Lower: Photo credit goes to Li Seng, taken in 2006
Last food post to round up the HK-Shanghai-Shenzhen trip! Frankly, I wasn't that familiar with the roads of SZ or knew what the best restaurants were, relying mainly on my dad's recommendations as he spent plenty of time in the factories here. This one was another of his regular haunts for reliable, quality food!
Zhi Wei Tang was another one of those large food corporations, specialising in JiangXi (江西) cuisine with branches all over China. Their most unique feature was that the soups were placed into large porcelin vats and slow-stewed for hours with a charcoal flame within. Actually, I have seen these vats in Singapore before serving similar soups. But sad to say, you could taste that they were plainly prepared beforehand, merely using the vats to reheat them up!
The branch at 春风路 was four storeys high, and we went after lunch hours with few diners remaining. As with almost all restaurants in China, the menu was as thick as a photo album, so take your time in choosing your dishes. Waitresses tended to be a little sparse (due to the time I guess), but they were always ready to make good recommendations!
Chicken and Mushroom Soup, Steamed Pork Ribs with Glutinious Rice
Without delay, introducing its trademark! We had a free-range chicken (kampung chicken, in our terms) as base with whiffs of chinese herbs and earthly mushrooms within. Clear, flavourful and not overdosed with MSG, the soup was simply faultless, giving a stomach-warming aftertaste. No need for too much descriptions, just fantastic!
The other was also one of my favourite dishes here. Soft and sticky, the rice absorbed all the meat juices from the ribs, with the tender meat sliding off easily from the bone. I could polish off the soup and rice by myself for a really full meal!
Wok-fried Frog Legs, Scallion Pancakes
The meaty cubes of frog legs were pretty well done, flavoured by chilli and garlic and wok-fried to dryness. The scallion pancakes were a good substitute for the usual buns, lightly salted with the fragrance of diced scallions.
Sugared Sticky Cakes
Resembling mini donuts, these were sprinkled with a layer of sugar before deep-frying, resulting in a crispy coating with soft, chewy insides. Nice to round things up!
Bill would be usually about RMB50-100 per head, enough to keep everyone satisfied and full. Come on, would the operators in Singapore stop being so gimicky and show us some real skills? We could do with some good soups!
滋味堂:民间瓦缸煨汤馆 罗湖区春风路向西村向贵楼 Tel: 0755 8239 6222 Note: As usual, take a cab if you are lost. It really doesn't cost much and quite hard to miss with their huge facade! Taken with Nikon D70