Monday, July 5, 2010

Hangzhou for my favorite dish

On the way to check out the tea gardens, we stopped in this random hotel for lunch. Wish I got the address, but we were as usual moving at a pretty fast paced clip. This place had tons of tourists so if you’re taking a tour of Suzhou and Hangzhou, you’re probably going to this joint.

Our Menu
Fried Noodles *
Good texture and decent flavor – basically soy with ginger.

Dong Po Rou ***

This was the dish I was most looking forward to and native to this region. The pork belly was so soft and flavorful and the sauce was just ridiculous. So complex with some sweetness, subtle hint of ginger, probably some variation of Chinese 5 spice powder, and some soy glazing. Add this to white rice and you are in heaven. I had two portions and wanted a third it was so good. My wife asked me if this was better than the one in Landis Hotel, Taipei…not sure, since the Landis Hotel version was pretty special. Either way I was incredibly happy.

Sauteed Celery **

The celery was sautéed in chicken stock, which was bright, crunchy and had great celery flavor. The brightness of this dish helped cut the richness of the dong po rou.

Fish in Soy, Vinegar Sauce ---

This was way too vinegary for my taste and totally masked the flavor of the fish. Usually this is done when the fish is of poor quality so that’s my guess here since this place had loads of tourists.

Sauteed Cabbage *
One of the simple styles of cooking veggies in China - this was simply just salt and garlic as opposed to the chicken stock thing. Pretty fun and nice and cleansing.

Seaweed Soup *
Nice subtle seaweed flavor with this weird gelatinous thing going on.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

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