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wow, another terrific post! i'm not even hungry, and i want some! beautiful photos...makes me want to go to china, just to find these places...


That looks delicious! I'm actually headed to Chengdu in December, so I'll be sure to remember to check 冒菜 out. It looks like it'll keep me warm.


Wow, the broth of mao cai sounds delish! I think I would get hungrier after each stick.


i love those big chunky strips of seaweed in the soup!



MalaHuoGuo (HotPot) is my fave food of all time, but I'll make sure to try MaoCai next time if I visit Chengdu


I live in Chengdu. Hot Pot is way overrated here. I prefer the non-Sichuanese broth versions. Here they reuse the oil from day to day, it's terribly unhealthy as you're consuming grease that's been aged for years probably, and the taste is meh. Cheers to someone brave enough to say it.


soup looks awesome! Would love to have some hot pot!


Mr. Pineapple

ooh that looks so good!! wanna try it!

Ant Stone

Are the Sichuan peppercorns the ones that leave your mouth feeling numb? I'm told they're to combat the chilli, but in my opinion they're horrible. It would literally ruin my mood to eat one when I visited in 2007.

Great post, I can feel the steam coming off my monitor.

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I've heard stories of Ma La broth being reused for years too...but this doesn't really seem to stop anyone from tucking in. IIRC, locals never drink the broth.

And it's the Sichuan Pepper (not a true pepper) that causes the numbing feel. Chili peppers cause only the burning sensation.


Dena - thank you!

Felicia - definately will keep you warm. December temperatures will be perfect for eating in Chengdu. Enjoy!

cyn - yeah, the seaweed was great. We also saw strips of seaweed tossed with cold noodles at another place.

Elliot - ha ha. Thank you for that comment. Don't mind if I never have one again, actually. But definately more mao cai.

Ant - yes, those are the ones. It took me a couple wks to get used to Sichuan peppercorn when I lived there in the 80s but once you do they are really addictive. I suppose there are some who never take to them though. Maybe give them a few more tries?


A couple of good friends went to Chengdu from KL for the hot pot. They were underwhelmed too. They didn't find it spicy enough from what I gathered. I'll send them this link :)

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I want to try Mao Cai... Fantastic in for for me here. I'm going to Malaysia in 2 months.


Maocai is like the fast food version of a sit-down hotpot. When I was little I used to get this on my way home from school. It was cheap and fast.

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