A few years ago I had a unique opportunity to live in Chongqing for a year, one of China’s megacities that not many outside of China have ever heard of. Today Chongqing is one of China’s four direct-controlled municipalities together with Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, but it used to be a part of Sichuan Province, which means that delicious (and crazy spicy) Sichuan food is everywhere. So when I heard about the wildly popular restaurant Sichuan Citizen here in Shanghai, I couldn’t wait to try it out and see if it could measure up to the “real” Sichuan food that I was used to.
Well, all in all it was a nice meal and a good experience! The restaurant is very cozy and has a nice, loungy vibe. Robert and I went on a Wednesday night around 7pm with no reservations, and we had no problem getting a table right away (I’ve heard that it’s always packed, but it was only half full when we visited). We ordered four dishes to share:
- Sliced beef with soba noodles, chili and scallions
- Kung pao chicken (probably the most famous Sichuan dish: diced chicken with peanuts and dried chilies)
- Fried green beans with ground pork and chili
- Lettuce with sesame dressing
Fried green beans with ground pork is one of my all-time favorite Sichuan dishes, and Sichuan Citizen did not let me down – it was amazing! I also really liked the soba noodles and lettuce with sesame dressing. The kung pao chicken was fresh and had a very good flavor, but the pieces of chicken were not very “meaty”, a bit disappointing. All dishes except the lettuce were marked with only one out of three chilies in the menu, but my mouth was burning pretty good! So be careful with the two-three chili dishes if you’re not used to spicy food, and make sure you have plenty of beer to help put off the fire in your mouth.
Would I recommend Sichuan Citizen? If you like spicy Chinese food, then definitely yes! Btw this place has a huge menu with plenty of vegetarian options as well. Happy eating!
Address: 30 Donghu Lu (near Huaihai Lu and IAPM mall) 东湖路30号 (近淮海中路)