People from other places may hear about Chongqing Hot-pot, bridges, or mountains, but there is a dish which is more popular and customer-friendly —— Xiao Mian. It refers to Chongqing noddles, local fast food made with fresh herbs and spices. Most important of all, it can be made to order, with unique spicy-numbly flavor that the locals love most.
The locals love Xiao Mian as much as they love hot-pot and enjoy it in the morning, lunch, dinner or night. In the morning, many small, hole-in-the-wall street-side Xiao Mian restaurants are thronged with people, who choose Xiao Mian to start the day. No matter who you are, an office worker on their way to work, or a “stick-stick” porter starting another hard day of work early birds often get their morning’s energy for working or studying from spicy and delicious Xiao Mian. Xiao Mian is true “the people’s food”. For those Chongqing locals far away from home, Xiao Mian is their “comfort food”, and they often choose Xiao Mian as the first meal when they come back.
There are two types of Xiao Mian: noodles with broth and noodles without broth. A bowl of Xiao Mian usually uses more than 10 spices and condiments such as Szechuan pepper, chilies, spring onions, and etc. Otherwise, there are many different toppings can choose for Xiao Mian like beef, shredded chicken, or pork and so on. Thus, it is not only a dish but an art form in Chongqing.
After years’ development, there are many other types as ramifications of Xiao Mian: Daoxiao Mian (noodles peeled from a dough directly into the pot), Pugai Mian (shape of noodle looks like blankets), etc. These ramifications usually use the same condiments and toppings as Xiao Mian’s, but chew feeling is totally different from Xiao Mian. You can experience the real Chongqing life by getting some Xiao Mian.
Bandengmian Noodle Restaurant
Bandengmian Noodle is a restaurant that deserves the name. Bandeng refers “bench” in English, and serves as the only form of furniture in the restaurant A higher bench becomes a table while visitors sit down on a lower bench, eating Bandengmian noodles with gusto. This restaurant specializes in Xiao Mian, sometimes made with eggs. The noodles are not very slender and are chewy and spongy with chili oil. The price, the flavor, and the down to earth environment leave a deep impression on the visitor.
|Address:||Fu No.31, No.112, Songshi Branch Road|
|Opening Hours:||05:00 – 14:30|
Sanjie Mao’er Mian
Every returning visitor knows that the chili oil in Sanjie Mao’er Mian is so delicious that people often come back for more. High-quality chilies become toothsome-smelling oil after mincing, roasting, and frying. Otherwise, meaty sauce combines fresh pork shoulder with a sweetish sauce which is cooked with the secret recipe. The noodles here not only smell great but also keep diners coming back for more.
|Address:||Near the cross of Citong Road and Shabin Road (diagonally across the entrance of the ancient town), Shapingba District|
|Opening Hours:||10:00 – 22:00|
The restaurant is located nearby Nanping Wanda Plaza with a relatively small dining area. A graffiti wall has become a feature there that attracts diners. You can express anything you want on the wall like advice or commemoration. This restaurant chooses the part of the thigh between the rump and the shank, which is more expensive but with better taste. Beef with tendon and sinew is well braised until tender and is then fused with the broth, creating a noodle dish that keeps diners coming back.
|Address:||No.46, Haofu, No.1 Shanhu Road, Nan’an District|
|Opening Hours:||07:00 – 20:00|