Thursday, January 11, 2007

★★★ 怪味面 (GuaiWeiMian) - Chengdu

GuaiWeiMian is one of the most popular noodle shops in Chengdu, named after their signature dish which I like to translate as "funky flavored noodles". I came here with my friends and co-workers during lunch time on a busy weekday. We ordered 5 different noodle dishes but I'll introduce their 怪味面 (GuaiWeiMian), funky noodles here first.

The Soup - is a strange mix of many flavors and aromas. A blend of pork based clear broth with a strong seafood/shellfish soup, cooked with many exotic Sichuan spices and chili oils. The soup's flavor is quite strong and probably meant to be eated with the noodles rather than eaten separately. Not very spicy with just a trace of the numbing spiciness from the Sichuan peppers.

The Noodles - are medium this straight noodles cooked on the soft side. I prefer them a little firmer but I doubt any of these places will cook to your request.

The Toppings - pieces of soft cooked pork, mushrooms, shell fish and peanuts. Probably from the stew and doesn't provide much extra flavoring or texture.

Overall - okay, I'll admit it, I haven't figured out this noodle yet. I know I like it, but have no clue why I like it. I can't quite put my finger on the strange mix of flavors, which is why I come back and try it again and again. I know visually it won't win anybody over but it has a taste that grows on you.

GuaiWeiMian is located near Sichuan University's main entrance. Here is its address:
No. 90-2 Xinnan road Chengdu


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