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Eating and Drinking
Non-Chinese Restaurants Bars Food Shopping Back to Main Menu
With literally thousands of restaurants in the city, it is almost pointless trying to recommend places, but we try! Here are a few favourites (and warnings). Contact me with your favourites and I'll include them.
běi hǎi yú jiā fēng wèi
Beihai, for those who don't know, is a coastal city in the south of Guangxi on the Tonkin Gulf, near the Vietnamese border. About six hours by bus from Liuzhou. It is a popular tourist destination (especially its Silver Beach) and is also the source of most of the seafood served in Guangxi's restaurants.
About ten years ago, there were a lot of seafood restaurants in Liuzhou, but most disappeared. I have no idea why. Seafood remained (and remains) still available in Cantonese restaurants at very silly prices. An alternative is some shady night stalls in food markets, but a recent scandal ruled most of them out. So, it is a welcome change to find this relative newcomer. 北海渔家风味 translates as "Beihai Fishing Family Flavour" and is a down to earth seafood place with great seafood at sensible prices.
The restaurant is on two floors. They have a huge menu with all sorts of dishes, but what you really want to do is grab a table, then head back outside. To the left of the main entrance (as you face the entrance) is the real menu. Tanks full of seafood and other goodies. One of the wait staff should have followed you out and you make your order by pointing. Note: This seafood selection is only available in the evening. At lunch, only the standard menu is available.
蛋椒 Egg Jiaozi
Among dishes my companion and I ordered were:
Scallops and Mussels
They have a lot more.
Dinner for two reasonably greedy people for around ¥100 - ¥200 depending on what you order.
The restaurant is at 92 Bayi Road (八一路) to the north of BuBuGao Shopping Mall..
小肥羊 xiǎo féi yáng
Little Sheep (the Chinese translates as Little Fat Sheep, but they have dropped the fat from the English version) is an Inner Mongolian hot pot restaurant chain with 375 branches in China and has recently opened in the USA and Canada. (Originally Chinese owned, Yum Foods, owners of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, now own the company.)
They previously had a large outlet in Liuzhou which was incredibly popular, but it closed when the lease on the building expired. Approximately two years later, it has returned.
The concept has been much copied, but this is the original.
The restaurant is on the second floor of the building half way along Longcheng Lu (above the underground mall), opposite Pizza Hut. It is usually necessary to book. They suggest three days in advance minimum. It gets very busy and they don't hold your table if you are late. The entrance is round the corner in . They have a second branch on Fei'e Road.
The restaurant, not surprisingly, specialises in lamb hot pot. Wafer thin slices of tender ham are the main ingredient, but there are many others. The hot pot broth comes in various forms, but the most popular by far is the Ying-Yang Hotpot. One side of the pan contains a simple, but tasty, chicken stock; the other contains a fiery chilli intense broth. Dip your lamb or other morsels into the stock of your choice till cooked.
Tel: 0772-2860625 / 2860635
I was recently treated to one of the best meals I have eaten anywhere and certainly the best I've had in Liuzhou. The venue was a highly popular restaurant known as:
wǔ líng shān zhēn
The restaurant is one of a chain originating in Chongqing, and its specialty is wild mountain mushrooms. A friend and I ate a huge hotpot type mushroom soup. The depth of flavour was astonishing. The restaurant had around 36 different mushrooms on display, but our soup only had about six - more than enough. We were stuffed!
They offer a full menu, but also have set meals which are great value and a useful introduction. Last night, two of us ate more than we needed for ¥68 (March 30th 2008). The meal consisted of a hot pot bowl of the most amazing organic chicken soup (with the chicken meat), a plate of pancakes, six different wild mushrooms to cook in the soup and a side dish of Hunan style stir fried bacon. Might not sound a lot, but believe me, it was more than enough. My companion, a good Chinese friend, didn't even want rice to go with it! And when it was time to top up the soup pot, they did so with chicken stock, not with water as they do everywhere else.
Set meals for larger groups have more dishes / ingredients, not just more of the same.
The restaurant is very popular so booking is recommended (essential at weekends). Turn up on time or they will give away your table. In fact, they called us 15 minutes before our reservation time to be sure we were definitely coming. Service is excellent.
WLSZ is at 22 Gui Zhong Avenue. From the city centre, cross Hudong (No.3) Bridge, and take the second main turning to the left. The restaurant is on the left side of the second block down. Tel 0772-3998958
Frankly, I'm kind of jiaozi-ed out. However, about once a year is fine. Certainly, the best place in town to sample them is the Harbin Jiaozi Restaurant. This place does get really busy at lunchtimes and early evening, but is worth visiting for their large range of jiaozi (pork, beef, lamb etc, in various combinations). Dirt cheap but delicious lunch!
The original Harbin Jiaozi Restaurant (pictured below) lies on 立新路 lì xīn lù，the street running down to the river opposite the southern end of the Wuxing Pedestrian Street (see map). There is also a small branch in the basement of the Bubugao building near the supermarket entrance.
The Hand Pulled Noodle place next door is also worth a visit.
For authentic Guangxi style food, you could do worse than visit (Golden Dragon Stockade). This is a popular and busy mid-priced restaurant in the centre of town. Part of a chain based in Guilin, the restaurant is on the second floor of 12 Longcheng Road (the main road running from Liuzhou Square to the No. 1 Bridge). 0772-2873198 2860845
It is best to go in larger groups as this is strictly Chinese style eating. Fortunately, they have a picture menu. Here is a sample (most with English translation - Note the menu in the restaurant has no English.) The group's website (Chinese only) is here.
There several Hunan restaurants in town, but this is one of my favourites.
is named after the village where Mao Zedong was born, and this is a popular place serving authentic Eastern Hunan food. Spicy hot! The restaurant can be found at No. 40 Gongyuan Road, near the crossroads at Soho Bar.
For those not familiar with it, most Hunan food is hot, hot, hot. Often hotter than Sichuan food. But delicious. There is an article on Hunan Cuisine here.
Here is a short video of the interior of the restaurant -complete with Mao pictures on the wall.
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