66 Chuanchuan-A Party for Motor Fanatics
Introduction：American motor culture began with Iron Motor --- Harley Davidson in the post-war era. At that time, Harley was not just a tool for traveling but a spiritual pillar and an emotional outlet for people to pursue freedom and look into the future. Chinese motor culture, to some extend, has been influenced by the recognition and appreciation of this foreign culture, but it also embraces the civic leisure and the taste of all kinds of food.
Motor Culture With the Soul of Chengdu
In China, motor culture is always connected with high-performance, imported brand motors with large engine, which excludes the commuter motorcycle for it seems have nothing to do with culture. Lexically, motor equals to motorcycle, however, a real motor junkie never calls his motor a motorcycle that may reduce the charm of motor in order to differentiate it from normal ones.
American motor culture is well represented by Harley Davidson, for its perfect and characteristic integration with its rider and environment. Every one and every story concerned with motor can explicitly explain the idea of motor. However, in China, this culture still lags behind unless people treat motor as a means of entertainment rather than traveling, which is similar to today’s bicycle, fixed on the top of SUV and used to hang out to on the outskirts on weekends. Motor’s becoming a means of entertainment means that it is not the necessity for life any more, but the style and fashion of life that can bring about art and finally a culture.
I met with Sha, a motor junkie in a motor themed Chuanchuanxiang restaurant. During the meal, Sha said that everyone had their own spiritual sustenance, some crazy in music, some football, some collections and we, motor. He is a middle-age man, a native Mr. Chengdu who has been struggling in running a business for years. Even to now, he can name all the stops of the nine old bus routines that were built in 1980s and all Chengdu traditional foods hiding in alleys. Just because he is a real Mr. Chengdu and fond of motor for decades, he opened the only motor themed Chuanchuanxiang restaurant in Chengdu, located next to the Yingtai City, 3rd Tianfu Road.
Motor ceiling, Flying With Your Feelings
In Japan, people attach great importance to sumo so that a typical nutritional meal for sumo wrestlers, which stew beaf, fish, bean products etc. in a large pot has been popular. Sumo restaurants are everywhere in Japan, which are decorated and furnished in sumo style and even some restaurants build a dohyo, the sumo wrestling field in them. To make his restaurant more motor-style, Sha also brought his favorite motor to the restaurant, which had accompanied him across the Chengdu plain and the western mountain area.
Sha’s heavy motor is hoisted on the ceiling of the second floor. The floor-to-ceiling windows and several beaming spotlights perfectly foil the iron will of the motor. To safely place motor, Sha costs more than ¥10,000 to fix up a lifter, which can life it up when not used and land it down when needed. This motor is not only an ornamental for customers but also the symbol of Sha’s motor team for where it goes is where the team members gather and have fun. 66 Chuanchuanxiang(the name of Sha’s restaurant), the best party place for motor junkies, finds an echo with these fans and together with them influences the motor culture in Chengdu.
Actually, Sha is not an old-fashion western culture lover, however, the nostalgia in his restaurant can meet the demands of customers who are fond of heavy motor. In the hall of the restaurant, the post-modern style walls hang many things like helmets and hubs. Other small items, like motorcyclists’ sunglasses, cowboy vests with symbols of the motor team, jean chains and rivet boots with metallic luster, present the special characteristics of motor culture and become the focus of customers. And the post-modern style stairs and attic, the wall paintings, the ancient bicycle in front of the entrance of second-floor toilet tell another type of fashion.
Of course, never doubt the taste of Chuanchuanxiang in this restaurant for its special theme. The taste there is completely of Chengdu style.
Insiders Taste Culture & Outsiders Taste Foods
What makes Sha’s restaurant so special and popular is that its influential culture circle and loyalty of customers. It provides the insiders of motor culture a proper party place, while for the outsiders, good tastes of foods.
The soup base of 66 Chuanchuanxiang is the traditional Chengdu hot pot soup base. Outside the restaurant, you can smell the indistinct numbing spicy aroma, which makes you salivate. Tasting the first mouth of food, you may not sense spicy, but the aftertaste will give a thunderstrike through your body, which not only bring “bon appetit”, but also relaxing bath for your pores.
