choice. It was cold, served in a champagne glass, and like an average domestic red. Wine and some very good garlic sauteed kong xin cai:

The menu is not easy for the Chinese character-challenged to figure out, unfortunately, since only the menu categories are translated and there are no pictures. However, one of the servers knew enough English to explain the items. (Servers here are efficient, friendly, and attentive. A little girl dropped her chopstick and the server brought over a new pair almost before it hit the floor.)

Sign outside:

Location: Xian Middle Road, #17. Couple of blocks west of Kuanzhai Alley, or a bit north of Qintai Road.

Name: 普众厨房
Address: 西安中路 17 号

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