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Jan 22, 2012 11:26 AM

Jiangsu Cuisine

Can anybody recommend a Chinese restaurant around Boston that has Jiangsu style cooking?
Thank you!

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  1. I am not sure if there are any!

    "One of The Kind" restaurant has Shandong style cooking, and Shanghai Gate has very good Shanghainese that covers both the Southern and Northern borders of Jiangsu.

    1. Some of the stuff on the menu at Fu Loon might fit the bill. I think they have a dish called Jiangsu duck (sweet sauce, pancakes, does that sound right?). Also, they do a 'homestyle fish' that is very similar to what I had in Yangzhou (in Jiangsu province). They also have a Yangzhou style fried rice and I think even lion's head meatballs. Wonderful place, anyway, very pleasant owner.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ginafly

        Shanghai Gate is the most "Jiangsu" restaurant in the Boston area, although many Taiwanese restaurants around here have what is probably the most emblematic dish of Jiangsu cuisine, Nanjing Salty Duck, which might also go by other similar names like "Salt Water Duck" and is typically served cold.

        Fuloon does also does lion's head meatballs, Yangzhou fried rice (as do most Cantonese restaurants around here, although whether it's a randomly selected name for an Americanized dish or not may depend on the restaurant, and the chef's mood) and they have whole fish preparations from most major cuisine types in China (including one of the very few authentic Hunan dishes in the Boston area). Their signature duck, however, is called Jiangpao duck, and in this case the "jiang" refers to the soy sauce used to coat the duck slices, and not to a region of China.

        As a more general point, Wikipedia and tourism sites make too much of these "Eight Great Cuisines" of China, and try to over-separate these cuisine types. It might be a little like people in China asking where they can find a "New England Cuisine" restaurant in Beijing. There may be some famous "New England" dishes, but probably asking for a Maine restaurant or a Boston restaurant makes more sense. So too, there's less of a "Jiangsu cuisine" than a collection of famous dishes, and local food of famous places, such as Nanjing. Shanghainese food, which in is what Shanghai Gate specializes, is broadly similar to food from Nanjing, Suzhou, etc. although with a few different specific "famous local dishes".

        As it happens, Shanghai Gate and Fuloon are two of the best Chinese restaurants in the Boston area, so good eating!

        1. re: lipoff

          hey lipoff - where have you encountered other traditional hunanese dishes (other than the fish at fuloon) ? doesn't zoe's have some IIRC ?

          about a month ago i was at the relatively new Lao Hunan in chicago, and many of these traditional hunanese dishes were totally unlinke anything i've encountered in regional chinese cuisines. incredibly interesting dishes (that were also tasty!).

          1. re: Nab

            The fish at Fuloon is called "Whole Fish with Chili Pepper" and is called 湖南剁椒全鱼 (Hunan duo jiao quan yu, literally "Hunan chopped pepper whole fish").

            Zoe's (the good Chinese restaurant in Somerville, not the medicore diner in Cambridge!) is basically the only other restaurant that has some authentic Hunan dishes on their menu --- Mao's braised pork, Hunan kidneys, and a few more. Not a full slate of Hunan cuisine, but a start. I think Mulan has a reasonably authentic Hunan lamb on their menu as well.

            Many places have "Hunan beef" and such, that have nothing to do with Hunan. Usually "Hunan beef" is thick slices of beef in a thick brown sauce on a bed of sauteed spinach, and is actually one of my favorite dishes of American-Chinese food. The infamous Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square does a good rendition. Again, this has nothing to do with Hunan.

            I've been to Hunan Taste in Catonsville MD (right outside of Baltimore) and Dong Ting Spring in Las Vegas, both of which are absolutely fantastic, serious Hunan restaurants. Hunan food has the well-deserved reputation in China for being unrelentingly hot, with less subtely than Sichuan cusine. Fuloon's fish is from the lighter side of Hunan cuisine, and is hot but with lots of depth.

            1. re: lipoff

              thanks, lipoff.

              the great general tso was from hunan and sadly his namesake dish about reflects the state of hunanese cooking around most of the country. let's keep sniffin around. it aint easy to hide those hunanese chiles and pickles.

              1. re: lipoff

                They ALSO have one called homestyle, in a brown, milder sauce, I am pretty sure. I definitely know they have multiple whole fish preparations.

                1. re: ginafly

                  Right - as lipoff said above, "they have whole fish preparations from most major cuisine types in China (including one of the very few authentic Hunan dishes in the Boston area)." The "Whole Fish with Chili Pepper" is the Hunan-style preparation to which he was referring, which Nab had asked about.

            2. re: lipoff

              Thanks for the correction on the duck at Fuloon! I am always forgetting the name of it. Thankfully they have that picture menu. =)