Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
This strip of Tong Xin Road, just north of Xi Da Street, is an unlikely place for a happening new restaurant but we arrived shortly after noon on a Tuesday to find a line-up. We took a number and waited outside with sunflower seeds and tea while chatting with the others in line and checking out their menu, which mainly features spicy chicken dishes. There are two kinds of chicken foot that can be ordered individually or on a big plate, one fried and one stewed. They also have cold sliced chicken and chicken entrails tossed in a spicy sauce, a riff on local bang bang chicken, and stewed chicken soup. They also make the scrambled eggs cooked with smooth black stones, a dish we’ve run into in some of the newer trendy-rustic restaurants. The curious might want to try it here since the dish is a mere 12RMB. Basic side dishes like soups and vegetables and a stew served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread round out the menu.
When our number was called we were escorted into a small dining room (there is also an upstairs level) full of customers. There was also a canary trying hard to out-sing the pop radio soundtrack, so we were glad we hadn’t brought our deaf granny. Between the fried and the stewed chicken feet, both tingling spicy, the fried had a slight edge. They were served with a plastic glove and were chewy and delicious. We asked for a small order of boneless tossed spicy chicken and an order of ginkgo chicken soup. The soup was pure and concentrated without even a hint of salt (we made use of the shaker on the table) and was a welcome pause between all the other pungent, colourful, and crunchy dishes. The modest portions of vegetables complemented the chicken nicely and the rice was bottomless. Tea and plum juice were self serve. This place has the right combination of good simple food at the right prices; two could have lunch for just north of RMB50. They said they are planning to open up another branch or two in town but we were unable to confirm locations. The place closes around 9pm but a server said they often run out of food by 7:30.