Lonely Planet used to be one of my best companions when I travel abroad. Not because I am lonely but it helps to locate scenic locations and recommended delicacies in foreign places.
To avoid myself from associated with the word “lonely”, Google turns out to be my best buddy. Instead of flipping the book, I can easily acquire valuable information by gently touch my wife, iPhone :p
Every corner of the world has their own specialties. It is like a “must try” delicacy. For example: Tapas in Spain, Tom Yum in Thailand, Laksa in Penang and bla bla bla.
No exception for Hangzhou, the largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Over here, you “MUST TRY” few famous dishes in Lou Wai Lou (楼外楼), the most authentic restaurant in West Lake.
Like many tourists, I enter this restaurant with a hope to try every recommend dishes here. So I started to speak to the waitress in my broken Mandarin. Honestly, I have no clue 9 out of 10 words she said.
Thanks to the pictorial menu that bridge the communication gaps. I ordered Long Jing Cha (龙井茶) , the famous tea for only 12 RMB (~RM 6) each. If you are intending to add a little fat, go for Tong Po Rou, (东坡肉).
If you ask me, I didn’t know that Hangzhou is famous with beggar’s chicken. The only time that I came across with this dish is in “So, the Begger” movie. I thought it is just a mythical dish.
Right now, I get to try it myself. Many claim that this restaurant serves the most original version of beggar chicken. So, don’t be surprise if more than 90 % of customer here ordered this too.
While happily enjoying my meal, all of the sudden, a kitchen crew brings a pail with this ugly creature. Gosh.. totally spoil my taste. I am like, “What are you doing?”
This fish is about to sacrifice itself to feed my stomach. In few minutes, this fish turned out to be West Lake fish in Vinegar Gravy, one of the chef recommendations in this restaurant.
When I call for bill, I nearly get a heart attack as this lunch cost me RMB 445.40 (~RM 200 ish). Until now, I still try to justify that this lunch is worth the money. The dishes are quite unique but I have to go on diet for few days after that
Lou Wai Lou
Gushan Road, Xihu,
Hangzhou, China, 310007
GPS: 30.250258, 120.141935
Starbucks, Coffee Beans, San Francisco Coffee are all the famous hangout places for many. Have you ever thought where will be the emperor hang out places? If I tell you it will be in Café Shop, do you believe it? No? Why not?
Not all emperors love to see beautiful girls’ performances, operas, traditional musical etc. At least not the emperor that used to reside in Changdeokgung Palace.
In this palace, there is a very classy and modern café shop. Ops..maybe this shop is only build when the palace is made public. Poor emperor.. hehe.. Less one hang out place
Summer in Korea can get really really warm. Touring in Changdeokgung Palace during summer can make you feel like you are in Sahara Dessert. To satisfy your thirst and prevent you from getting sunstroke, this shop have both drinks and air condition.
This shop is not just an ordinary café shop. The shop also sells a lot of souvenirs at reasonable price. Souvenirs? That is a girly stuffs but I am attracted to the antiques, keychains, potteries and many others Korea specials.
Many decided to take a break here before resuming their tour in this palace. Sometime this shop can get really congested but it is a good thing for me as my “Eye Washer”! Google Korean Girls and you will know what I meant.
What special about this shop are the traditional teas. They serve Sikhye, Sujeonggwa, Citron Tea, Chrysanthemum Tea, Mogwa Tea, Saengang Tea and Jujube Tea. Also they serve some common beverages such as Iced Coffee, Americano, Moca Coffee, Coke etc.
To be honest, I have no clue at all the traditional teas but I think it is worth trying as it only costs about 3000 Won/cup. Just be prepared to use your pointing skills as they might not understand your language.
No point for me to go for common drinks. So, I have decided to go for Sikhye and Jujube Tea. Don’t ask me what it is because I have no clue. I just thought that selecting the first one on the menu board is the easiest and the last one is the easiest to point.
I have to admit that both of the teas are “not my cup of tea” but if I am to visit this place again, I will order it again for sure because the name is kind of cute.
Now you know, sometimes, I am luckier than emperor because I am a freeman that can go anywhere I want and I have an additional place to hangout !