|Fu Rong Ye Beer
|9:30am - 12pm|
|32 Hongshun Rd., Jiuyan Bridge(Shijie Chaoyang)|
|028 8062 6215|
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Mark Hiew (more chengdu)|
As we all know, wintertime in Chengdu is cold. And, without central heating, many outsiders find it bone-chillingly so.
That’s why you’ll find that when it’s freezing outside, locals love to gather around large steaming pots of gut-warming heartiness. But hotpot’s not the only potted cuisine to choose from: Fu Rong Ye, located close to the Shangri La Hotel and Jiuyan Bridge, offers a lamb bone soup that’ll keep you toasty without burning a huajiao-shaped hole through your intestines.
When my friend instructed me to “look for the restaurant with two goat carcasses hanging outside the front,” I knew I was in for an interesting meal, and Fu Rong Ye proved to be most satisfying. The restaurant is reasonably pleasant, with a clean layout that makes use of wooden shutters, drapes and lampshades. It can easily support larger parties. Though the hot pot selection is made the traditional way, by checking off items from a no-picture, Chinese-only paper, there’s also a standard menu of moderately-priced jiachang dishes (15-25RMB).
The broth, while lamb bone soup at heart, is flavored with a vegetable and fish stock. The small mini-soup bowls each diner dips their items into includes a cube of extraordinarily salty, stinky, chou tofu. The tofu provides a savory zest to your meal when mixed into the soup, but unless you’re shopping for a nasty surprise, do not attempt to eat the tofu alone! Consider it the Chinese version of “Vegemite” (a classic Australian spread), but much more offensive to your olfactory senses.
A fresh collection of beef, lamb, assorted other meats, and vegetables are available, as with regular hotpot. Particularly tasty are the cold dish peanuts, which are served spiced and uncooked. Those used to the sensory overload of hotpot may find the broth a little underwhelming, in which case there are plenty of spices which one can add. Cold beer and a lovely paojiu are available, the latter of which makes for a great aperitif.
For those shivering away in their unheated apartments, but not looking for yet another hotpot evening, take a trip to Fu Rong Ye and experience a more subtle, yet equally warming, Sichuan pot. Expect to pay around 30-50RMB each.