Every diner in 66 Chuanchuanxiang cannot help to eat greedily, talk loudly and laugh happily. When several strings of special spicy beef are put into your mouth, the spicy and delicate flavor will overcome your taste buds gradually. Although you have boiled the hot pot for one or two hours, the golden red of the soup base remains, with its special aroma and good taste. It is hard to imagine that such a small bistro can offer you such delicious food.
In 66 Chuanchuanxiang, you can have hot Chuanchuan in winter while cold Chuanchuan in summer. But in both kinds of Chuanchuan, there are special dishes of boiled brain flower, boiled luncheon meat and boiled duck blood. The brains of pigs have been boiled for a long time in the kitchen, then, soaked into boiled oil and finally put into the pot. You may find a sponge-like brain with all kinds of tastesdeeply absorbed. Actually, people’s attitudes towards the brain flower are just like those towards the durian, a mix of reputation. Someone who love the taste, they are very willing to have it even across the whole city, while those who dislike it, they even do not spare a glance for it. I have heard of a very poetic answer to why you are so into the brain flower that is because it has been a settlement of a soul.
Though the food materials here are not all-inclusive, each has a unique taste for the picky tongues, for example, spicy beef, duck intestines and gizzard, dishes that almost every Chengdu people will order. Long duck intestines taste crispy while instant-boiled to roll up; kidney bean sized rabbit kidneys taste al dente without strong odors. Some of the dished are totally hand-made by the chiefs: spicy beef is selective from cattle and mixed up with eggs, salt and chili; gizzard is chosen from pigeon mixed up with salty sauce, vinegar and chili, which taste with rich flavors.
Ingredients like chili, peanut powder and sesame, in the dry dish (sauce using for dipping foods in)of the 66 Chuanchuanxiang, are just to the point, in which you can taste numbing spicy, hot spicy, umami and aromatic. Some diners can easily get heet hay so that they always restrain their appetite for fear of sore throat and oral ulcer. But in 66 Chuanchuanxiang, although they are lured to eat their fill, the concerns never happen to them. The secret is that the dry dish has many ingredients with counter effects, some causing internal heat while others can relieve internal heat. Take chili for example, there are four kinds of chili in it in order to fuse different flavors and aroma together. Besides, the processing of the dry dish has strict standards, like the adding sequence of the ingredients, the heat of the stir-fry and the size of some food materials. Just as Nan Huaijin, a famous scholar in China, said: “Where there is no transcendental self-cultivation, there is no mundane achievements.”
A motor-themed Chuanchuanxiang could have attracted diners by its theme, however, it focuses on its foods, even on a small dry dish, which shows its high self-requirements and responsible attitudes towards customers. Each element in the 66 Chuanchuanxiang reflects the life attitude of motor fanatics in Chengdu-owning an exquisite life quality.
Sha’s Chuanchuanxiang actually is an adventure fueled by cultural and social elements. Individually, it is an experience of running an operational entity; while from the view of catering industry and the theme of restaurants, Sha is taking an adventure in catering and he not only rides his motor on this road, but also endows the foods with more cultural connotations and offers people an opportunity to have a motor travel together with tasty foods. Influenced by Sha’s rider quality and the soul of Chengdu, these diners gradually become fanatics for thematic restaurants.
As long as you love motor, it will bring you fun; while as long as you enjoy foods, it will never let you down. A low-end motor can give you same pleasure as a Harley can; while a party in 66 Chuanchuanxiang can give you same content as a Man-Han banquet can. The flavors in foods can free each of your taste buds and amaze you; while you take a motor travel, something splendid on the way always waiting to amaze you.
In Taiwan, people call both commuter motorcycles and heavy motors motors, while in the mainland China, motor fanatics prefer heavy motors, though there is no distinguishing difference between them. Generally, a motorcycle with more than 600CC emission is a heavy motor; one with 250CC-600CC emission is middle-sized motorcycle; one with less than 125CC emission is small-sized motorcycle. But in China, there is no production of motors with more than 250CC emission so that a middle-sized motorcycle also belongs to heavy motors. Now the most popular brands of motors are: Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, BMW and Harley Davidson.
Address: No.29, Jitai 6th Road, 5th Tianfu Avenue.