★ 锅魁王成都担担面 (Guokui king's Dan-dan Noodles) - Chengdu
Guokui King is a restaurant right across the street from the Chengdu Sheraton where I was staying at. 锅魁 or "Guokui" is a traditional food stand snack food of Chengdu, a layered baked pastry with meat or green onions wrapped in it. There are also sweet Guokui with sesame and sugar or sweetened red bean paste. While the freshly made guokui on display looked tempting, I only ordered the other food item that is part of this restaurant's name, the 担担面 or Dan-dan noodles.
I visited Guokui King around lunch time on a weekday and the store was really busy, filled with high school students from the school nearby and local office workers. Just trying to make my order was a challenge since the crowd of people did not form a line, just shouting their orders at the cashier. I had to use my questionable Chinese to get my order in, luckily Dan-dan Mian is not that hard to pronounce.
The Sauce - is a typical Sichuan style dan-dan noodle sauce, with spicy red chili oil, Chinese peppers for the numbing sensation, and some other spices like Chinese five spice. Besides the spiciness this sauce was quite boring, not offering many other flavors.
The Toppings - are some deep fried minced pork, not much seasoning to them either.
Overall - Guokui King should probably keep its focus on just the pastries. Restaurants in Chengdu all gets reviewed and ranked by the city. On the wall of this restaurant was a certificate from Chengdu city stating that the Dan-dan noodle of Guokui King gets a "passing grade"... A passing grade like "D" maybe? I couldn't agree more.
Located across the street from the front entrace of Sheraton Chengdu. The directions in Chinese are: 成都喜来登酒店斜对面.