When dining in Hangzhou, be sure that you do not miss the city's specialties which are not only full of flavor and wiped up from fresh ingredients, but also comes with their own legends. When dining in Hangzhou, don't forget to try traditional famous dishes such as Dongpo Pork, West Lake carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce and Beggar's Chicken. Dongpo pork was said to be invented by Su Dongpo, literary writer and governor of Hangzhou as a reward to laborers involved in the massive lake dredging project. For West Lake fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce, it was said to be cooked up by a lady in the Southern Song dynasty in order to revive the appetite of her brother-in-law who was ill.
Other Hangzhou specialties include Stewed Duck with Dried Bamboo Shoots, Crab Stewed with Spiced Leaves, yutiao or fried dough sticks, Hangzhou Noodles with Pork and Bamboo Shoot, Long Jin tea leaves cooked with shrimps, braised fish soup, West Lake fish in vinegar sauce, etc.
Not to forget, a wonderful dining experience must be followed by good beers such as Tsingdao and West Lake beer (Xihu jiu 西湖酒).
ZhiWeiGuan (知味观): As a saying regarding this old reputable restaurant goes, "the aroma is so luring that visitors stop in their tracks to have a look" (zhi wei ting che, wen kan xia ma知味停车，闻香下马). ZhiWeiGuan specializes in creating avant-garde dishes unique to the restaurant and is a perfect place to go if you are looking for something fun and interesting.
- Address: 83 Renhe Road.
- Tel: +86 571 87065871.
- Opening hours: 6am-11pm.
Green Tea Restaurant (绿茶): Made of wooden stilts and thatched roofs, this restaurant offers guests a refreshing getaway from city life with its traditional setting and modern amenities. It has house specialties such as barbequed prawns, exquisite Longjing Tea and spicy peppered fish with a fresh flavor.
- Address: 83 Longjing Road, near the China National Tea Museum.
- Opening hours: 11am-1am; 10.30am-2am on weekends and public holidays.
- Tel: +86 571 8788 8022/ +86 571 87998725. Call early for reservations as it is always crowded.
- Website: www.shiyi.cc.