A good name of a restaurant is spread by one foodie’s mouth to another’s, instead of commercials or advertisements.
Because real foodies are serious and passionate about food. Even heat does not deter them from seeking food, either hotpot or even ice cream.
Below are three restaurants which opened less than a year ago and have been praised by gourmets. They include a spicy dish franchise, a Chinese-style hamburger fast food, and an elegant vegan restaurant.
Chengdu is home to panda, hotpot and chuanchuan, a popular novel eating method — classic ingredients are skewered on bamboo sticks, stuck into a spicy broth and boiled, then dipped into a pungent sauce before eating.
Unlike hotpot that keeps boiling, the broth and kebabs are served in a big stainless bowl, and therefore chuanchuan is also called coldpot chuanchuan.
The concoction quickly spread around Sichuan Province and has become famous across the country. Miss Fu in Chengdu is a nation-wide franchise that specializes in making chuanchuan and other Chengdu delicacies.
It arrived in Hangzhou last year, and promptly went on to open three more branches in the city, including one only hundreds meters away from the first one — to handle the large waiting crowd.
The restaurant’s chuanchuan ingredients include everything from seafood and red meat to vegetables and soy bean products. They are sold by the skewer and each stick costs from half a yuan (8 US cents) to 5 yuan.
There are three types of broths: the classical Chengdu flavor, spicy and pungent flavor, and pork-bone-simmered soup. People can choose according to their choice — slightly spicy, medium spicy, very spicy or no spice.
Condiment is a must-order to go with chuanchuan. Choose sesame oil to reduce some hotness or chili powder.
Besides chuanchuan, there are other dishes that are highly recommended. The sweet ones that help soothe the tingled tongue include Fu’s Bingfen (iced bean jelly) and hongtang ciba (dark sugar rice cake); the salty snacks deserve a try include pig feet, and Chongqing fried pork that looks like KFC’s popcorn chicken.
Wulin No.1 Branch
Address: 110 Pingfeng Rd, near Baijingfang Lane
Tel: (0571) 8777-6575
Wulin No.2 Branch
Address: 115 Wulin Rd
Tel: (0571) 8777-6575
Wen’er Rd Branch
Address: 1st floor, 347 Wen’er Rd
Tel: (0571) 8898-7765
Address: 1872 Binsheng Rd
Tel: (0571) 8697-3717
The veg restaurant next to West Lake has earned fame for its cuisines, and mild and tasteful decoration.
Like a mysterious Chinese garden, visitors are first welcomed at a wooden gate and then led past a red-beam corridor on top of water before reaching a glass portal.
In the restaurant, Chinese calligraphy, simple but tidy wooden tables and linen lamp covers, reflect the owner’s taste. The lake view is close.
The food served is light fusion style and does not have any products involving milk or egg. Unlike many other Buddhist veg restaurants, it avoids serving greasy meals, and does not re-shape ingredients too much.
Mushroom lovers have a great choice, such as the mastutake soup — served in a tea pot, termitomyces braised with basil, truffle sautéed with peas.
Recommended dishes include sweet and sour lotus roots. The lotus root is sliced, and every slice is sliced in the middle again. Shiitake mushroom is stuffed, then the slices are coated with flour, then fried and flavored. It’s better to eat them hot to enjoy the combination of sweet, sour and crispiness.
Other recommended dish include iced vegetable served with ethereal dry ice, fried tofu sheet wrapping mushroom that surely fills the belly, and the dessert green and red bean cake.
Address: 1 Xueshi Bridge, Nanshan Rd
Tel: (0571) 8577-2777
Roujiamo, literally meaning “meat in bun,” is a common roadside snack from Xi’an but nowadays it can be seen in street corners in many cities.
The vendor slices a backed bun in the middle, cuts meat from an iron prop that keeps rolling in an open oven, then puts meat and lettuce in the bun. This, is the Chinese-style hamburger.
Former air hostess Zhang Jingjia quit her job and started a business selling roujiamo.
Her style is similar to street food but serves them in bright, clean, well-designed small restaurants. The prices are between 10 and 20 yuan.
Some find the bun fragrant and flaky, and the meat fresh and juicy.
“I ate and made roujiamo in different cities for three months to find its secret.”
She now has a senior roujiamo chef in charge of making the buns, while she herself helps with stuffing.
In her third restaurant, the roujiamo she serves is not just pork but also offers them with shrimp and mulberry leaves, and another with pepper and beef.
Besides roujiamo, other delicacy from Xi’an is noodles.
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