Monday, July 5, 2010

Hangzhou - Oriental at the Holiday Inn Hangzhou

Our next stop was Hangzhou where two of my favorite Chinese food items are from – Dragon Well Tea (Longjing) and Don Po Rou (Pork belly with sweet sauce). Hangzhou seems to be like many cities in China where it seems to be growing at an insanely rapid pace. A few minutes outside the center of the city you have people sitting on the highways selling fruits and veggies, but once you head into the city you see huge roads with loads of sky rise buildings everywhere. The skyline definitely rivals any American city not named NYC, LA, Chicago, and San Fran. Any who, the food is more of the same with some hella sweet stuff.

Our Menu – Oriental at the Holiday Inn Hangzhou
Rice Porridge using Rice Wine *
Unlike any dish I've had before - this was very thick and gelatinous since this was the same rice used to make Chinese Rice Wine. It had this slightly sweet (like sake) and a little bit of vinegar taste going on. Pretty fun stuff and a first for me.

Soup with a bunch of stuff ***

This was hella awesome and something I definitely want to make sometime. Basically the base was a chicken soup, but included the following – whole baby shrimp (like langoustine), egg, cabbage, tofu, wood ear mushroom, meatballs, and ham. I’ve never had this ham in Chinese cooking ever. It was so pungent that it reminded me of Serrano ham or prosciutto. Such intense complex flavors which added to this spectacular soup.

Kung Shing Chai *

Sauteed with loads of ginger and a bit of chicken stock. Pretty fun stuff.

Lotus Root ---
One of the rare misses at this restaurant , but we were told it’s a local specialty. Nice texture on the lotus root – kinda like a potato, but the sauce was cloylingly sweet. Pretty gross to me, but my wife liked it.

Bok Choy and Mushrooms *

Slightly sweet and slight vinegar 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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