One of my favorite places to eat. On the 2nd floor of the Aged Bar building near the kunming bird and flower market. Besides being an restaurant is seem also to be ha place for people to hang out, drink tea, and play cards. In the winter there several small op fire pits where people sit around on small stool to play card. A very enjoyable place. Plus the food is great too. I enjoy the yu xiang rou si (translated to: fish smells pork strips, but is basically strips of fried pork and veggies) the also have a good "Mini" hot pot.
The inside is set up more like a western style restaurant, large tables and not to cramped.
I nice place for lunch for dinner, or just to hang out to have tea or a bottle of beer.
Favorite Dish: There Pork strippes that smell like fish (funny name, but taste good
The whole place is built of pinewood. The owner pays attention to its deco including fresh flowers in a huge vase. Gives a nice feeling.
There are two Mamafu's around, one is called Mamafu, the other Fumama.
Anyway, Mamafu sells western food, while Fumama, just 3 doors away, sell noodle soup.
Favorite Dish: If you have been deprived of real chicken curry for a long time (real meaning: Malaysian), then this is a good surrogate. The "curry" is actually lots of turmeric, no onion or those "tumis" we use back home.
It's a huge serving RMB10.
They also serve other varieties of noodles, namely the typical Kunming "mixian", or "ersi".
The noodle is good, real noodle with "kyi" in it to give it the "qiu" and yellowish colour. I specifically mention this because in Kunming, you get a lot of noodle like our assam laksa noodle (mixian), or our "pan min" noodle (er si), but never proper bihun, misua, or this real yellow noodle.
A typical local eatery. The claypot with small mouth ensures the soup stays hot for a long time.
The food is served fast, which is good.
You select the type of flavour you want for your noodle soup, pay for it, and find a table.
Favorite Dish: Rice noodles of course.
Various meat from very normal pork and chicken to frog to a luxurious type offering all ( I think)
Price starts from RMB 5 (peanut soup - vegetarian).
When the noodle set is served, put the raw raw into the soup first, followed by raw vegetables, then cooked meat, and lastly the noodles.
The doorway is narrow. Crowd can be overwhelming in the early evening (6-7pm). Inside is a coutyard style setup, you can choose to have your meals in the front hall, back hall, or side hall.
They serve chinese soup. The winter melon soup is delicious.
Favorite Dish: Dish 1 : Pork (Wu hua) simmered with chestnuts. A little too sweet for me, but I am sure many people find this excellent. I shunned the skin and fat portion, but was told by the owner that's the best part.
Dish 2 : Naxi minorities steamboat, with yunnanese ham and lots of vege & mushroom. Quite an experience.
Walk into any local restaurant, and try to order this.
This is pork sliced very thinly, then cooked with preserved Chillies. It's salty spicy. Goes very well with rice.
It's not expensive, about RMB 8 per plate.
This specialises in steamboat.
The soup base is made of yunnan ham and chicken cooked with yunnannese herbs. The major herb is Dian Ma, the root/rhizome of some plant.
Health benefits : good for weak stomach, blood circulation, migrane.
It's typical yunnannese eatery settings. You can choose to sit at a proper table (4 person per table), or half-squat on the real low chairs and dine at the real low table.
The stove is right on the table, and the gas cylinder is under the table.
Not much space to move around. All the furnitures are jam packed together.
Favorite Dish: Sequence of eating the Steamboat :
1) Boil the soup (with ham and chicken and herbs, which are prepared by the kitchen and served in a big pot)
2) Turn fire to small. Drink first the soup
3) Make dip with the various condiments served, and pour a little soup to the dip. The surprise includes fermented tofu (furu) which is very very authentic (well for malaysians at least).
4) Eat the ham and chicken with dip.
5) Add the vege and noodles (you get to order from the menu - in chinese) and start boiling again
6) Eat the vege (and soup)
The soup is a little salty, but the savoury taste is just right to fight off the cold in autumn/winter.
The soup base costs RMB 38. The rest is up to your order. Vege costs between RMB 1 to the RMB 5 for the expensive mushrooms. Two of us went and spent RMB 27 each.
This is an eatery with both indoor and alfresco dining. You pay at the counter as you order, then take the coupon to the kitchen counter to exchange for food.
The menu is in Chinese.
It's a quiet place behind Xiao Xi Men. If you can find the "Jiang brother restaurant", and just take the path on the left, walk past the eatery attached to Jiang, and you will come to this one.
Favorite Dish: A lot of stuff on the menu (include indonesian fried rice), but I recommend the rice in chicken soup (Tu Ji Pao Fan). It costs RMB 5.
And for drink - papaya water - RMB 50 cents.
A surprise is the fermented tofu, which has the authentic taste for those who remember what the real chinese fermented tofu used to taste like in the 70's in Malaysia. And is a free condiment, which you scoop onto a side dish provided.
This is a tasteful western restaurant setup.
Two Floors of dark timber.
It's a quiet romantic restaurant with not-very attentive waitresses, which is a norm in Kunming.
The anti-dote to the real good noodle is the waitress' attitude. They are very hard sellers of their wine :
"Would you like some wine tonight ?"
"No thank you. Dinner menu please"
"Please have a look at our wine card, we have various promotions"
"No wine please. How about the beer promotion displayed outside ? "
"Have a look at our wine (push the winecard to you). This is a good selection"
"No thanks. I would like to have chicken chop"
"Oh if you order this wine, you get a beef steak free"
This can go on and on, depending on when you really snap..
Favorite Dish: We had chicken, pasta and soup.
But found to our surprise the really good stuff was the "Fujian chao mien" or "Fujian Fried noodles", which we ordered at the end of the western meal and thought we could have some more.
