Sichuan cuisine is famous for its piquancy, but its flavor overall is complex as well as hot. Typical dishes include: Ma Po Tofu (Bean curd with chili oil) which is one of the most influential flavors of Sichuan cuisine, served in every Sichuan restaurant. Chen Ma Po’s Bean Curd Restaurant on West Yulong Street serves the most delicious local Ma Po Tofu.
Kung Pao Chicken is a specialty of Sichuan cuisine that includes diced chicken, hot pepper and peanuts. Fish Flavored Shredded Pork is a mouthwatering Sichuan dish that includes shredded pork, agarics, bamboo shoot, carrot, fish flavor sans actual fish.
Twice Cooked Spicy Pork Slices are tasty pork cuts fried to crispy perfection without greasiness.
When people think of Chengdu, they immediately think of hotpot. Introduced from Chongqing, the Chengdu hotpot has its own style ranging from simple spicy to moderate, three or four kinds of spices, as well as fish head hotpot, medical herbs hotpot, and more. Following are notable hotpot spots:
Huangcheng Laoma is an old-fashioned hot pot restaurant, regarded as supreme among hotpot restaurants in the city. A worthy representative of Sichuan culture and diet, Huangcheng Laoma offers hotpot, plus stunning entertainment – a Changing Face opera performance and shadow play.
Shizilou: another old-fashioned hotpot restaurant which offers hotpots with half spicy and half light soup. It has several branches in Chengdu.
Tanyutou: Its delicious specialty, fish head, differs from that of others; has branches all over the country.
Hidden in street corners, snack bars offer savory flavors not to be missed. The most renowned snacks include:
Fu Qi Fei Pian (Braised Cow Lungs): Actually beef heart and tongue take the place of lungs. This tasty dish is made with specific condiments using a delicate process.
Chuan Chuan Xiang: also called Ma La Tang, includes vegetables, sausages, shrimps and anything edible that can be threaded onto a bamboo stick and cooked in the hot pot.
Lai Tang Yuan (Lai’s Glutinous Rice Ball): a nutritious glutinous rice ball, named after the maker, Lai, is soft and sweet.
Long Chao Shou (Long Wonton): thinned-skin with tender stuffing, the savory snack is popular among locals and tourists.