Chuan Ban gets a lot of press all around Beijing as far as the authenticity and quality of their Sichuanese fare! As official representative of Sichuan, they do an amazing job bearing the flag. However, they are not the sole carrier! usually forgotten and overshadowed by its bigger brother,
Shudu Binguan, in the Chengdu representative office is not a place one should dismiss when searching for good Sichuan fare.
Let me start by saying that this place is HARD to find and you’re better off just giving them a phone call to get directions. To give you an idea, you’re basically gonna be north of the forbidden city,across from the east gate of jingshan park. Once you’ve been there, it’s easy enough to find again.
On the evening we picked, it was raining cats and dogs! Once of those sundays when i might have been better served staying home. Anyways, plans are plans and the ganng made it to Shudu Binguan at various times and various levels of wetness… yours truly was beyond soaked.
Still, we managed to get to the restaurant and they tried their best to accommodate poor cold us and didn’t complain too much as we dirtied their floors and chairs (and that’s a big ups in my book).
The Dining area is small with room for about 8 big tables if memory serves me right so it’s definitely a much cozier affair than Chuan Ban.
Ok! so.. how’s the food I hear you ask?
Food was pretty darn good in my opinion. The group that arrived first that day did the ordering and we did end up with some strange dishes that i just do not associate with Sichuan but we also had a few traditional goodies. The kou shui ji was beyond tasty with soft chicken almost falling off the bone. The soup was something i had never tried in a sichuan restaurant before: a harmonious balance of fish, broth and delicate flavors with subtle hints of Ginger and black pepper that shows there’s more to Sichuan cuisine than the fire breathing pepper.
Other standouts were the Gongbao Jiding and dan dan mian that compared favorably to those offered by Chuan Ban whereas the La Zi Ji was IMHO better. Shudu’s la zi ji actually had chicken in between all the peppers, and quite a bit of it at so that we didn’t have to go on a fishing expedition to find a piece of birdie.
I have not really spoken about the spiciness of it all but trust me, the right dishes were “dishing” out capsicum sins galore! oh yeah… * cue in Johnny Cash soundtrack* however, that’s not what i most remember.. I just think the meal was pretty darn good
Overall, I’d say the experience was ACE… despite the rain, fatigue and a huge mix up in ordering ( on the guests part), the restaurant delivered a solid meal. I think I’ll definitely be checking them out again instead of relying on Chuan Ban
ShuDu Binguan 蜀都宾馆
Chengdu Municipal Office
30 Shatan Hou Jie, Dongcheng District, Tel 6403 4440 ext. 2241,
成都市人民政府驻京办, 东城区沙滩后街30号 景山公园东街斜对面50米