It’s a cold monday evening in Beijing and your friend from Hunan says they’re in the mood for a spicy meal – This could be the starting scene for a horror movie, I swear! visions of rings of fire, tearful eyes, chili peppers and painful goodness floated through the air. What was surprising was the destination said Hunan friend decided on to get her fix of spice: Yu Xin Sichuan Restaurant 渝信川菜 (map)!
I expected a hunan restaurant or a trip to the famed Sichuan Provincial restaurant Chuan Ban but alas, it was this I-ve-never-heard-of-it kinda place that made the cut. I’m glad it did!
The restaurant is located inside the Chang An Theater off of Chang An Jie, quite the posh location if you ask me but nevertheless a good one. The place was mildly busy when we walked in around 9:30 p.m. and were led to a small mini-private area! I was quite pleased with the place from the get go thanks to its cleanliness, homey style and the SMILES on the staff. I must say they were quite friendly compared to some others in various Chinese restaurants i have patroned in the past.
The menu ( or should i specify menus as there were 3 of them) was quite extensive with a number of classic Sichuan dishes and other standards of Chinese cuisine with nice illustrations which is always a plus in my book.
We decided on a few dishes for the evening: Tieban Ziran Niurou, a spicy cold rabbit dish, some gan bian dou, noodles and a little corn juice.
The Tieban Niurou made it out first and i can honestly say it was one of the spiciest dishes i’ve had in a long time! The beef was absolutely tasty and brought tears to my eyes before it even made it into my mouth. It also served as a reminder that rice was needed.. was needed fast!
The rabbit dish followed and was a nice break from that spicy goodness! The thinner pieces were a bit chewy but the bigger cuts were absolutely delish. My dinner companion was quite pleased by this particular dish
The gan bian dou, while a classic, is a tricky dish to get right! I’m not a fan of places that do a sloppy job on the mince and thankfully, this was not the case. It tasted perfect and was the one dish we did clean out that evening, down to the last bean and the last piece of mince.
The dan dan mian were as good as i expected them and helped wash the heat away until the next bite of beef.
I liked many things about this place! The prices, while not low, were very reasonable! The decor and layout perfect for small groups that don’t want to be disturbed and don’t need a massive private room either. The staff could give lessons in service to that of a few western establishments in this city.
Since i came back, I went online to check out the place and it does indeed have street cred as far as spice lovers go, especially Sichuan folks in Beijing. There were some bad comments about “heat levels” decreasing but i can assure you that was not the case. According to their card, they have a few branches around Beijing.. my experience is limited to the location in Chang An theater.
The biggest compliment this Sichuan restaurant could get in my book was that a Hunan ren trusted them to get her spice fix in the end! I will be back there soon… gotta take their shuizhuyu and laziji for a spin
Yu Xin Sichuan 渝信川菜(长安店) (map)
1/F, Chang’an Grand Theatre, 75 Jianguomennei Dajie, Dongcheng District
Tel: 65171012 / 65180888