Many at the table have ordered one of the most famous chongqing dishes, noodles with chickpeas and pork mince.
A companion declares it "spicy but balanced" and rapidly demolishes it.
The opening was a long time coming and also rushed: the restaurant has been in the works for some time but Meng Fei has a busy schedule, and he was difficult to pin down.
Word got out the week before, sending fans of the show into a spin.
Given he left the town when he was so young, could it be that the noodles are more to him than just a meal?
"They are kind of a recollection of my early life, of my childhood," he says.
As its host, Meng is beloved for his keen observations, quick wit and a well-timed kind word.