I am in love.

I am in love. Given some recent posts, you might think that I was talking about my son, or possibly my husband. But actually, it's Sichuan food. Specifically, it's dan dan noodles and ma pa tofu, and even more specifically, it's the versions of these items served at a tiny place called Gather Kitchen just off the Jordon exit of the MTR. 

Known for being fiery hot, (in fact you can often recognize Sichuan restaurants by the string of chili peppers hanging outside the door), Sichuan food has a depth of flavor and earthiness not always present in other regional Chinese cuisines, along with the all-important and totally unique Sichuan peppercorn.  The Sichuan peppercorn imparts a sensation technically known as mala, but described by my husband as "a really good tasting 9-volt battery." It's tingly, sizzling, slightly numbing, vaguely citrusy and totally addictive. 

Gather Kitchen rendered our meal with plenty of heat (though I suspect they toned it down for us) but they (thankfully) did not skimp on the mala. And we (again, thankfully) had ordered cucumber salad and a large bottle of San Miguel to help tame that delicious fire. 

My new favorite Chinese food blog, Appetite for China (I love the tagline: 1.3 billion people must be eating something right), has recipes for both the dan dan mian (noodles in a peanuty broth with a minced pork topping, garnished with cilantro) and the mapo tofu (squares of silky tofu in a minced pork-chili-garlic-ginger sauce--tastes like, in Matt's words, "the soul of food"). Enjoy! 

dan dan mian

dan dan and cucumber salad

mapo tofu


imuniqu3 said...

i need to learn how to cook some of this food try something new :))

3e said...

You must try this private kitchen if you like sichuan food. Da Ping Huo - you can google the address.

foodsmith said...

oh yes, is this the one where the chef comes out and sings afterwards? You're right, we do have to get there! Thanks for the reminder ...

Heather B said...


Take me to this place! What have you been waiting for?!- HB