Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Black Horse is a Xinjiang-style restaurant replacing the tired old Cantonese place just off of Ruiming Plaza. Open a few months now, the restaurant is nicely decorated inside and is run by ethnic Kazakhs. We were warmly greeted and seated and handed a menu of typical Xinjiang-style dishes. We looked in vain for our favourite Xinjiang cold vegetable dish, tiger vegetables (老虎菜) on the menu, and settled for an order of ‘cool skin’ (凉皮) and mixed shredded vegetables (拌三丝), which came nicely prepared and presented on attractive tableware. The flavours were pretty typical Sichuan. A few minutes later we saw the tiger vegetable dish going over to a different table, so will try to ask for it by name next time.
We decided to go for the classic Da Pan Ji, or big plate chicken. Tender chunks of chicken on the bone and other poultry parts (we found a comb) were stewed with potatoes and vegetables in an aromatic, rich sauce. Fresh, wide, hand-pulled noodles were added after we had eaten and were so good in the sauce that we asked for another order. We also got an order of shredded potatoes and pickled vegetables (酸菜土豆丝). The vegetables turned out to be hot peppers, so it was spicier than expected, but the knife and wok work in this rather basic dish made it one of the better shredded potato dishes we’ve enjoyed in Chengdu. The hot weather and spicy food called for beer, so we got an 18RMB bottle of Sinkiang. The tables next to us were emptying bottles of Budweiser and Qingdao and eating skewers of barbecue.
The Kazakh milk tea and naan bread was sold out by the time we ordered, and they also had some interesting looking pastries in the display case but wouldn’t serve them (not fresh, not good). We think there may be a few culinary treasures here worth seeking out. The servers were quite good at the start but once the place started filling up they were a bit hard to flag down. Our bill for four came to just under 150RMB. The bikes we parked in the alley got backed into, so careful where you park.