Visited an old friend who taught at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, we settle for a Sichuan meal near the campus. Chengdu Diners was usually packed with diners, but since we were early (and it was the university exams period), we were lucky to get a table easily.
Chengdu Diners is a chain restaurant with another branch at the touristy Wide and Narrow Alley. It serves very solid modern Sichuan cuisine at a really reasonable price.
鸳鸯水煮牛肉 Sichuan spicy boiled beef in two flavours
水煮牛肉 Sichuan spicy boiled beef is a Sichuan classic that is a must order at every meal. But usually it is available only in the red and spicy version.
But here they came in two different colours and therefore two different flavours. There’s the traditional red and spicy flavour with tons of chilli flakes and peppercorns. Spicy, complex and delicious, the beef was succulent and tender even though it was cooked in scalding oil. Then there’s the green version, with Sichuan peppercorn that is numbing with a fragrant scallion taste.
酸汤藕片+剥壳虾 Lotus roots in sour soup with spicy prawns
The best way to eat prawns is when someone else shell it for you. The 剥壳虾 “naked prawns” came without shell and totally soaked in the Sichuan mala spices. To neutralise the spiciness, there’s the numbing and sour lotus roots. So you burn your lips and then numb your tongue, very smart.
燕麦香芋卷 Taro rolls with oatmeal
Now, this is one dish that would lower the heat level quickly. But watch out the taro is hot.
The taro sticks are coated with oatmeal and deep fried. This is similar to the Teochew 反手芋头 sugar coated taro sticks. It can be considered a dessert, but we used this to lower the heat level at mid meal.
火爆腰花 Spicy pig kidney
I love kidney if they properly cleaned. This has been sliced and cooked in so much spices, it didn’t matter. The kidney was still crunchy and cooked perfectly.
桂花酿小番茄 Osmanthus cherry tomatoes
And finally something that would be considered an appetiser but it came last. Cherry tomatoes were soaked in a sweet sugary osmanthus syrup. Sweet with a bit of sour from the tomatoes, and the fragrance of osmanthus made this a nice rounded end to a fiery lunch.
A good eating place in the middle of a university district. This area is very close to The Bridge and in the evening, the area turned into a music bar district. Simple menu, it cannot compare to Tao Lin for authentic Sichuanese cuisine, but it still had several dishes that were still innovative and delicious. Service was spartan, so not a place to entertain, just a quick meal at a reasonable price.
Chengdu Diners 成都吃客 (九眼桥店)
Tel : +86 28-83372830
Date visited : Dec 2021