It’s been two weeks of cycling through China’s Qinghai province, and the food selection is slim. The majority of the province sits on the vast Tibetan Plateau, well above the tree line in conditions too harsh for significant cultivation. Yaks graze on well-trampled grass as far as the eye can see, with white yurts and colorful prayer flags dotting the hillsides and each summit pass. Continue »
Tag Results for 'Sichuan'
It’s not every day that you find a former national volleyball champ in the kitchen, but that’s just the case with Lu Dajie (aka “Big Sister” Lu) and her eponymous restaurants. After a successful career with the Chinese military’s volleyball team, followed by years working in restaurants for others, she left her hometown of Jianyang in Sichuan province with her brother, bringing her region’s famous cuisine with her. Now, in Shanghai, she is slowly building an empire. Continue »
Though giant pandas subsist almost exclusively on one single plant – bamboo – the same would not stand for the other, more human, natives of Sichuan province. Its capital city, Chengdu, was once famed as the start of the southern route of the Silk Road, along which exotic vegetables and spices were ferried inland from Burma, India and around Central Asia. Continue »
Good service in China is a relative term, and the longer you live here, the lower your expectations sink. The Michelin Guide allegedly won’t deign to cross over the Hong Kong border into China because they refuse to sully their white-tablecloth reputation by doling out stars to restaurants with subpar service. But the inspectors must have never entered a Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, or they might have to change their tune. Continue »
Editor’s note: This post is the first installment of “Best Bites of 2012,” a roundup of our top culinary experiences over the last year. Stay tuned throughout this week for “Best Bites” from all of the cities Culinary Backstreets covers.
Hai Di Lao Hot Pot Restaurant
We’re usually loathe to mention a restaurant that has locations all around China, but we were blown away by the dedication to customer service here – something that is sorely lacking in China. Too often, it’s a choice between authentic flavors or service. Not at Hai Di Lao. Continue »
There is literally nothing like a bowl of steaming má là tang (麻辣烫) when Shanghai’s wet, cold winter sets in. In English, it translates to “mouth-numbing spicy soup,” and if that weren’t indication enough that it will get your sinuses going, then the fire-engine-red broth certainly is. Continue »
One of China’s most ubiquitous culinary exports, Sichuan cuisine is famous for the 麻辣, or málà (mouth-numbing spice), that comes in the form of a peppercorn (花椒, huā jiāo). Prompting a tingling sensation that has been likened to licking a nine-volt battery, the lemony husk is tossed into dishes with dried chili peppers, and never more skillfully than at Yu Xin. Continue »