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[Xiamen City] Xiangjiang Hong Restaurant (湘江 红)

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Had a fair meal at this Hunan restaurant last night. I believe it is part of a chain (or minichain) with five locations in Xiamen City. We went to the location on Liangyue Road (连岳路), which is evidently pretty popular with locals. It was packed to the gills around 7 p.m. on a Sunday night.

We had:

- steamed pork with preserved vegetables
- steamed pork with rice flour (actually coarsely ground rice)
- stirfried green peppers in black bean sauce
- spicy beef soup with wide noodles
- rice
- a bottle of bai jiu (horrible... :)

The combination of dishes was not well chosen (my fault), as both pork dishes were made from sliced pork belly and heavy and everything was very salty. But the food was well made for the most part. My favorite was the steamed pork with rice, quarter inch slices of pork belly coated with coarsely ground rice, packed in a mold, and steamed. The rice ends up soft and fluffy like couscous, and the flavor is simple and delicious.

The spicy beef soup with wide noodles were also pretty good. Noodles were tender, but not overcooked. The broth was very spicy and salty, but also pretty multidimensional and rich (not just because of MSG). The beef was very tough, however.

Steamed pork and green peppers were fair, but not standout. The steamed pork (as described on the menu; actually it was probably braised) was the Hunan version of dongpo rou, but sliced and served over salted jiu cai. Green peppers were lightly charred in their skin, but cooked in far-too-salty black bean sauce.

Meal was moderately priced -- about 130 RMB for the food.

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  1. Pic 1: steamed pork with preserved vegetables
    Pic 2: interior of the restaurant on the first floor... kitschy / cute pics of mao everywhere