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Xiao Jing Private Kitchen
902, 11-2, 2 Rover Family, 8 South Gaoshengqiao St.

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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
No one knows how many private kitchens there are in Chengdu – at least dozens, possibly hundreds. Private kitchens usually have set menus, are strictly reservation only, and grow their clientèle selectively via word of mouth. We've heard that the best local food in Chengdu is to be had in these private kitchens, but without knowing someone and being introduced we have no way of verifying this. We usually like to go to places anyone can get into, but we understand the appeal of discretion – private kitchens are good places for trysts or for the kind of business meeting where you don't want to start any rumours about that merger you are negotiating.

We saw a review of the Xiao Jing private kitchen on a travel website and booked their least expensive set menu at 150RMB per head. When we walked in the cold dishes were already on the table – lotus root stuffed with sticky rice, some delicate sweet and sour cucumbers seasoned with hot and Sichuan peppers, and some deep fried small fish with spicy pepper. Their signature dish was a fish that was steamed and served in an elaborate presentation garnished with hot peppers. The twice cooked pork with garlic stems was classic and very good, the steamed pumpkin was tender and gorgeous, and the rib soup with mung beans was a suitable ending. Some dishes we enjoyed less. We would ask them to skip the shrimp dish next time, and specifically request fresh rice.

The wine rack is out in the open, so we recommend ordering ahead so it could be served at the correct temperature. It does hold a few interesting and affordable bottles. As for the private kitchen experience, we like that you can order ahead and be as specific as you want about what you would like to eat and not eat. We like how the host knocks on the door before bringing in each dish. At Xiao Jing the cost per head for food alone will run RMB150-300 per person. You could negotiate down from there for larger parties; they can accommodate up to 25. Afternoon tea is 20-30RMB per person.

Xiao Jing Private Kitchen
Xiao Jing Private Kitchen Xiao Jing Private Kitchen Xiao Jing Private Kitchen