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Eat here now: Chong Qing Hot Pot

posted on August 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

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I get so many recommendations that it sometimes takes me longer than it should to follow up on a tip. Reader, Jeffrey M., wrote back in October urging me to check out Chong Qing Hot Pot in the Chinatown food court. Jefferey simply wrote:

1. Their Chinese food is simply delicious and authentic.

2. Liang and Gina are the new owners of Chong Qing Hot Pot Restaurant.

3. Gina is the first EVER laowai (foreigner) to run a restaurant in the Chinatown Food court in its 21 years of existence! No easy feat.

I was there last weekend for an upcoming story in Creative Loafing and, despite having eaten a large lunch, ordered a couple of things from Chong Qing to test the waters. We were not disappointed and more Szechuan is never a bad thing. Right? We started with some dan dan noodles, boiled noodles dressed with a spicy Sichuan peppercorn dressing and greens. Mix it up as Moon has so kindly demonstrated in the picture below and get to slurping.

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I fancy myself a connoisseur of Chinese noodles and these were exceptional. The noodles were seasoned well–not bland like some other versions–and the heat was just right with a nice amount of stinging numbness from the peppercorns.

We spotted this dish on someone else’s table and ordered by pointing to said tabletop.

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If you’ve ever been to Tasty China, this dish is very similar to the Shan City Chicken. It does, however, have some differences. The chicken isn’t breaded like Tasty China’s, which never fails to remind me of Chick-fil-A. The heat also isn’t as intense, but there is just enough spice and peppercorn numbness here to add deliciousness without killing your stomach. I really enjoyed the dish.

Moon and I are already plotting our next visit to Chong Qing because the menu is HUGE and rife for exploration. Have you eaten here? What are your favorites?

Chong Qing Hot Pot on Urbanspoon

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3 comments

  • Re: Eat here now: Chong Qing Hot Pot
    posted by: Mike Downey · August 15, 2010  10:52 PM

    This dish (La Zi Ji) is a minor obsession of mine. I travel to China a lot for business and this is a real staple of mine when I am there. Finding an authentic version of it here in atlanta has been difficult to say the least. This place seems to have the closest version that I have found so far.

    the only gripe I have is that the default dish does not use enough Szechuan peppers (flower peppers for us westerners) so you dont get enough of the numbing sensation. You can ask for extra and I highly recommend you do so.

    I just had it for dinner tonight. Thanks for reminding me that this place has a good version of it!

  • Re: Eat here now: Chong Qing Hot Pot
    posted by: Jason · August 16, 2010  12:05 AM

    Twice cooked pork. Seriously craveworthy ( at least before it changed ownership. Haven’t had it since)

  • Re: Eat here now: Chong Qing Hot Pot
    posted by: Kimbo · August 28, 2010  12:22 PM

    Thank you for this. I used to work in a Chinese restaurant, and I always enjoyed the food my boss would make for the staff after dinner service was over; this was the real stuff, not the Americanized version. I was happy to see that this place serves traditional fare. The Szechuan beef and pork are both delicious. I let the owner know that we heard about it from this blog.

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