There are a lot of al fresco restaurants by the canals. They will be soliciting your business with menus. For the most part the people are nice and honest. The food is not dissimilar -- mostly "farm-style" homecooking but quite delicious!
One of the most famous delicacies in Tongli is the "Wanshanti" or braised pig's knuckles! They are braised in soy sauce, rice wine, and other seasonings such as anise, etc. It's fatty but you can just trim the fat with a fork or knife. Guaranteed "melt-in-your-mouth" tender. It should be anywhere between RMB 35-50.
There're also a lot of restaurants converted from traditional houses. They typically serve what they call "farm-style cooking". Language could be a problem, but some pointing goes a long way. I found most of the people in Tongli to be very honest and you're unlikely to be overcharged. A typical mean for 2 should be around RMB 60-100.
Favorite Dish: Pig's knuckles of course!
Smelly tofu / fermented deep-fried beancurd is rare in streets nor as dishes in chinese restaurants due to its pungent smell. However, you can find a few stalls here selling this daring snack along the water canal or at the main street of Tongli. They are dipped in sweet or chilli sauce to bring out the tofu's taste.
Its pungent smell may be disgusting like garbage / drain water but it won't smell the same once you taste it. It becomes tasty & fragrant. It costs only RMB1 for five pieces. Dare to try it ?? Perhaps it is rather like durian, once bitten, forever smitten.
It's a great pleasure to dine beside water canal at Tongli. You can enjoy the nice view with small boats passing by while sipping a cup of tea. Reading a book while brewing a cup of tea is a great experience too.
There are many restaurants and tea bars here for your choice. Allow yourself more time to dine leisurely here.
The food here comes in very large portion and served in big metal bowl or plates. Some of the utensils are old and of poor quality. You have to use a thin plastic cup for chinese tea or beer.
I find the food served here is a bit bland.
Beware, the toilets here are with low partition cubicles.
There isn't much atmosphere other than the good food being served...!!!!!
Favorite Dish: They serve different food in the morning and afternoon, in the morning, the have steam dumpling and in the afternoon its fried dumpling, all are freshly made. Very cheap and excellent taste. Miss it very very much and will definately make a trip there just to have this dumpling.
Well this is suppose to be the best south of the Yangtze River but I do not see what is so great about it. I think many years ago the scenery outside the teahouse would have been great but now, sitting next to the river, it smells like a fish market. There are some wax figure around the restaurant and bird cages as well.
Favorite Dish: As for the tea, there are many choices to choose from, since I am not a chinese tea fan, choose a simple flavor which turn out quite unique in the way it was brewed. The name of this tea no idea...!!! It was actually recommended.