Food and Travel (UK)
WHERE TO EAT
Prices are for a typical meal for two people with tea or soft drinks, unless otherwise stated
Bashu Dazhaimen Hot Pot A memorable example of Chengdu-style hotpot: fresh, fragrant, liquid fire, in this extremely busy restaurant (expect to queue). The English menu helps diners negotiate the dizzying array of ingredients, from bamboo shoot to bullfrog, although crispy fried pork is excellent. Hot pot for two with tea or soft drinks from £21.
91 Beidajie (500m east of Wenshuyuan Monastery)
The Bridge Chef André Chiang arrived in Chengdu in 2018 with
Michelin stars and an Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant under his belt, and quickly established this stylish dining room on historic Anshun Bridge over the Jinjiang river; the menu might best be navigated via the ‘Four Chapters’ set on a first visit, otherwise there are small eats, cold and hot dishes (18 of each) to choose from. Tasting menu for two with wine from £130. 66 Binjiang East Road, 00 86 28 8444 3888, thebridge.com.cn Chen Mapo Doufu One dish defines this boisterous restaurant: mapo doufu, made following the same recipe (and using ingredients from the same suppliers) for 150 years. The service is haphazard, perhaps, and some other dishes ordinary, but the signature is world class.
From £5. 29 Wenshuyuan Street
Dongzikou Zhanglao’er Liangfen Most come for a saucer of tian shui mian, sweet-water noodles, sliced from a mung-bean jelly; other options include huang liangfen, ‘yellow noodles’ cut into long, thick triangles, and dandan mian with beef. Eat in or take it to go on the street. From £3. 39 Wenshuyuan Street
Gongting Pastry Shop and Wenshuyuan Bakery Nearby bakeries easily spotted by the queues: Gongting has a picture menu of its several dozen varieties of cakes and cookies (each has a reference number, or simply ask for the jiaoyan salt-and-huajiao cookies). Wenshuyuan’s ‘tea sweets’ include xuehuasu, ‘snow flower’ (a crumbly pastry with pork floss and spring onion), or xianhuabing (‘fresh flower cake’), a rose-fragrance pastry. From 50p for a cake or cookie at either place. Gongting Pastry Shop, 9 Jiangyanggongsuo Street. Wenshuyuan Bakery, 17 Toufu Street
Mi Xun Teahouse In a charming courtyard setting, Mi Xun boasts 44 Chinese teas – alongside Sichuan classics Hangzhou Dragon Well and 10-year-old ‘ripe’ Pu’er, plus ‘tea sweets’ including pineapple cake – and a menu of plant-based and vegan adaptations of regional classics (think kung pao button mushrooms, spinach noodles in dandan sauce). From £35. The Temple House, 81 Biteshi Street,
00 86 28 6297 4193, thehousecollective.com
Yan Ting Precision and clarity are the hallmarks of Chef Mike Li’s cooking at The St Regis’ Yan Ting; the menu reaches from cuisine mainstays such as dandan mian and the inocuous-sounding but searing shuizhuyu ‘water-poached fish’ to contemporary fusion green huajiao-poached foie gras and mala-baked black cod. À la carte for two including wine from £70. The St Regis Chengdu, 88 Taisheng Road
South, 00 86 28 6287 6666, marriott.co.uk
Yongju Teahouse This lakeside teahouse in the People’s Park presents a selection of teas including Sichuan mainstays such as meng ding honey dew and emei jasmine. Do the local thing and bring cookies from Gongting Pastry Shop (see above), perhaps, or some guaiwei dry-roasted peanuts to munch while sipping. Pay first and the tea will be brought out. Tea for two, from £3. People’s (Renmin) Park, 12 Shaocheng Road