Beijing 2009 - Ma La Restaurant at Gui Jie

After wondering around Gui Jie for about an hour and feeling really hungry, we finally settled on this ma la restaurant. It was also very popular and we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. Not quite knowing what to order, we basically ordered what looked good on the other tables. 

"Ma La" basically means "numbing spiciness". The heat comes from dried chili, and the numbing sensation comes from Sichuan pepper - and they use tons of it here ! Sichuan pepper is different from ordinary pepper - it is not as sharp and spicy. However after a while you feel a numbness on you tongue and lips which you either like or dislike. I quite like the sensation, but my friends hated it.

This is the "Ma La Stew with Frogs". Look at the amount of dried chili used ! I am not a big fan of frogs, having been put off it during a trip to Indonesia where it was served on every meal. Here the frogs were quite big -  the meat tender, but besides the spiciness there wasn't much other taste.

Simple stirfried french beans.

A fish soup. The soup is flavoured with bean paste and ginger, and quite good. The fish is a bit bland, like most freshwater fish. 

This is my favourite dish - deepfried prawns with cucumber and dried chili. It is kind of like a spicy salad.

Comments

Fine Life Folk said…
Ha-ha! I also do that -- look around to mimic other customers' orders, ha-ha! Those light fixtures sure are nifty-looking. Love the way they accessorized the ceiling in several number.
Borneoboy said…
Hi Fine Life Folk. When in doubt, always look at the next table. In fact there were lots of people eating little baby lobsters, but we didn't try that. Now I really regret it !
Maharaja said…
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oh i need some good sichuan food soon!!

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