Qin Shan Zhai – Chengdu, China - Gastro Obscura
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Gastro Obscura

Qin Shan Zhai

Every dish at this restaurant claims to have a health benefit. 

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Often, going out to eat is the opposite of maintaining good health. But at Chengdu’s Qin Shan Zhai, nearly every dish on the menu is designed with health in mind, according to the tenets of Chinese medicine.

What does that mean? On the restaurant’s menu (which is in both English and Chinese), there’s a chicken soup with fruit and wild fungus that can “beautify the skin” and a stir-fried fish dish that promises to invigorate the heart. Twice-cooked pork with dried orange peel and wild mushrooms claims an ability to promote the flow of qi and improve the spirit. While one can certainly pick and choose their own prescription, the restaurant also offers a medicinal hot pot for those interested in cooking their own meats and vegetables in a soup of bubbling herbs.

The restaurant itself has a healing atmosphere, with grottoes, dark wood, and a lush inner courtyard. Medicinal liquors and ingredients are out on display, many of which can be purchased for a few dozen yuan per serving.

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Anne Ewbank
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