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Baguo Buyi, Jiefang Branch/巴国布衣, 解放店
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True, we've been doing this mag for three years, but there are still plenty of famous restaurants we have yet to review. Eight slots a month just isn't enough. But we continue to plug away. It's a damn shame we haven't given you this place. At least it's winter, and you can truly appreciate the spiciness that Baguo Buyi has to offer. This place has garnered quite the rep, both for its food and for its atmosphere. We are big fans of spicy and decided to try a few standard Sichuan dishes and a few new, just to see if the place lived up to all the hype. Let's get our only complaint out of the way first: the timing. We got five dishes (actually six, but they forgot one. OK, two complaints), and the first to come was the Cold Noodles. Perfect timing and perfect dish topped with sesame seeds and chopped peanuts. The second dish to come was the Sichuan Dumplings. A big no, no at the beginning of the meal. The Pickled Mashed Potatoes came shortly after and far surpassed those our mamas ever made. Now here's the big prob. We had to wait an additional twenty to thirty minutes for our two big dishes, the Spicy Shrimp and the Spicy Chicken. The lazi ji was well worth the wait probably the best we've had in town, plenty of meat on the bone. The shrimp, on the other hand, could have seen a little less fire. The food is good, but what keeps people coming back, despite the location all the way out east, is the ambiance. Very comfortable. Very earthy, without being too down home. Dark colors, carved wooden beams and these pots of coal placed strategically around to heat the place up. There are no private rooms, but they do have some booths shrouded from the rest of the dining area by curtains. Most of the tables downstairs are for smaller groups and are creatively spaced. There's a great, big wrap around booth in the middle, but the majority of the seating for bigger groups is upstairs in the loft. Baguo Buyi is certainly a unique Sichuan experience. Try heating yourself up here and then walking on down the road to cool yourself down at the Shamrock. An Eastside evening indeed. Picture menu available. Face change performance from 6:30pm to 7pm.

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32 Jiefang Road

0571 8721 8999

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