Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
We were over in the busy Dashi West Road on a Saturday in the pouring rain when, in need of sustenance, we stopped in at one of the squid noodle shops that have been popping up in town. Even with the downpour outside we were lucky to snag the last free table, which speaks to the popularity of this place. The main draw on the menu was squid noodles (鱿鱼面). They also had many of the usual suspects that show up on local menus like mushroom noodles (香菌面), beef noodles (牛肉面), stewed chicken noodles (炖鸡面), and a spicy meat sauce noodles (辣酱面). Their toppings were also available over the local wonton-style dumplings, chao shou (抄手).
Noodle shops often offer vegetables on the side (even if it doesn't appear on the menu) for a yuan or two, so we ordered their two yuan serving. In many places the side of veg turns out to be some old leaves of lettuce that have been dunked in the noodle water for a few seconds, but this place had cabbage that had been cooked soft in real soup. It was worth ordering for its own sake rather than as a side. The mushroom noodles came with a generous serving of mushrooms in dark looking soup. The chao shou we thought could have had a little more stuffing, but they came in a fantastic soup and got slurped up pretty quickly. We loved the chewy pieces of squid on top. We were chilled through from biking in the rain and the steaming bowls of noodles and dumplings hit the spot. The one liang servings are around 5RMB each and the larger sizes are closer to 10. It's a little on the high side for noodle shops in Chengdu, but still affordable, even if your squid has been fried lately.