Chongqing Grandmother's F&B Service
When coming to Chongqing, one must get the thing that this place is renowned for: spicy hot pot. We heard about this place (7th floor of the da du hui Metropolitan Plaza in Jiefanbei, 023-63835988), whose Chinese name roughly translates to Grandma's Bridge or something. We were caught off-guard by how popular this place was: we arrived at an early 5 PM, only to find that they were fully booked for the entire evening (wow!).
Fortunately, they had a sister shop across the way selling noodles and such, so we hopped on over there as an fallback. We grabbed a number of items, including some noodles similar to what we had last night on the streets, which turned out just as good. And there wasn't that much more of a premium for sitting in a sheltered classier place...these bowls were just RMB 6 (US$0.75) instead of RMB 4 (US$0.50).
The standouts that we got here though were the chive pancakes, which were some of the greasiest things I'd ever seen, but of course they also tasted delightful and were still very crispy. The saliva chicken was another item that really kicked in with the tongue-numbing peppercorns...and yes, it did make you salivate. The shredded cucumber underneath as well as the milder sesame oil cucumber wedges also provided a nice refreshing contrast.
The only drawback with these things was of course the very heavy layers of oil in the food. Granted, it made it taste good, but even this butter-fanatic found it to be a bit too excessive. Add in all of the sodium in these things too, and your cardiologist will have a field day. Well, we're only here for a couple days, so hopefully we'll be more successful at getting a table at the hot pot side tomorrow.