As quality of life rises, people have increasingly higher pursuits for eating. Even in a City of Gastronomy like Chengdu, pleasure on the palate alone is far from adequate in satisfying the demands of foodies, as the ambiance in which one enjoys a meal has emerged as a key factor in the fine wining and dining decision-making process. Today, let me show you a couple restaurants full of character (gimmick, but in a good way).
Traditional Chinese style from hundreds of years ago
Zifei is a restaurant that "conducts business behind closed doors". When you pass by the front gate, you might mistake it as yet another picturesque corner of the Kuanzhai Alleys, but once you push open the doors, you will step into a whole different time and space.
Just like its name inspired by classic Chinese literature Zhuangzi, the restaurant exudes the aura of ancient traditions and culture, and even the names of the different private rooms are titles of chapters from Zhuangzi.
The restaurant is holistic about its distinct character, from the greeting and the unique introduction and background of the various dishes, to the drinking games and soothing musical performances. Patrons will be thrown through a portal into a garden of the Wei, Jin and Northern and Southern Dynasties period where winding creek flows by and where the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove reside.
Grilled fish that is as intoxicating as liquor
From the colorful lights and buzzing jazz music, to the dimly-lit ambiance and big screens playing Victoria's Secret Fashion Show...
No, this is not a bar, but a nightclub-themed barbecue joint. In a metropolis as fashionable as Chengdu, there isn't anything that cannot become trendy, including food. At nightclub-style eateries like Kao Master Grilled Fish and He's BBQ, the sizzling dishes become even more devilishly enticing under the vibrant neon lights, especially when the scents of lightly burnt cumin and spices linger all around your table. What a way to spend the night with a couple buddies.
Meow~ Won't you have another cup of coffee?
Cat café burst into the Japanese dining scene after the turn of the millennium, and today these cat-themed coffee shops have risen to stardom in Chengdu as well. Usually with a delicate and refreshing decor, these cafés attempt to forge a home-like coziness, but of course the real draw is not the interior design nor the coffees and drinks, or the exquisite pastries, rather the little "fur balls" that accompany patrons throughout the day are what keep businesses booming. Here, customer is not the king, the kitties are.
Seriously, who doesn't like those furry, puffy, pretty and dainty little things?
Hot pot in a sea of flowers, I am going to stay forever seventeen
Red roses and black chrysanthemums tango, baby roses and lilies mingle, and in between them baby's breaths twinkle. You would have thought this was a florist, but instead of sweet bouquet in the air it's the mouthwatering smell of hot pot instead. This hot pot restaurant on bustling Chunxi Road revolves around a "Guns and Roses" theme, and not only are diners surrounded by a sea of flowers, even the white soup hot pot has been embellished with floating rose petals. It is hard to imagine after enjoying a round or two of hot pot in such a romantic atmosphere, would one smell like hot pot or flowers?
After seeing these photos, you must be yearning for both a feast for your mouth and your eyes. If vanity is your soft spot just like it is for me, then these restaurants are not to be missed.