Nov 2013

Quintessential Sichuan Noodles and Dumplings Served with a Smile at Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

The Astronomer and I traversed large swaths of Chengdu seeking out all that burns, numbs, and thrills during our much-too-short stay, but it was a low-key, family-run restaurant a stone’s throw from our hotel that delighted us most.

Named after Confucian principles (ren meaning kindness and yi meaning loyalty or trust), Ren Yi Shui Jiao specializes in two of my all-time favorite foods: noodles and dumplings (shui jiao). It was the perfect spot to fuel up every morning before playing with pandas and, truth be told, fueling up elsewhere. Such is life while on vacation.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

The restaurant was wonderfully quiet during the morning hours, with ladies folding dumplings in the back, cooks simmering soups in the kitchen, and solo diners burying their noses in noodles. The mood of the place made us feel relaxed, while smiles on everyone’s faces made us feel welcomed.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

Ordering food was a breeze thanks to the extensive picture menu hanging near the doorway. I wanted one of everything.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

I averaged 2.5 bowls of dan dan mian per day while in Chengdu because I simply could not resist ordering it at every opportunity.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

The version here went relatively light on the chili oil and heavier on the protein than other bowls we sampled in the city. As always, the ma la crept up on us slowly but surely.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

We also shared an order of long chao shou (dragon wontons). These thick-skinned, pork-stuffed, chili oil-slathered dumplings boasted plenty of bounce to the ounce, if you know what I mean. Mmm!

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

We returned to Ren Yi Shui Jiao the following day for more early morning noodle and dumpling action.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

First up was a bowl of yu xiang pai gu mian, a Sichuan-style pork shoulder noodle soup. The oil-slicked broth was milder than expected, while the hunks of pork were perfectly tender. A hearty start to the day to be sure.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

Since most everything we ate in Chengdu came covered in a fiery chili oil, we changed things up this morning and ordered a simple wonton soup. It soothed and comforted like no other.

Restaurants like Ren Yi Shui Jiao are the reason why we love traveling to Asia so much—soulful fare, fair prices, and smiling faces.

Ren Yi Shui Jiao (click on link for Google map)
Wing On Street (near the intersection of Da Qiang West Street)
Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Our previous culinary exploits in the People’s Republic of China:



Hong Kong




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One thought on “Quintessential Sichuan Noodles and Dumplings Served with a Smile at Ren Yi Shui Jiao – Chengdu

  1. Everything looks amazing- I love thick-skinned dumplings in chili oil and wish I had a big bowl right this minute. Did you have this place on your list or did you randomly find it? Great pic of the girl making the dumplings, too:).

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