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July 14, 2011

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School meals were never this tasty

PAO Jiao Tong Xue (literally Pickled Pepper Schoolfellow) is a nostalgic restaurant that takes people back to their schooldays with its classroom-themed decor.

A blackboard identical to those found in school classrooms displays all the dishes on offer in this restaurant famed for its spicy food. Surrounding the blackboard, there are several wooden tables and chairs in a typical school yellow color.

Everyone has memories of putting books, school bags and belongings on the tables early in the morning, with some naughty students even putting their feet up. At Pickled Pepper Schoolfellow, people can relive their childhoods again - but with tasty food the only thing being placed on the tables.

The walls aren't adorned with luxurious oil paintings but, in accordance with the restaurant's theme, simple crayon drawings, that according to the owner, a Shanghai local surnamed Wang who spent some time living in Chongqing, a city renowned for spicy food, are all the work of children.

With his Chongqing background, the chef uses hot and spicy ingredients in the dishes. His recommendations include stir-fried chicken gizzards with pickled pepper (42 yuan/US$6), stir-fried bullfrog in hot wild pepper sauce (68 yuan), sauteed bullfrog with pickled peppers(48 yuan) and sauteed pig kidney with pickled peppers (38 yuan).

The menu resembles a textbook that junior students always use, with pictures and detailed descriptions of each dish, making a decision as easy as learning the alphabet.

To add the finishing touch to the nostalgic schooldays theme, the waiters are dressed in traditional sportswear.


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