Spice fanatics, heads up on a good article on city weekend about the best Suan La Fen 酸辣粉 in Beijing. I’ve long been a fan of this lovely mouth scorching concoction of rice noodles, spice, spice and more spice… it’s pretty much my second favorite spicy dish after a proper la zi ji.
The City Weekend piece references a couple of really good places like Tianxia Tese Fen 天下特色粉 that’s been a holly grail of spice among the locals for a long time. They also recommend Meizhou Dongpo眉州东坡酒楼 where i have not been in quite sometime and would have never guessed deserved being in such a top list. The description Sarah gives of it makes me wanna head over there asap for a bowl. Chuan Ban and South Beauty are both over rated IMHO so we all agree there!
Now, my particular recommendations would be the suan la fen at little chuanban ( chengdu rep office) which i have fond memories off. Xiao Yu Shan makes one hell of a good version ( just like everything else they do) which deserves a mention…. That said, the best one i ever had in Beijing lies in a little known place in Xidan: 天府豆花庄 Tian Fu Dou Hua Zhuang. I have mouthwatering and nightmarish dreams of their suan la fen that i ate years ago and it seems like I’m not the only one. The place still rates fairly high on dianping and suan la fen is one of their specialties.
I have vivid memories like i said about the noodles being of perfect texture for slurping, the sauce a balanced mix of spice and sour flavors and the whole thing just tasting pretty darn awesome.
Give them a whirl if you tastebuds dare!!! They’re still pretty much hiding under the expat radar and definitely not used to foreigners but their snacks and chuancai can stand out there with the best of them.
Tian Fu Dou Hua Zhuang天府豆花庄(西单店)
B1 Xidan Cultural Square, No. 180 Xidan North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing.
Map and REviews on dianping