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Don’t be shy, try some spicy stuff
By Li Anlan

Jiao Xiu (椒羞), which translates as “pepper shy,” is a small eatery that isn’t very shy where chili pepper is concerned.

Located in a small lane off Zhu’anbang Road E., it serves classic Sichuan meals and snacks in the Chengdu style.


Jiao Xiu’s one-page menu includes wontons in spicy chili oil, hot pot vermicelli, double chili pepper noodles and glutinous rice cakes with brown sugar syrup. For the more adventurous, there are also pork feet soup and even pig brains in hot sauce.

A star dish is ranmian from the Yibin region of Sichuan Province. The dish translates literally as “burning noodles.” It can be ordered with or without minced pork, priced at 18 yuan (US$2.9) for the vegetarian version and 20 yuan with meat. The noodles are dried after being boiled, then tossed with sesame oil, herbs, spices, crushed nuts, peppers, scallions and pickled bean sprouts.

Despite the name and the ingredients, it’s not as spicy as you might imagine. The peppery flavor blends well into the tastes of the other ingredients. The texture adds to the delight.

For lunch, Jiao Xiu serves maocai, which is basically a hot pot in a bowl with various vegetables in a meat broth. For dinner, it offers the classic chuanchuan, with skewers of meat and vegetables cooked in a more oily, spicy broth.

The peppers and hot broth Jiao Xiu uses have a rather natural spiciness into it and not the kind made artificially.

For dessert, there is cool bingfen made with a plant called the “apple of Peru.” It is a jelly-like dessert in a sweet syrup, sprinkled with toppings like dried grapes and hawthorn chips. The dish is popular because it offsets the spiciness of the main courses.

Unlike most restaurants that offer free WiFi to customers, Jiao Xiu is a place of digital detox. A notice on the wall reads: “No WiFi here. Please take the time to get to know people around you.”

jiao Xiu

Tel: 6224-2510

Address: 55 Zhu’anbang Rd E.


Average check: 60-80 yuan per person

Opening hours: 11:30am-2pm for lunch, 5:30pm-midnight for dinner

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