Here is the photo gallery of some of the street food I tried in Chengdu, China.
Other than the mala Sichuan cuisine, Chengdu is famed for “small eats” or 小吃. As a die-hard fan of local street food, I have to say that I was rather disappointed–and underwhelmed–with the street food in Chengdu. Don’t get me wrong, I did like a few dishes there, especially the mala ones, but I expected more.
While there are lots of eye-catching and pretty looking small eats available in various outlets, these small munchies fall short in the taste department, in my honest opinion. Plus, the flavors are not as varied as Penang street food…
The signature mala flavor is undoubtedly present in most Chengdu street food, while others are mostly sweet bites. While Penang feverishly preserves and celebrates our street food (hawker food) culture, Chengdu, much like other cities in China, including Hong Kong, are rapidly closing down or relocating markets, mobile stalls, and food carts. I managed to sample a couple small eats from roadside vendors, but mostly I had the offerings at this perfectly constructed (and touristy) establishment/street food outlet. I am sure legendary street food stalls at the very core and originality are still present, but they are probably only known to the locals. I was rather disappointed in this sense.
Anyway, please go through my gallery above to check out Chengdu’s street food. After going to almost all Asian cities with street food culture, I might have to declare Penang as the ultimate street food capital in Asia for the varieties, unbeatable flavors, and the massive street food culture and heritage that we so proudly retain, sustain, and rejoice. Stay tuned as I share my photo gallery of Penang hawker food in my next post!
P.S. There are a lot of other signature street food dishes that I tried but didn’t have the pictures, for example: spicy wontons, pork dumplings in soup, chicken skewers in mala sauce, sour and spicy noodles, etc. As for Chengdu’s hot pot, hands down, it’s the best mala hot pot I have tried in my life. Simply perfect!