Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Near the busy Jiulidi bus station we turned down a small food street, the kind we love to explore, with several small restaurants serving up local noodles, dumplings, stir-fried dishes, hand-pulled noodles, soft tofu, and the like. Lined up alongside the more familiar choices was one place advertising a style of food we hadn't run into before – Hunan steamed dishes. As we approached, the server lifted the cover off a large steam table and showed us the wares. We are not experts on Hunan food, but most of the dishes seemed similar to what you would find on a local home-style menu.
A dish of green beans and eggplant from the vegetable selection was one of our favourite eggplant dishes we've tried in a while, and was a popular choice among other customers. A bowl of pork and green peppers was quite spicy, as the server had warned, but we liked it a lot anyway. We also tried a beef and carrot dish and some very nicely done green beans with red pepper. We particularly like how the vegetables here are fresh, carefully cooked, and well seasoned.
While we were in the dining room, several customers came to get take-out, and the stack of containers by the door was a sign that the take-out side of things is big. The eat-in customers, many of whom seemed to be regulars, helped themselves to steamed rice and soup. The server said the selection of dishes often changes and the next time we stopped by, on a cooler day, there were bacon and sausage, heavily seasoned with red pepper. We appreciate that these dishes are faster, tastier, and healthier than most so-called convenience food. All meat dishes are ten yuan and veg dishes are six.