Chuān Bàn

Sichuan in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Every Chinese province has its own official building in Běijīng, complete with a restaurant for cadres and locals working in the capital who are pining for a taste of home. Often they’re the most authentic places for regional cuisines. This restaurant in the Sìchuān Government Offices is always crowded and serves up just about every variety of Sìchuān food you could want.

It’s very much a place for fire fiends: almost every dish comes loaded with chillies and mouth-numbing Sìchuān peppercorns, whether it’s bamboo shoots, Sìchuān specials such as làzi jī (here called 'young chicken Chongqing style'), or steamed fish with pepper and taro (here called 'boiled fish in spicy and hot pepper'). There are also dishes with rabbit and frog, both regional delicacies. There’s an English menu with photos, but no English sign; it’s housed in an office block of a building, with the entrance around the back.