Date registered: April 18, 2009
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Some people don't like the interior, the cheap ikea chairs and the newspaper covered walls, I don't care that much and prefer understatement to posh tackiness and i'm more concerned with food taste and value.
Anyways we arrived 1.30 p.m. and were told that the lunch set was sold out (they make only 15 portions and they will stop the RMB50 promo from now on). The menu had main 5 dishes listed and the one we wanted to order instead of the lunch menu wasn't available either.
Ok, we were ready to move lunch to another place, but the waiter said he could make us a deal, but he didn't tell us what dishes were actually available (although we specifically asked that twice) and what the concrete deal would be. But we agreed despite better instincts and what could possibly go wrong?
We started with a mushroom croquette appetizer: the outside could've have been much more crunchy, but the surprise was inside: a fluid mushroom paste.
Strange i don't think that's how croquettes are supposed to be but it wasn't too bad since it was almost flavorless and we were hungry.
Next up couscous a vegan mini portion with two bites of broccoli and cauliflower. Taste was actually ok, but there wasn't much to bite this dish.
Clams came all very small and almost nothing to eat there, each one had half a dozen miniclams but we all didn't like the taste of it and the sauce didn't help much nor did the old dry cheapo bread that came with it.
More than half an hour in we had three little dishes: not filling, and not matching at all.
We were still hungry and kind of in the mood to leave and get a real bite somewhere else.
Once again the waiter the asked us if we wanted some meat, and we were thinking it's part of the deal so of course said yes. So we got 3 steaks on 3 mushroom slices and a drop of gravy and jam nothing else with it. I'm not into steaks that much, but thought it was ok, after all the first thing that was somehow done well and actually somthing to bite. After that no dessert, but we got a shot of free porto which was probably the best part (and free).
Then came the bill 135 kuai each. Mind you the dinner set is 120, lunch 50. We were surprised but after all the culinary and service disappointment and waiting for 1 hour for the last dish to arrive just wanted to settle the bill and not argue for another hour (to be fair the waiter said we wouldn't have to pay the clams if we wouldn't like it but didn't prepare us to pay 270% of the lunch fare or 10 kuai for a WATER in a stinky glass).
I really wished for an edition to the very low standard no thrills Chengdu Western food monotony and so it's doubly disappointing to see a hyped up place to actually miss so hard. The food was either flavorless or nothing special (steak was ok, but 85 kuai for that? and if you serve me blindly please kindly let me know how much the damage will be) in any case nothing that would remind you of Spain or Spanish tapas.
Verdict: bad service, underwhelming food & selection, overpriced. Sorry, i'm not coming back again.
Had to change my old review from a couple years ago. Once a great place that serves generous portions of fresh and affordable orthodox Sichuanese food has turned into a place on par with most other place: not worth mentioning. I guess they changed chefs as the food tastes bland now, and it only got more expensive (prices went up and portion sizes down). The renovation didn't really add atmosphere to the dining experience, it's still incredibly loud. I guess this is what happens when you transform from a little successful restaurant to an expansive chain.
After renovation the place is much bigger and they have a new menu with a bunch of new dishes (some good, some weird) and still serve the good old stuff (tongue, raw yak & their extremely delicious Jiaozi).
Some prices went up, but most dishes are still reasonably priced as the portions are huge and stuffy debudeliao.
Last time some dishes were a bit too salty which especially your Chinese friends may not like. Plus sometimes it takes a good while before the the food arrives.
You're right the name changed, but the elephant is still there on their logo.
the blue triangle indicates the location. it's right behind the Mao statue (turn left)
Taxi from Chengdu's south should've been RMB43. Driver managed to get lost somewhere and run the meter to RMB100! We settled for 60 at the end.
Taxis back don't want to run the meter and ask for RMB80! WTF!
With public transport it takes about 1.5h to get there or back if they have special non-stop shuttle buses to Jinsha that is.
Oh the place itself. Well the exhibition/museum is a joke, not worth going.
This gotta be the most underrated restaurant in Tongzilin.
I go at least once a week for the amazing Burmese spicy chicken curry RMB15/20 (big/small). Where in Chengdu do you get a lunch/dinner for that little? And yes it's good and some of the dishes you don't get anywhere else.
Nori the Japanese chef in the background makes sure the ingredients are clean, healthy with no additive (if possible), which is an important aspect considering the dirty kitchens even in upscale places. The food cost and thus value is much higher than other places.
Korean dish (strange combo of pork, mushroom, tofu and egg, but surprisingly good).
Fresh ice cold lemonade
If you're done with the menu, try the daily special.
Please make some more Japanese dishes like Katsu Don!
P.S. Since I'm extremely biased I didn't rate the places otherwise 4.5 stars
I might be too early to rate this new venue. But it could have the potential to become the new place for live music once the owners get their act together and set up big live shows on a regular basis. It's bigger than the little bar, but the sound so far has been horrible. I hope they work on the issue and bring in some acts to fill the space at least once a week.