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[ From: Fiona Zhou | Published: 2007-07-30 Views: 1927 | Booked times: 55 ]

It is said that spicy foods burn fat, and improve metabolism. According to the Chinese, such food also smoothes your skin. If field observation is of any value as evidence, girls from the Sichuan province all have good skins. Good skin, and spicy food. Enough to decide me to have a Sichuan bite at QiaoJiangNan, a large joint situated in Changyangmen street.

Enter the front door, you are in a lounge decorated with a little pool of water over which extends a bamboo bridge. The light is warm, appropriate for a romantic get-together.

The bar opens up in front of you, with three lounge corners to choose from:  sofas; stone stools, and private rooms. Tables are decorated with flowers and silverware.

The restaurant floor is spread over a thousand square meters, and can hold up to 200 customers.

I found the service here to be of professional quality: Everything (dishware, napkin, glasses, tea) is readily at your disposal without having to ask.
Waitresses show up quickly when you call them. The staff is welcoming, and smiles to patrons. And the waiting time is very limited, even during busy hours.

There was no familiar dish on the menu. Most of the items are the chef¡¯s specials.

I ordered a ¡°Twice cooked fish¡± (RMB 138). The fish is served sliced into pieces. From the name of the dish, I reckon the fish is boiled, then fried. My fish was soft and smooth inside, tasty and a little harder outside. Not every chef cooks such delicious fish. 

My friend ordered a dish called hanging pork (RMB 28). The special shape of this dish attracts lots of orders. According to our waitress, the idea comes from Sichuan culture. As the climat in the Sichuan province is very humid, clothes do not dry easily when washed. People stick a bamboo branch between 2 sticks, and hang their clothes on the bamboo.

In this dish, the pork meat is hung on a stainless steel chopstick between two sticks made of pumpkin.

Accompanied with a small plate of sauce, this dish has a very satisfying taste.

Lastly, we ordered Sichuan hand sliced chicken (RMB 26). I¡¯m not sure everybody can like the taste. It is a mix of spicy, sweet, salty and some other strange and aromas I could not fathom out. Personally, I liked the taste, and deem the dish worth a try. It is sliced by human hand, instead of a knife. The texture is soft.

Other dishes on the menu included mandarin fish (salty and spicy), paper packed crab (a little bit spicy), stone cooked tohua (soft and smooth texture, RMB 58), red stone boiled beef (spicy), and Sichuan big crab (spicy).

I left the restaurant favorably impressed. I would recommend it to anybody who is not afraid to try new flavors, and wants the thrill of the spicy Sichuan cuisine.

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