Chongqing Dining -- What to Eat
|Bayi Food Street|
As one branch of Sichuan cuisine, Chongqing cuisine is noted for its distinctive spicy and pungent flavors. Different from Chengdu cuisine, Chongqing dishes are spicier and stronger in taste. Chili pepper, sesame, fermented black beans, scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, soy sauce and an array of flavorings are used in almost 40 different cooking methods. These methods include drying, salting, spicing, pickling, frying and smoking. Color, smell, flavor, shape, and nutrition are all carefully balanced in Chongqing dishes - no wonder people say that Chongqing food is not only attractive but nutritious.
Chongqing is the birth place of the hot pot in China. Once upon a time, it was a seasonal food designed to protect against the low temperatures and frigid winds of the winter. People would sit around a table, eat hot pot, and revel in the instant warmth that would flood their bodies. Hot pot has become more and more popular today, and it is widely enjoyed by people and regardless of seasons and regions.
Eating hot pot is a joyful experience. First, you need to choose the pot - spicy, pure or a combination of two - for the soup and dipping sauce. After the spiced soup boils with a hazy steam, fish, meat, bean curds and vegetables can be added. When the soup boils again, you can eat by dipping them in a little bowl of special sauce but be careful of the burning hot soup!
In Chongqing, hot pot restaurants can be found everywhere and many have become very popular among the local people. Xiao Tian E (Cygnet Hot-Pot Palace) and Su Da Jie, E Zhang Men are the restaurants most suited for mass consumption. The hot pot restaurants in the Chongqing 5-star Harbour Plaza also serve decent food in a cozy environment.
The most famous hot pot restaurant in Chongqing must be the Cygnet Hot-Pot Palace, which is a forerunner among the Chongqing catering service. As you enter the restaurant, you will be deeply attracted by the atmosphere. The decoration here is unique--stone walls and red poles, with winding corridors and brilliant eaves. Shows are put on every night--beautiful songs, graceful dances and some folk dramas all make the dinner special. Here, you can really taste the fervor of the spice and enjoy the flavor from a boiling hot-pot. The specialties are medicine meal hot pot and red and white composite hot pot. The location of Cygnet is on the 6th floor of New Chongqing Square, Yuzhong District.
Apart from the Hot Pot, you can try the authentic Sichuan dishes of Chongqing. The food at the Tao Ran Ju Flavor Restaurant reflects the spicy feature of Chuan cuisine and caters for most Cantonese. The restaurant serves in a cozy environment and the price is reasonable. Dishes are innovative and have received the national award every year. The signature dishes are: Spicy Winkles, Fish with Sour Chili, Crispy Toothpick Rabbit Meat, Steamed Sticky Rice Sparerib, Taoran Chili Chicken with Taro.
By the bank of Yangtze River, there is a famous restaurant named Wai Po Qiao (Grandma's Bridge) on Nan Bin Road. The hotpot is served on the first floor. And the second floor is only for Sichuan food. When having the Sichuan food, we would recommend that you choose a river view box where you can appreciate the spectacular night view of the Yangtze River and Chongqing City in the moonlight. The extraordinary dishes and hospitable service make it a wonderful place to hang out with friends and families.
When you walk on the streets in the city center, you will be attracted by some local snacks. Xiangshan Honey Cake is made of flour and honey balsam and it tastes very crisp and soft as well as sweet. In addition, Shancheng Small Glutinous Rice Balls are fairly sweet. Jiuyuan Steamed bun with stuffing is special in taste with salty stuffings of ham, winter bamboo shoots and sweet stuffings of walnut seed, honey Chinese date, and rosy sugar. Chicken Juice Fried Dumpling is made of chopped pig muscles and chicken juice seasoning, it contains many nutrients.