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Shu Zui Mei
10am - 10:30pm
3/F, Carrefour Shopping Centre, Hongpailou
028 8555 2308, 10am - 10:

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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
The first thing to hit the table at Shu Zui Mei is a little plate of gratis popcorn, fresh from their popcorn machine and drizzled with syrup. It's a great amusement and filled us with anticipation as we scanned the menu, which features several dry pot (干锅) dishes as well as grilled fish, and snacks, and the usual suspects for Sichuanese homestyle.

The first thing that caught our eye on the menu was the dry pot rabbit (干锅兔). The server, racially profiling our tastebuds, asked if we wanted mild spice (微辣), but we opted for medium (中辣). Serious chili heads would opt for extra spicy (特辣).We had been told their twice cooked pork (回锅肉) was fantastic. You can order the twice cooked pork with the usual garlic stem (蒜苗) preparation, but our favourite is potato (土豆回锅). Tonight, since we were also planning to get dry pot, we opted for green pepper (青椒回锅). We also asked for shredded cabbage with bean threads (连白粉丝).

Our dishes arrived mere milliseconds after being ordered. The dry pot rabbit came in a large basket piled high with fragrant, chewy chunks of spicy rabbit and potato, rice cake, vegetables, and other goodies. The twice cooked pork was done up on the crisp side, perfectly seasoned with nice translucent skin and fat. The cabbage and bean threads came generously seasoned with soy sauce, and when we told the server it was too salty she received the comment graciously. Their free tea was fine, but we also ordered peanut milk (豆奶) to tame the heat of the dry pot.

The pamphlet that we picked up outside was offering an 11.8% discount for their opening period, and helpfully noted that the cost is about 40RMB per person. Dry pot dishes are about double the cost of their homestyle offerings, but since the pots hold much bigger servings the cost per head is nearly the same. With dry pot dishes, you can also send the dregs back to be cooked with a few more vegetables if you are still feeling hungry. Shu Zui Mei has only been open a few months, but is obviously working hard to attract and impress customers. We trust they’ll keep it up.

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