I had been expecting to eat spicy Chinese food when I went on my solo trip to China during the Lunar New Year. But my gastronomical experience exceeded my expectation included a sumptuous home-cooked meal, drinking Xia Lao bao soup from a straw, and dim sum treats together with my friends, but alone, I ate my share of spicy Chinese food in China to satisfy my spicy Asian food loving tongue.
5 Spicy Chinese Food Choices In China That Are Absolutely Delicious
Wasabi glazed duck feet and the rude waitress
Da Dong Roast Duck // Dongcheng, Jinbao St, 88, Beijing // Chinese: Peking
Once I reached Beijing hotel, I immediately googled famous Chinese food to eat in Beijing. I only had a cup of latte the whole day, and I wanted to try the famous Peking duck. I found one somewhere nearby and made my way there.
At the restaurant, I was served by the rudest waiter I have ever met. When I asked her for her recommendations, she replied “You check” and shoved the opened menu into my face. Not my hand. My face. Ha!
The duck came, served on a candlelight heated plate, looking all glazed and delicious, and it was! It was warm and tender, so tender that it melted in my mouth. And then came the local delicacy, the wasabi mustard glazed duck feet, and it satisfied my craving for spicy Chinese food.
Was it worth the money I paid considering the waiting time and the rude waiter? Well, I don’t think so.
Green Chili Frog at the foreigner's friendly restaurant at the famous Hutong
Drum and Gong // Nan luogu Xiang, Beijing 100009 // Chinese food: yummy Chinese!
This was my first meal at the famous Hutong in Beijing.
I had been walking up and down the alley for some time trying to decide where to eat. There were many restaurants with interesting names, but I decided to try Drum and Gong because they grew onions in a vase and displayed it on the windows. Maybe it was purely for decoration, but I was kinda hoping they would pluck it right in front of me and add it as an ingredient to my food.
The restaurant was packed with travelers, and I was sitting beside a bunch of Indonesian girls, while on the other side there was a German couple. The menu showed an extensive range of food, including some spicy dishes. I settled on the green chili frog. A frog meat dish is not so easy to find back home, and also not something Fafa usually wants to share. So here I shall indulge my love for spicy Chinese food and frog dish.
It's so dreamingly delicious. It was a cold day, but I stepped out with a full smile, and warm body, heart, and tummy. After a horrible dining experience the night before, this seemed like a payback. Thanks, Universe!
A Taste of Shredded Beef with Chili at Hutong
Taste // 106 Nanluogu Xaing, Dongcheng District, Beijing // Chinese food: Chongqing
I went back to the same Hutong the next day.
The plan was to drink a Venti Peach Blossom Tea Latte, send some postcards and eat at the same place as yesterday. But at the last minute, I went into the restaurant beside them because they kept inviting me in. They even showed me the menu and pointed on some pictures on it when I asked what their best spicy Chinese food was. I hadn’t talked to anyone the whole day unless I was ordering and paying; it almost felt like we were friends! So I went in, and to my surprise, a part of the restaurant was covered with post-it notes from customers. It reminded me of Song's Pad Thai on Phi Phi Island. I ordered the shredded beef after the two thumbs up from the waitress. It lived up to the thumbs up.
Pickled Frog from Spicy Spirit Took Me to Cloud Nine
Spicy Spirit // 1018 Changning Rd, Changning, Shanghai, China, Could Nine Mall, Shanghai // Chinese cuisine: Szechuan
This is a huge restaurant in a shopping mall in Shanghai but was almost empty. I circled the mall to find a more reliable place to eat, but my heart was set on this one because of the name, Spicy Spirit. How bad could it be? It has spicy in its name. It should be good enough for my spicy Chinese food in China saga.
I sat down and ordered a yummy-looking drink and the pickled chilli frog dish. I mean, chilli frog on the first day was absolutely delicious, added pickle sounded even better After a short wait, it came. I paid and wondered why there weren't many customers? The food was delicious.
The next day when I went back after spending the night at Tianzifang, Shanghai trendy hipster hangout, I needed to queue to eat at the same place. The first time I had come at an odd hour (perks of being on holiday). This time the huge restaurant was not only packed, there was a waiting list. Thankfully, they could fit in dinner for one shortly after I had arrived.
Xian Hot Pot Delight at Wangfujing
“I forgot the name” // APM Shopping Mall, Wangfujing, Beijing // Cuisine: Xiang
As a super-fan of spicy hot pot meals, I wanted to try an authentic one, and I got the chance in Beijing.
There were two hot pot restaurants facing each other. I went into the humbler one as I was running low on RMB. I ordered quail eggs, sweet potato, and (again) frog. It came in a huge pot. It was obvious that the meal was meant to be shared. Oh well, too late, so I sat there for more than an hour pacing myself to finish it. And I did. It was oh so good!
I hope this personal list of spicy local food you when you travel to China and wish to satisfy your craving for spicy Chinese food, but I suggest you ignore this list and keep an open mind instead. Chinese food has a huge range of tastes to indulge in, so don't miss out just because you have this cheat sheet.
Ps. If you like spicy Chinese food, I can guarantee you will enjoy local Indonesian food.