So, I think I could do a diet based on cold dish at the sezchuan restaurants. In fact, we've gone to Ba Ren a few times with little money in our bank accounts, and I've been determined to get 2 plates of cold dish, but of course the FP always has to bump it up with a couple hot dishes too.
So here's one configuration - bamboo shoot (this is a requirement) peanuts and the wood ear mushrooms with chilis. Man, this is some good shit. Get a plate of it, get some rice, and there's your meal.
This one has pig ear (another mandatory selection every time we go to Ba Ren), seaweed, and the spicy beef. So all these dishes have the "sichuan sheen" (I've never heard anyone say it before, but I just made that phrase up now, thus, the quotes. The rice is necessary to soak up the flavor of the sichuan sheen.
Here we have the bamboo shoots again, the wood ear, and the edamame and mustard greens. On the meat side, it looks like we've already dug into it before I remembered to take a picture. So it looks like we had the pig ear, the braised beef, and then it looks like the duck? Only one time have we seen the duck in the cold dish table, and it was good stuff.
Here in another visit, is the mushroom, the bamboo shoot and the edamame.
Then here is the pig ear, the braised beef , and the dried beef as well. I can't really decide which cold beef dish I like better...
Here is a mystery dish, and the stir fried cabbage with chili and vinegar.
Here is the stir fried beef with pickled pepper.
Here is the fish in chili sauce
Stir fried sweet and sour cabbage. This is probably one of our favorites. Cabbage. It's just so yum. Make a note, this is different than the stir fried cabbage with vinegar and chili. While both are good, I prefer the sweet and sour cabbage.
The best thing about sezchuan or sichuan cuisine is that it makes water sparkle in your mouth. For me, a Tsingtao is mandatory for refreshment (in lieu of the water) and water is for taste amplification. What do I mean? If you haven't gone to Ba Ren and tried this... do it now. So if you have sezchuan spice on your tongue and need to "cool" it, take a swig of beer. If you just had a bite of spicy sezchuan chili and peppercorn sauce and want to take it to the next level, take a swig of water. It makes the flavors effervesce in your mouth. It is the coolest thing. And then, when I stand up for the first time after gorging on all this food, I get a rush and always think I'm going to pass out before I make it to the toilet. I never have passed out, but one day I expect to. That will be embarrassing.
I would love to take some kind of hallucinagenic drug and go to Ba Ren and eat and drink water and feel the flavors with heightened senses. I would probably have a heart attack from the delirium of it all. Not that I advocate or do any kind of schedule I or schedule II drugs - I'm just making an educated guess, basing it on the research I've done on these illegal pharmaceuticals - such as when I watched the movies "The Trip" and "Yellow Submarine"
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