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Venue

Tongguoju
铜锅居
11am - 9pm
19-140 Wushouci St., Wuhou District
武侯祠区武侯祠大街19号附140号
028 8559 2722

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Mark Hiew (more chengdu)
Split-level restaurants, as opposed to multi-storied joints, are quite a rare sight in Chengdu. A split-level of the class and sleek angles of Tongguo Hotel Restaurant are even rarer.

Its unique lay-out, combined with excellent high-quality, reasonably priced Sichuanese cuisine, and a refined atmosphere make it ideal for a dressy evening or business meal.

The restaurant’s color combination immediately strikes guests with its dark hues. It is predominantly black and grey. Lovely grey stone walls and built-in tiled eaves are paired with shiny black furnishing and uniforms like a government official’s tinted-windowed sedan, but in restaurant form. If you can, sit upstairs in the higher level, where you can look down on lower level patrons like a court official. The staff was patient and playful, accommodating our vegetarian desires on many of the dishes, chosen from a lavish full-picture menu.

Tongguo’s medium-high price menu offers a selection of rarer dishes as well as a more subtle take on the standard ones. Vegetables range from 12-30RMB, meat dishes average 20-40RMB. Try the crunchy, double-stacked, pork-stuffed lotus root (28RMB), whose satisfying texture was impressively one-upped by the perfectly soft, if oily, “dry pot sliced potato” (28RMB), which sat over a low flame. The “kou wei” green beans (22RMB) offered a gentle savory relief, and the light vermicelli (16RMB) makes for a perfect foundation. The only disappointment was the teppenyaki-style tofu (20RMB), which we found to be surprisingly bland. The pieces lacked the soaked-in flavors of a good Japanese tofu and were too big to handle. Other specialties there include the beef ribs (68RMB), and turnip cake (22RMB).

Servings are quite large: expect to pay between 40-60RMB each. Cold beer is available.


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