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“Very Styish Food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chen Mapo Doufu

Chen Mapo Doufu
Jiefang Lu, Wenshu Temple Area, Chengdu, China
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Ranked #232 of 2,304 Restaurants in Chengdu
3.5 of 5 stars 15 Reviews
Cuisines: Szechuan
Restaurant details
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Very Styish Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2014

We had grilled smoked ribs and cucumber with bean paste, along with the tofu. They were beautifully presented and delicious and the tofu was magnificent, quite unlike any I've ever had: quite hot, very strong with Sichuan pepper, and with layers of flavour. RMB116 with 2 large bottles of beer, in palatial surroundings.

Visited October 2014
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Good Food but Terrible Service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

I went to eat their famous Mapo Doufu yesterday evening, and in respect to the quality of the food, I was not disappointed. The spicy flavor of the soup combined with the richness of the tofus made it quite savory. It was one of the best mapo doufus I've ever had.

In respect to the service, however, I was extremely disappointed. The waitresses were curt and very slow in responding to my requests; the rice came out 30 minutes after the mapo doufu. If you wanted your cup refilled, you had to shout over the noise of others to get their attention. Overall, it was hectic and the poor service made the experience even worse. I would not recommend this place unless you're a die-hard fan of mapo doufu or at least just like to try one of Sichuan's most famous dishes. But I would never go there again.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Go for the Mapo, Stay for the Dan Dan Mien”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

We were staying at the Sheraton around the corner and I hate to admit it, but in a city with hundreds of excellent choices we actually went both nights that we were in Chengdu. Soooo yummy! I am a Mapo Dofu convert - it was spicy, deliciousness. The boiled beef was also a winner. But the unexpected star was the dan dan mien (spicy noodles with pork). It was even great cold the next day on the train. FYI, you want to eat at the street level restaurant. Cheaper, and clearly we thought it was delicious.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Want food poisoning and terrible service? Then go here.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

We followed Google Maps and accidentally ended up at the kitchen entrance (in the alleyway). We peeked in and saw a disgusting kitchen; caked over in grease and mold. The alleyway itself seemed to be slicked over in whatever they chuck out late at night, and workers were squatting in the dingy, dirty alleyway smoking.

But we had our hearts set on this... so we went in through the posh entrance. It's quite beautiful inside (the main dining area).

Following the reviews, we ordered the mapo dofu... then we ordered a few other items (steamed bread with what appeared to be corn salsa and kungpao chicken). Then we waited. And waited.

Around us, people were beginning to yell at the waitresses, Chinese and foreigners alike. I heard a lot of Chinese people complain that their food was ordered an hour ago and a table seated 20 minutes ago have already received their order.

At the 45 minute mark, we finally got our mapo tofu. I have to admit, it was pretty good. Not mind-blowing, but good and savory. I ate the pork bits, while my husband did not have as much of the ground pork. Guess who ended up with severe food poisoning 3 hours out.

At the 1 hour 15 minute mark, someone told us that they ran out of the steamed buns and corn. I was irritated. I instead ordered the corn... and then a set of steamed buns... which uh... is pretty much the same thing, except two items instead of one. They said okay. I complained in Chinese to them that they should have told me that from the get-go instead of making me wait an hour.

1.5 hours: kungpao chicken arrives. It is pretty lack-luster and bland.

My husband and I are getting irritated and start watching the wait staff. Tea is not poured unless you start yelling at a waitress. A poor busboy has the ENTIRE STACK of restaurant orders in his hand, running around with a plate of food and trying to determine where each dish (they're each for different tables) should go. It's almost funny, except I'm not laughing because I'm hungry.

1.45 hours: corn arrives. It is fried and looks nothing like the menu picture. For some reason, they put sweet sprinkles all over the corn. It looks like carnival food, but isn't as good.

2 hours: I get sick of waiting and tell the waitress I want the check and that the steamed buns never arrived. She strikes them off the check and returns with a revised check. As she returns, the steamed buns finally arrive. She shoos off the bus boy with the food (!). Any other restaurant, they would have apologized and gave it to us on the house. We look at the check. They added some unknown 12 Y fee to it, and our bill goes up from 66 to 78. We can easily afford this - but we have no idea what it IS. My husband stormed after the waitress and demands to know what it is. I stayed at the table to watch our stuff. His Chinese is still elementary, but they kept yelling at each other until she threw a 10 Y bill at him.

Altogether - probably the worst run restaurant I've ever been to. Frustrating experience. Nothing but the mapo tofu is actually worth eating here - and if you do it, avoid the pork bits or else you might get a serious case of diahrrea.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
499 reviews 499 reviews
246 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
261 helpful votes 261 helpful votes
“Great Food, Service A Bit Slow But Worth the Time and Effort.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Our tour guide was a regular here. He reassured us that the food would be good. He was right. It was a busy day at lunch but the wait was not too long. Service was a bit slow due to shortage of staff but it was worth the time and effort. We had 4 different dishes, a pot of tea, 3 cups of steamed rice and our total bill was 78 Yuan (about $13 USD! Incredible! Nobody spoke English but our tour guide was there to help with our order. Our waitress was very happy when she got her tip. We had a lot of left over food and we were full. The food was excellent. I highly recommend this restaurant but have someone do the ordering in Mandarin.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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