The noodle was served, with no cutlery. "Chopsticks please", and the waitress immediately turned her attention to the next empty table to clean up (??). We went to the cutlery closet and took the chopsticks ourselves.
The noodle is fried with chives, egg and yunnan ham. It smells a little like Penang Char Kuay Tiao.
A little too oily will be the only downside. But if you pick the noodles with your chopsticks and place them on a clean plate, then more or less you get rid of the oil in which the bottom half of the noddles is soaked.
"Bill please". No one heed us despite raised hands and voice. In the end we went downstairs ourselves and immediately someone shouted "table XXX is leaving".
When you are in West Hill (Xi Shan), don't forget to have lunch there at one of the farmers' home. The locals call them "Nong Jia Le", which means joy of farmer's family.
The lunch will cost RMB 4 per person irrespective of which home you go to. There are typically 10 types of dishes, ranging from meat to vege to cold entries, and a few types of staple (rice, corn, etc), and include a somewhat tasteless soy drink.
You are free to have a 2nd (and 3rd and 4th)serving for the dish you like most.
You can also lend them a helping hand by washing your bowls yourself (before you use them, that is)
Some restaurants offer farm stay.
It's an experience not to be missed.
Favorite Dish: The cured tofu (fu zhu) is heaven.
The chilli tofu is also good.
For some reason yunnannese make the smoothest tofu.
Typical hotel coffeehouse setting. But the dessert is worth mentioning.
Favorite Dish: "Napolean slice"
Try the custard puff. It's custard sandwiched between layers of fluffy pastry, and topped with some jellified slices of plum or whatever fruit that fancies the decorator.
At RMB 8 a piece, it's heaven to eat that with a cup of black coffee.
Fast food setting.
Clean and Modern.
Plays Japanese music.
Generous serving of rice.
Delicious Japanese salad sauce.
Rice is better than noodles.
The noodles somehow do not taste like typical japanese Ramen.
Delivery service if you live within 10 min's walk.
Favorite Dish: Japanese salad. Toppings include sliced horseraddish !! The salad sauce is amazingly good. Cost RMB8.
Shan Xi is a province in the north west. It is famous for its shaved noodles and black vinegar. The restaurant is typically chinese, by the main road, opposite a canal that leads to Dian Chi Lake. The shaved noodles are made in the dining hall itself, so you can watch the interesting process. The menu is in chinese.
Favorite Dish: The signature dish is the shaved noodles, RMB 3 per bowl. The serving is not big, so you will need to order something else. You get to choose the soup. The hot and sour soup is a good choice.
The dumpling is worth a try: 10 pork & mushroom dumplings per serving for RMB 10. The dip is the famed black vinegar. Dip the hot dumpling in the vinegar and savour the delicacy.
Yunnan is famous for its wild mushrooms. This restaurant serves exactly that.
Chinese modern classic deco restaurant, with bamboo curtains. A gas stove pit in the middle of each table, because you are expected to use it to cook the mushrooms.
The waitress likes to pour chicken fat into the soup once in a while, so if you don't like it too fattenning, stop her.
Menu in chinese.
Favorite Dish: Just pick any mushrooms on the menu, or rely on the recommendation of the captain, or have a look at the real samples and decide which fancies you most. You can pick a few of course.
Steamboat style. The stock is hot chicken soup.
Some of the mushrooms are poisounous until fully cooked. So while it is cooking, don't pour the soup into the condiment dish. The condiment is made up of certain local herbs, when mixed with the soup, it serves as a dip for the mushrooms.
You can also order beef, and have a beef shabu-shabu.
The noodle has a story behind. A man was hiding away in the forest to concentrate on his studies, in preparation for the emperor's examination. The wife took care to deliver his meals everyday from her kitchen in town, only to see the piping hot dishes turn cold when she finally got to where he was. She invented a combo-meal instead, which was a hot soup topped with a thick layer of oil so that the heat would not escape. She also prepared various types of meat, sliced so thin it would cook immediately when dipped in the hot soup. The meat was not cooked beforehand so that it would retain its tastefulness when it entered the mouth. The combo set also included various veges and rice noodles.
This is a chain restaurant. So the standards of hygiene is about there. And what it sells is the most reknown food in Yunnan - Cross Bridge Rice Noodles (guo qiao mi xian), although I think Rice noodles over the bridge is a better translation.
If you order the package above 10 yuan (there are 4 packages, 10, 20, 40, 60), then you get to sit in a nicer hall upstairs with a theme deco, and the quality of the ingredients are "upgraded" according to the price. For example, the 10 yuan package does not include a little condiment made of a kind of expensive mushrooms.
You get to choose if you want plain white rice noodles, or vinegared rice noodles which are bigger size (the noodles, not the serving), and has a yellow taint.
Favorite Dish: Order the 20 yuan package, you get 2 things:
1) a little bowl of steamed chicken soup. the serving spoon is pea-sized. Cute for the first time. You'll swear the next time.
2) a set of " Rice Noodles Over the Bridge"
The noodles set comes in 3 portions:
1) The very hot chicken soup
2) The rice noodles
3) The numerous little plates of meat/seafood/vege, ranging from raw to cooked.
You will pour the plates of stuff into the soup, starting from the raw. Lastly, put the rice noodles.
I ended up here a morning as I woke up too late to have breakfast in the hotel and this was the only place opened at 11 am.
The breakfast was good, so I decided to come back for dinner.I got a fried rice that was nice and above all, as I asked, it was not spicy and I got offered for the first time in Yunnan a draught Tsingao beer.Tsingao is the beer I drunk every evening and it was absolutely not that good, but I must say the draught version was really nice and with much less gas than the bottle one, it was my last day...if I only found it before I guess I would have drunk much more beer in China.
Favorite Dish: Draught Tsingao beer.