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.”
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