When I arrived to Chongqing, for obvious reasons, I have not had much friends. My only connection to the outside world became people I met on-line, my co-workers and AIESECers. However, right at the beginning I was lucky to spot www.cqexpat.com. Here all the foreigners and Chinese can meet and exchange their stories, experience and find friends. Thats how I met Audrey.
We met in front of her campus and went to nearby restaurant. It is never easy to meet new people, especially in such a strange environment. The language barrier, the different culture, approach anxiety. Everything was gone in a matter of minutes and Audrey had such a lovely British accent.
When meeting with Chinese, you can be sure you are going to eat something. As same as in Czech we storm the pub and have couple of beers, here in Chongqing they will take you to the nearest hot-pot restaurant. Audrey took me to a restaurant nearby her campus, where they are preparing traditional meal. Chongqing Grilled fish. Since Chongqing is sitting on confluence of two big rivers, fish is very common meal in here. This type of Grilled fish with all different spices is traditional in the area and is very popular. Some travelers are coming to Chongqing just to try this Grilled spicy delicates.
First you have to pick your meal:-) It is not for the weak, cause you have to point your fish out of all those in huge fish tank. So if you have a touchy nature like me, please let someone else pick the fish for you. You can ask for a bowl of rice if you wish and tea is always available on every table. When you are lucky and there is not much guests, in 20 minutes a small grill will land on your table. On a baking hot pan you can not even see the fish under all the spices… garlic, toasted Sichuan peppercorn, dried chilies, onions, ginger and more. A little digging will reveal the grilled fish cut into halves, drowned in oil. All this condiments form unique spicy taste. One medium fish is enough to fill belly of 2 and price will not exceed 80 RMB.
This Chongqing Grilled Fish is definitely asking for being accompanied by a cold beer.
Satisfaction Factor: 5
Overall: Good, Very good
Price TAG: 76 RMB(Food for 2 hungry people)
Should you ever travel to Chongqing, don’t miss the opportunity to taste Spicy Grilled Fish in local restaurant, cause you will definitely taste something special.