Some say mala xiangguo
is a Beijing interpretation of Sichuan food, while others say it’s actually called gan guo
, a dry hotpot from Hunan where you can choose from a kitchen sink of ingredients by portion. Choose your heat level from wimpy to nuclear and, soon enough, a big black bowl (from 50RMB) will show up with an alarming pile of two types of red chillies, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and other spices, and everything you ordered. Use the wooden paddle to toss the ingredients occasionally to mix up the flavours and dip in.
Serving one of Beijing's best dishes!