Help with China (Guilin, Nanjing, Suzhou)
I'm off on another China trip in March and would really appreciate some restaurant or food market recommendations.
I'll be visiting Guilin, Nanjing, Suzhou and Hong Kong. There is _loads_ of great stuff on here about Hong Kong, so I'm OK there - but for Guilin, Nanjing and Suzhou I'm really struggling to find anything, anywhere!
Hey GordonS, back to China, eh? Lucky you, we're overdue for a trip.
Please please please go to Wang Si in Suzhou, it's one of my favorite restaurants in the world. Wonderful local cuisine. If you go please tell it I miss it...a pic of one meal there attached.
The Songhelou is also good (and is one of the oldest restaurants going, there's been a Songhelou in SZ since the 1700's).
The last time we were there (2008) the Sheraton Suzhou had an 88 kuai all-you-can-eat dian xin (dim sum) thing that was really worth it - about 50 types of dian xin and noodles, made to order, and you check what you want off a list. I think we had 19 types, all very good.
I haven't been in Nanjing since '94 and never in Guilin, unfortunately (in both cases).
As for Nanjing, I usually go to Shanxi Rd, Hunan Rd area as it's close to my parent's place.
鸡汁汤包 (Nanjing xlb
民国红公馆 (in the Embassy area
丁山花园 （excellent hotel chef here)
金哥私家菜馆 （south city
甘熙故居 the folk culture museum- good nanjing snack set in authetic setting
熙盛源馄饨 (Wuxi xlb
同得兴奥面馆 (Suzhou noodles
Most of Suzhou classical dishes are SWEET so it's really upto you if you want to check out
松鹤楼 or 得月楼..
I am sure 丁山 has English menus as it used to be a Shangri-la. There are two Chinese restaurants there and I don't remember which one we go. Fish soup noodles and bean curd (干丝）and other YangZhou cuisine banquet staples are the highlights. It's close to the outer city wall.
狮王府is a major wedding banquet destination - famous for the signature lionhead soup. It's a bit gaudy in decoration. 大牌档 tries to simulate a Higher end hawker center with Glutinous lotus and other small dishes of snacks - it's also an approachable place to try out the half-hatched eggs that Nanjing folks tend to eat at street corners. You'd point & get there. 韩复兴is a takeout place famous for its duck, spiced beef, and HOT duck fat pastries (the lines are quite a sight). The Xlb place is good for xlb (a bit sweet). The folk culture museum is highly recommended - for RMB 20 you get a 9 snack course at its teahouse in the garden. One of the few placed where old Nanjing is still preserved - and amateur opera singers gather. Another place I'd recommend to have tea is the tea house at the back of 鸡鸣寺 overlooking the inner city wall of Nanjing and the lake.
For Suzhou, there are few items on the menu for 熙盛源馄饨 - Wuxi xlb and wonton. That's IT. 同得兴奥面馆has better environment & is famous for its authentic Suzhou noodles - order the duck and the stewed pork. Other items are OK.
re: Ting Ting
Not all SZ classic dishes are overly sweet - the lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice and the wretched squirrel fish apart. I've had some very nice and not too sweet dinners at 松鹤楼 (Song he lou) and 得月楼 (De yue lou), prefer the former to the latter overall but had a brilliant dish of minced fish with pine nuts at 得月楼 that stood out as one of the best things in a long trip to Jiangnan. Prefer 王四 (Wang Si) to either.