|Zhulouxiang Maocai Family
|11:30am - 10:30pm|
|2, 4 North Guojiaqiao St.|
|028 8886 3535|
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|Comments (Add Comment)|
Pete Sweeney (more chengdu)|
When I first saw the sign, I assumed “Mao” food referred to some ethnic group. Well, if people who love to eat things stewed up in big brothy bowls of garlic and pepper could be said to comprise an ethnic group, I’d like to think I’m part Mao. Otherwise, it’s just a particular kind of Sichuan dish. If you’re sick of hot pot, on a budget, and you crave pepper, Mao food is the way to go…even if you’re not entirely sure what Mao food is.
The best place to get Mao cai is just west of Sichuan University’s south gate, where there’s a whole row of little shacks serving nothing but the aforementioned. I, however, recommend Bamboo Basket, which is run by a gaggle of cackling women who fry up some of the spiciest Mao (whatever that is) on the block. It’s so hot it makes hair grow out of my ears (literally), prompting me to bang on the table and yell for a bit before I blow my nose, and start tanking beers.
There’s no English spoken and no English menu, but the menu only has but five items on it, so you can just point. I recommend everything, but you should know what you’re eating. While they do have a “vegetarian” bowl, (quan su 全素, 6RMB), which, unfortunately, includes animal products in the broth as well as gelled blood. So it’s not really vegetarian but as close as you’re going to get. The rest is lotus root, onion, pressed rice (which looks like lard but isn’t), potatoes, greens, noodles and um, lots of garlic and pepper. The “half warm” (ban nuan半暖 9RMB) bowl adds pork to the equation. You can wander further down the menu and get intestine and beef and other such carnivorous delights, or you can just stagger over to the open kitchen and point at what you want.
The ambiance at Bamboo Basket is great. It’s more or less outside, patio dining although they also have rooftop seating available as well, and sometimes they put tables out on the median by the bike lane. It’s a good place to eat alone, or a cute date spot, provided your date is gastronomically adventurous. Bamboo Basket is perfect for anyone who just wants to sit and watch the street life, bang on the table, drink beer and yell. Woo!!