It was in a group buying side I first heard about this restaurant. They had a 50% off in their menu, but I was reluctant to purchase as it is quite far from our place. If I only knew that this place is so worth it back then, I should have hoarded some vouchers. Here’s my take in this artistic-modern restaurant right in the heart of SM Mall of Asia.
Not quite certain if the title is the actual name of the restaurant (because it sounded so literal), but if it really was then they seriously know how to roast a fish right up to the bones. We got introduce with this humble restaurant by our dear Chinese friend Max out of asking if we have tried the famous “baked fish” in Dalian. Being the curious food adventurous couple we are, told him I think we have tried such dish once when hubby and I went to Beijing last April. But our friend anxiously convinced us that this dish is different and no one else can bake anything like it in Dalian, unless if I will visit Sichuan province to taste the original ones. Carried away by his strong words, we just said to him 2 words – surprise us!
When one of our Chinese friend Max told us there’s a must try dish here in Dalian made out from super thin plate size pancakes, we never hesitated and gave it a try. So we three went to Xi’an Lu for a Friday night feast, it was full-house but we got lucky to snagged a table good enough for us.
The place is a typical all Chinese cuisine restaurant, full of hungry and loud people. Normally crowd is a good indication and assurance of great food, we seriously hit jackpot that night as Max told us it is one of the famous restaurants that serve great traditional food. Should warn you though, they don’t have any English menu and English speaking service people so it pays to bring a Chinese friend along or somehow who knows and understands Mandarin. But for me & hubby, we didn’t bother to run through their càidān (menu) because we generally want to be surprised.
So, how would you eat this food? Take any kind of cooked meat place it on top of the thin pancake together with vegetables and sauce to add more flavor. Then roll it with your hands, fold each side and munch it directly to your mouth. It’s fun doing the process over and over again because you can mainly customize the content of each wrap you’d make. And oh, the thin wrapper reminds me of a Filipino finger food lumpiang shanghai. Only difference is you’ll eat it as is without frying, which I find very unique and super delicious. Sure when dining in this place you won’t care having your shirt get stained as every bite tastes so worth it.
Pardon me of not getting the English name of the restaurant, I tend to forget stuffs when over fed. Above is a snapshot of the restaurant from the outside, just along the street. For exact informations maybe you can just goggle it around.
Friday night and everyone at the office has plans, one of them is our good friend Steven. So he invited us (me and hubby) to dinner along Schuma Lu, but without any specific restaurant in mind we ended up in a nearest hot pot restaurant few meters away from Hao-you-dou (Trust Mart) Supermarket. It’s my 3rd time to eat in a hot pot, it wasn’t as shocking as the 1st one. May be because I knew what to expect right from the moment I stepped-in and the fact that the restaurant was a typical Chinese food haven in which I am partly immune. The fúwùyuán (waitress) took us in the 2nd floor and had us seated in a chic 6-seater even though it was only 3 of us. But it was a good sign, at least they knew how to make their customers comfortable.
Going through the menu was the hard part, why? Because it was all written in Chinese letters without any significant pictures. So even if you’ll stare and have each word translated in a compact mobile dictionary, it will take forever before you can actually pass an order but then our friend became so handy. We told Steven to order all the vegetables and meat he knew because we ain’t picky enough .
So what is a hot pot anyway?
If you are living in China, I am pretty sure these days are the most celebrated moments of their culture. People busy heading home, supermarkets full of rush shoppers, symbolic materials hanging/posted in everyone’s door, kids roughly setting off noisy fireworks, families reunited and the best part, 7-day celebration.
Why? Its Chinese New Year (CNY)! If you noticed, Chinese people celebrate their Lunar New Year as one of the most important days of their lives. Just like how we (Filipinos) value Christmas, they also like festivities and love spending time with their families too. Reunion is a must; reason why most people endure long tiring queues amidst the populated crowd at train, bus and airport terminals trying so hard just to get back home. Something that I truly admire.
But as for us, we won’t be going home since airfares are becoming extremely expensive during holidays. So far we have celebrated 2 New Year for 2011 and fore the record this is my first CNY in China. To make it somewhat special, we had a lovely dinner at home. So, Jeff and I both cooked. My husband proudly grilled his own version of pork bbq and I cooked my very first Chinese dish called Kung Pao Shrimps which I searched online from a fantastic food website for references, hehehe..
Here are some photos,