It is said that Hangzhou dishes is like the West Lake that there are as many possibilities as there are people in the world. Hangzhou cuisine belongs to Zhejiang Cuisine- one of the eight Chinese Cuisines, which is featured by refreshing taste and exquisite shape. Hangzhou dishes are made of fresh materials in season with elaborate cooking methods; it pays more attention to nutrition and fresh and tender flavor. Almost a traditional dish is bound to a famous literary quotation. Early in Song Dynasty (970-1279), the great poet Su Shi (1037-1101) had praised the banquets in Hangzhou in his poems and had once got down from his horse because of the inviting smells. And one of the traditional famous dishes of Hangzhou, Dongpo Pork was named after his name (Su Shi is known to Chinese as Su Dongpo).
Traditional dishes of Hangzhou are Dongpo Pork (东坡肉), Fried Shrimps with Dragon Well Tea (龙井虾仁), Beggar’s Chicken (叫化童子鸡), West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy (西湖醋鱼), Stewed Duck in Soy Source (杭州酱鸭), West Lake Water Shield Soup (西湖莼菜汤), Fried Bean-curd Skin with Meat (炸响铃), Fish Soup Cooked in the Method of Song Sister (宋嫂鱼羹), Fish Head and Tofu Soup (鱼头豆腐), Braised Ham in Honey Sauce (蜜汁火方), etc.
New Hangzhou dishes include Hangzhou Eight Flavors (杭州八味), Steamed Bun Stuffed with Crab Meat (西湖蟹包), Fried Pigeon with Spiced Salt (椒盐乳鸽), Dried Bamboo Shoot and Old Duck Stewed in Clay Pot (笋干老鸭煲), Bay Leaves Baked Crab Meat (香叶焗肉蟹), Fried Egg Yolk and Green Crab (蛋黄青蟹), and so on.
Popular snacks are steamed buns of Zhiweiguan Restaurant, Cat’s Ear (猫耳朵, a kind of cooked wheaten food), noodles with quick-fried shrimps and sturgeon (虾爆鳝面), noodles with preserved vegetables (片儿川面), Crisp Cake of Wushan Hill (吴山松饼).
Recommended restaurants in Hangzhou:
- Tianxianglou Restaurant (天香楼) for Dongpo Pork, Fried Bean-curd Skin with Meat and Fish Soup Cooked in the Method of Song Sister;
- Louwailou Restaurant (楼外楼) for West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy and Beggar’s Chicken;
- New Kaiyuan Hotel (新开元酒店) for Fried Shrimps with Dragon Well Tea;
- Zhiweiguan Restaurant (知味观) for Dongpo Pork and steamed buns;
- Kuiyuan Needles Shop (奎元馆) for noodles with quick-fried shrimps and sturgeon and noodles with preserved vegetables;
And some distinguishing food streets on Baochu Road (保俶路), Hefang Street (河坊街), Gaoyin Lane (高银巷)...