The city of Chengdu is renowned for its culinary preparations and no visit to the region would be complete without sampling the gastronomic delights on offer. Broadly the cookery of the city may be subdivided into three major categories; namely Sichuan cuisine, varieties of hotpot and snacks.

Sichuan cuisine is the product of many centuries of cookery and is recognized today as one of the major styles of Chinese cuisine. Sichuan cooking is well-known throughout China and its renown also extends to many other parts of the world. This style of cookery is characterized by its spicy nature, but its flavouring is complex and subtle rather than overbearing. There are many traditional Sichuan dishes which exemplify this culinary style.

Ma Po tofu is a popular dish, consisting of a special bean curd preparation employing a variety of condiments and oils. This specialty is universally available at every Sichuan style restaurant. Another famous local dish is kung pao chicken, which is tender chicken, diced and flavoured, cooked with peanuts and hot peppers.

Another local favourite is twice-cooked pork, a spicy entrée in which the slices of pork are fried crisply avoiding greasiness. Another attractive pork dish is the fish-flavoured shredded pork, where the flavour of fish is achieved with no actual seafood in the dish.

The unique tastes and aromas of hotpot are inextricably linked with the area of Chengdu. Although this treat was initially brought over from Chongqing it has evolved into a genuine local specialty. Chengdu hotpot runs the gamut from lightly seasoned to strongly spiced, with an array of ingredients and condiments.

The cuisine of Chengdu also features a variety of delectable snacks which are native to the area. One of these is the rather misleadingly named braised cow lungs, which actually consists of beef, tongue and heart. Shrimps, sausages, vegetables and other foods may be cooked on bamboo skewers to tempt the visitor. With so much to savour a visit to Chengdu will always delight the taste buds.

The discerning visitor who desires convenient Greater China hotels will find an excellent choice in the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. These hotels in China offer comfortable accommodations and courteous hospitality.


Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.