Sichuan Citizen $$
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30 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Zhonglu
HOURS: Daily 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
COST: Entrées ¥100-500
METRO: South Shaanxi Road (Line 1, Line 10)
With its slowly wafting ceiling fans, 1930s pin-up portraits, red velvet couches, and bamboo wall details, Sichuan Citizen mixes Old Shanghai glamour with the fiery spices of central China. Start with a cocktail in the lounge area before heading into the main restaurant with its many booths and private rooms.
The photo menu is a tome containing Sichuanese favorites like ma po doufu (numbing spicy tofu), gong bao ji ding (kung pao chicken), dan dan noodles, and palate-burning hot pots.
If there’s only so much spice you can take, tell the servers “bu la.” Conversely, since Sichuan Citizen is popular with expats and foreign visitors, the dishes tend to be less spicy than they would be in Chengdu, so ask for “la” if you want an authentic flavor.
Sichuan Citizen is a spinoff from the popular Citizen Café on Jinxian Road.
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition