China > Sichuan > Chengdu
22-24 Jan 2010
The famous Sichuan cuisine, ahhh … we decided to look for it ourselves, in downtown Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province in China. The only requirement was, it had to be halal. We knew from experience, halal eateries could be found around the Chinese city centres, normally ‘hidden’ along sidestreets or backroads.
Chengdu city has Tianfu Square marking its centre and there are many leafy minor roads surrounding it, lined with shops and apartment blocks. We explore a couple, and soon hit paydirt!
It’s Jinjiaba Street, just behind the famous Tianfu Square (where the huge Chairman Mao is), if anybody’s coming.
The discovery of a halal butcher starts it all.
I interrupt a couple of tough Uighur-looking guys who are busy hacking the carcass inside the shop, and with sign language, I find out there’s a halal eatery somewhere along the road.
Across the road, more goodies, but not the halal kind, unfortunately. What’s this, butcher street?
And just 50m away, we find our query. The tell-tale green signage with the ‘Bismilla…’ thingy.
It’s indeed lunchtime and the place is almost packed as we find ourselves a nice spot. It’s great to be indoor, away from the freezing winter cold. Service is very prompt and in no time the vegies appear.
I admire the khat behind me, typically Chinese style.
Soon the rest of the goodies arrive. We order by simply pointing at pictures of them in the menu. We know no Mandarin and they know no English, but hey, that’s what pictures are for.
Very tender beef in tomatoes (harmless), and chicken with chilli and spices (awesome!), washed down with local tea … all gone in minutes. Damage ¥59.
A couple of days later, we come again to sample more dishes. We are getting a tad ambitious: very tender beef stir-fried in chillis, garlics, spices and other hot stuff, plus cold salad-like veggies with strips of intestines. Very tasty stuff, but a bit too hot for us! All for ¥72.
There you go, two Sichuan lunches and we have had enough. The two dishes on the second day, while very good, are too spicy and oily for us. The place is well-patronised during lunchtime, so I suppose it’s a popular spot.
In case anybody’s keen on this halal Sichuan restaurant in central Chengdu, here’s the card (please decipher yourselves). Print it out and show it to the cab driver.
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