Best Eats of 2012: Chuan Ban

Hi, I’m lazi ji 辣子鸡, you may recognize me from such blog posts as…

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Best Eats of 2010.

Lazi ji 辣子鸡 translates to “Chicken and chilis”. I believe the correct translation is “Chilis and chicken.”

Ah yes, the ol’ treasure hunt for lip tingling, mouth numbing chicken, garlic, ginger, scallion and peanut nibbles amidst a mountainful of chilis. Just like eating [ravenously] with your hands and sucking [audibly] on your fingertips is absolutely welcome and furthermore, expected in Chinese dining etiquette, so is fishing through a pile of chilis with your own chopsticks (not the “communal chopsticks, mind you), for tiny pieces of big flavor items that are not so chopstick friendly, especially for the ill-practiced chopsticker.

Time and time again, I find myself at this Beijing favorite for the most authentic Sichuan food in town. The locals go here. The Sichuanese go here. The Sichuan embassy folks from upstairs go here. How many more ways would you like to hear, “This place is legit”?

Added bonus: their menu comes with pictures so you don’t have to remember these Chinese characters, just the photo.

Chuan Ban 川办餐厅

5 Gongyuan Toutiao, Jianguomennei Dajie

建国门内贡院头条5号

Order: làzi ji 辣子鸡, shui zhu yú 水煮鱼, dàn dàn miàn 担担面, hai zhé tóu海蜇头, liáng miàn 凉面

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