December 5, 2019

Days of numbing tongue: Sichuan feast

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Our day started at Kuanzhai Xiangzi Alleys (宽窄巷子), yet another historic touristy area of Chengdu.  After strolling around, exploring and learning a little something about the history of the area - including yet another Starbucks located in an old building - we went in search of something very local to eat...

Wumei Zhuji Intestine Noodles (五妹朱记肥肠粉) sells, you guessed it... bowls of noodles with pig intestines.  The main draw is this huge bowl of pig offal, with a separate bowl of pig intestines which have already been chopped up.

The sweet potato noodles (紅薯粉) are cooked separately, and then stock is ladled into the bowl.  One has a choice of spicy (紅味) or not (白味).  I got the plain noodles with pig intestines (白味肥腸粉), which also came with bean sprouts.  Pretty good and satisfying.

Guokui (鍋魁) - these round and crusty pancakes are a popular street snack, and were made by an older gentleman in the shop.  This one came with some beef, I believe... Really nice.

I was, unfortunately, overruled when it came to choosing the venue for dinner.  We ended up at Xue Tao, In the Courtyard (薛涛,院子里).  The place was nice enough, and away from the middle of town.  I was pretty hopeful about what would be on the menu.

Pepper bamboo shoot tip (椒麻笋尖)

Sesame sauce chicken tail (麻酱凤尾) - well, there's no chicken here... just 油麥菜 lettuce hearts with sesame sauce.

Xue Tao chicken slices (薛涛鸡片) - drenched in chili oil.

Red oil peanut germ (红油花生芽)

 Emei eel (峨眉鳝丝)

Taste on the tip of the tongue (舌间上的味道) - this dish of sliced beef tongue was the best tonight.  Really tender, and the green peppercorns were awesome.  With enoki mushrooms, wood ear, and other stuff.

This plate of Sichuan-style preserved meats (川味臘肉) was pretty decent.

Sauerkraut white flavor rock carp (酸菜白味岩鲤巴)

Patchouli red yarn (藿香红沙)

Lion heads of state banquet (国宴狮子头) - not what I expected, coming from someone who grew up eating Shanghainese-style "lion head" meat balls

Baby Chinese cabbage (娃娃菜)

Spice spirit (麻辣诱惑) - duck's blood, luncheon meat, pig's artery, goat's intestines...etc. all thrown into this bowl of mala broth.


Spicy catfish (香辣石板条) - featuring the largefin longbarbel catfish (大鰭鱯) from local waters.

Fresh pepper rabbit ( 鲜椒兔) - they do love eating rabbits here...

Shredded pork in spicy garlic sauce (鱼香肉丝)

We brought our own wines, but this crowd was surprisingly weak tonight...

1990 Bachelet-Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Rouge - OK la... Kinda light and flat, but there is some fragrance in the nose.

2000 Lagrange - a little better than the bottle yesterday, but not much.

2005 Lagrange - more fragrant, more woodsy and minty notes.

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