If you are a foodie, if you are crazy about eating, Chengdu is the absolute best place for you. As one of the four major Chinese cuisines, Sichuan cuisine is famous for its numerous varieties of delicacies and strong flavor, but best known for being spicy-hot and containing numbing spices.
For many Foreigners, Maopo Tofu has become a term which is as familiar as nihao or xiexie. Visitors should also take the chance to taste the Long Chaoshou, a kind of wonton, and Zhong Shuijiao, a kind of dumpling. There is also an endless variety of noodles. Yuntun noodles, Zhazha noodles and Dandan noodles, to name a few, are all delicious and extremely different from one another. Another famous noodle dish is in Huang Longxi, an ancient town to the south of Chengdu. It is called one noodle, because, literally, one long noodle fills up your entire bowl. The clever Sichuan people have also made many innovations to their daily foods, and created the splendid Sichuan food culture, which I could not find the space to praise enough if I wrote 10 pages.
When Sichuan cuisine is mentioned, we cannot help but think immediately of hot pot. However, for some people, hot pot may be too spicy or oily to eat. Apart form the two-flavor hot pot, which meets the requirements of both the people who love spicy and bland, the people of Sichuan have produced another kind of special, tasty and healthy porridge. I was totally amazed at this brilliant creation when I first ate it. The waiter will present you with a large pot of water with rice, wolfberry and other condiments in it. Then you order all the vegetables or meat you want, like in an ordinary hot pot restaurant. According to the instructions of my friends, we boiled what we had selected in the uncooked porridge and began to feast. At the end of the feast, don’t rush out of your chair, because the best part is still left in the pot: the cooked porridge with all the flavor of all the dishes you have eaten. Then prepare to head home with the memory of the savory and tender porridge still lingering on your palate.
In addition to the foods mentioned above, there are countless other small restaurants which serve wonderful dishes and hide themselves in narrow alleys. Taking time to explore these places is great fun. One of my friends called me one day to invite me to go eat with her in an extremely famous “nameless” restaurant. She told me that she had been hearing rumors about this restaurant for many months, but had never found a chance to try it herself since it was always completely packed. We queued for about an hour and finally tasted the well-known Maocai，a special variant of hotpot. There is a common joke between us Sichuanese: if you don’t know where to eat, go to the restaurant with the longest line outside.
I could talk forever about food in Chengdu. However, seeing is not believing, you have to try it yourselves, so come and have a bite of Chengdu.