Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lao Ma Chao Shou

In one of my earliest posts, I tried lao ma chao shou and was nearly numbed to death by Sichuan pepper (ma = numbing). It turns out Lao Ma means 'very, very ma'. Now that I can understand a bit more Chinese, I can hear people ordering the level of numbing and spice on their dumplings. They might say wei ma, zhong la, for a little numbing and medium heat. 'Lao ma' means the most numbing you've got. I still order it this way.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Delicious Fish

Delicious Fish is a chain that does a popular version of the local barbecued fish - first grilled, then smothered in a large pan with seasoning and vegetables.

Like most grilled fish places, they have a few varieties that you order by the pound and then choose the post-grill flavour treatment. We asked the server what kind of fish had few bones and she recommended the helian (河鲢) as having a good meat/weight ratio. For flavour we asked for fragrant-spicy (香辣). Those who really want the spicy treatment can order fresh pepper (鲜椒) or pickled pepper (泡椒) and those with more timid palates can order black bean (豆豉) . Besides grilled fish, they also had several types of dry pot (干锅).

I ordered a small cup of the black Qingdao they have on tap, and the server set down a stein as tall as a chopstick. She confirmed it was a lady-sized glass (妇女杯).

Grilled fish usually takes time to prepare, particularly at busy places, so it's a good idea to get appetizers or snacks if you arrive hungry. At Delicious Fish they didn't have the stick barbecue that we usually like to get as an appetizer, but we saw orders of french fries going out to many tables so we asked for some. The fries themselves were pretty ordinary but came topped with bacon and had ketchup and mayo on the side, a genius presentation that we hope catches on.

Still, we were waiting over an hour for our order and were starving once it arrived.  The 'fragrant-spicy' fish more than lived up to its billing. It was well grilled with tender meat and crispy skin.The veg on top were a crazy medley of cucumber, pineapple, hot pepper, peanuts, green onions, and other good stuff.

By the time we left there were quite a few customers waiting outside.

Name in Chinese: 滋味烤鱼店
Address: 超洋路1号香槟梧桐9号楼1楼A-02号

Near Yiguanmiao on the first ring, in the complex behind Chaoyang Huayuan.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Liang Mian and Guo Kui

Liang mian (cool noodles) is the number one street food in Chengdu once the weather gets hot. Wheat noodles are usually mixed with bean sprouts or shredded cucumber and then mixed up with a spicy seasoning. On hot days, those sold from the mobile vendors can be more like 'ambient temperature noodles' than cool noodles, so I prefer to eat them from the shops. This bowl, from the Zhang's on Renmin Mid Rd, is topped with a few shreds of chicken.

After mixing:

I also got a stewed meat guo kui (卤肉锅魁) from the shop next door. The bread was a little hard but they poured lots of the juice over it:

Name in Chinese: 张凉粉
Location: 人民中路一段32号、

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crazy Spicy and Cool

Zhang's Bean Jelly, from the always-hopping branch at Wen Shu Temple. Generous and well-balanced seasoning makes this bowl of liang fen superior to most in town.

Location: Wenshu Temple, across from the temple entrance.