Taking a 1.5hrs train ride, HangZhou makes an ideal place to visit out of Shanghai. We hopped onto a taxi at the train station and headed straight for its iconic Westlake, reaching at about noontime. Lunch first!
Owned by the 花中城 group of restaurants, 藕香居 was located within a traditional mansion and completed with a pond of its own. Interior-wise, it was fairly grand with large dining halls and well-spaced tables. We were lucky to get a seat early as it was soon full house!
My favourite kind of stir-fried shrimp in China! Fresh and crunchy, I try to order this everytime its on the menu! The stewed pork was served individually in a small porcelian bowl, with tender lean meat and that thick layer of melting translucent fats. Yes very unhealthy, but sinfully good!
While the piece of certificate was absolutely redundant, the deep-fried duck was simply divine with crispy skin and moist, flavourful meat. Many thumbs up for the signature dish! Stir-fried bamboo shoots served as veggie for the meal!
Foie Gras with Black Pepper Sauce, Wrap with Beancurd Skin and Ham
We ordered this simply out of curiousity. Foie gras in a chinese restaurant? You bet! I suspected they used a local breed of goose for the dish as it wasn't as fragrant as the one eaten in french restaurants, but still had a reasonably melting texture. Accompanied by black pepper sauce, I still thought that a sweet-tasting one would be a better partner for the foie gras.
For carb intake, the steamed mantou wrap looked interesting on menu but was pretty average in taste. Served with a honey dip, the marinated ham provided its salty flavour while the beancurd skin was overfried, too brittle to be appreciated.
Bill for 3 was slightly above RMB 300. Worth most of your penny with well-executed dishes and a comfortable environment. Now digest that with a good long walk around the lake!