Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Just north of the Wangfujing Mall is Hua Xing Zheng Street. Very few areas in Chengdu have this much food history crammed into this small of a space. Long Chao Shou and Pan Sun Shi are right beside each other, and the Yue Lai Teahouse is just beside the opera. With Hua Xing Tomato Egg Noodle now at a different location, the senior restaurant on the street is now Yu Tian. We visited the other day to find this iconic fly restaurant, one of the few that are actually destination eateries, still going strong and full of customers. Most of the customers were digging into bowls of shao cai, scooped up from the big pots in the front of the restaurant.
There is a check off menu in Chinese only which features classics like kung pao chicken (宫保鸡丁) and a very good mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐). You might be sitting on a folding chair in an alley, but the lotus-leaf wrapped steamed pork belly (荷叶蒸肉) tastes like a million dollars. It is too rich for some, but is tender and fantastic. Pork belly in any incarnation seems to be a good bet here, for example the guo kui hui guo rou (锅魁回锅肉) was fantastic, with chewy pieces of fried bread soaking up the pungent flavors of the preserved beans and the juices from the pork strips. The red-cooked pork (红烧肉) should not be missed either. Their pickles (泡菜) are also famous, but we didn't get to try them. We didn't love the stir fried dishes as much, and would probably choose vegetables from the cold mixed trays out front or from the shao cai pots out front next time. With all the development in the area, we hope this place stays around. Expect to pay 15 to 20 yuan per person.