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Venue

Jing Man Lou
京满楼
11am - 9:30pm
298, Hongjixin Rd., Jingjiang District
锦江区宏济新路298号
028 8455 3799

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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
Jing Man Lou has a large mural along one wall depicting a scene from old Beijing. Hats with ponytails attached are worn by the servers, and opera music plays in the background, thankfully just loud enough to give the space some atmosphere. After the famous roast duck, our second favourite food from the country's capital is zha jiang mian; thick noodles covered with various accompaniments and then mixed with a 'fried' sauce. Northern style zha jiang mian is not to be confused with the spicy scrap sauce noodles (za jiang mian) that are sold on every block in Chengdu.

We went over to Jing Man Lou to try their specialty, and got a large bowl of noodles big enough for two covered with cooked beans, bean sprouts, and shredded vegetables. We missed the potato and onion, but these noodles still had a generous topping to noodle ratio. We stirred in the unctuous dark sauce, which covered the noodles most satisfactorily, and slurped up the mixture, glad we weren't wearing white clothes. The sauce here may not be as rich and oily as the real Beijing deal, but we still thought the noodles were great.

We also found the menu's selection lighter and more vegetable oriented than one usually sees on local menus. We were tempted by the sweet and sour pork (糖醋里脊) and almost ordered the shao chao rou (小炒肉), which often comes with an incendiary level of spicy spice in local Chengdu restaurants, but is made with the milder green peppers here. Another dish worthy of consideration is the classic northern di san xian (地三鲜) mix of potato, green pepper, and eggplant. We ended up asking for the mu shu pork (木须肉). It had the requisite egg, cucumber, lily bud, with tender pieces of pork. Expect to pay around 20RMB/person to try the noodles and a dish or two.

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