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Huantian Zhai Guizhou Restaurant

Huantian Zhai is a restaurant in west Chengdu, just inside the second ring road, serving a variety of excellent Guizhou food for anybody looking to have a different sort of Chinese cuisine.

On first glance the interior looks like a hot pot place, but the burners at each table are there for an assortment of soup dishes instead. We did not try any of those because it was far too hot for sitting next to a fire, but the restaurant offers a variety of other things too. Ordering is done on a tablet computer which has pictures of the dishes, so no Chinese skills are required. The prices I would put on the medium-high end for Chinese food; we spent about 60 RMB each for what turned out to be a ridiculous amount of food. It’s not a Lanzhou noodle joint but reasonable.

And the food? I had no idea what to expect from Guizhou cuisine. They served actual tea instead of the usual barley water, which I greatly enjoyed. We ordered fried shredded mushroom, a peanut and pepper thing, cold beef with cilantro (a very generous portion of beef, too), an eggplant and tomato dish that tasted a lot like a Chinese baba ghannouj, and something we didn’t recognize that translated to fried whistle. It turned out to actually be pork and was fantastic.

The commonality of Guizhou food is that it is spicy. Everything we ordered was way hotter than any Sichuan dish I have ever tried. Straight up fire, without the numbing of flower pepper. As a fan of spicy food I enjoyed it immensely, but if you don’t like spice you may want to steer clear of this place. We ended up going again the next day and had another great meal.

To get to Huan Tian Zhai, make your way to Da Shi Xi Lu, which is south of the little river behind the Sichuan Museum/Dufu’s Cottage area. If coming from the second ring road (there is a station close by, just south of the suspension bridge) head east along Da Shi Xi Lu until you get to Shuangyuan Jie. Head down that and look along the west side of the road, it’s just a couple doors down from the intersection. Bus 77 stops nearby.

Details

Address in Chinese: 成都青羊区双元街6号

Address in English: Chengdu Qingyangqu Shuangyuan Jie 6

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