Lamu's House Of Tibet: Good Tibetan...
A nice respite from greasy Chinese and Naxi cuisine, Lamu's claims to not use MSG, and I believe them. The food is quite good, compared to many places, and while the service wasn't the most friendly, it wasn't rude either- worth going to in any case. You can sit upstairs or down and they have internet and a reading area. We sat at the low table in the corner.
Favorite Dish: Tendlik, a hearty stew or soup, was just the thing in cool, vernal Lijiang. Try the Tibetan buttered tea and the Tibet Cocktail -hot alcohol! We also had the tofu and Tsampa, which is dough balls with cheese mixed in- uncooked and... you have to grow to like them, methinks. We also had a cheese omlett, which was sweet and excellent. It didn't last long enough for a photo.
- Food and Dining
Mr. Yang's House: Friendly and good
Mr. Yang owns one of many restaurants in Baisha, and his service is friendly as any. Mr. Yang invites you into his house, and you can sit outside- upstairs on the balcony or downstairs on the front patio. While the food is good, local Naxi-style food, it's not just the food you necessarily go for, as the hospitality and the experience is, in itself, worth the trip. I don't know about the other places, but I liked Mr. Yang's.
Favorite Dish: The Yak-butter tea goes well with the Naxi bread (baba), and he has cold beer as well. The dumplings aren't necessarily local, but they're good.
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Sexy Tractor: What a name
"Your Living Room in Lijiang" it says... With a name like this, it's gotta be interesting. I wasn't looking for westernized fare, so I didn't go in, assuming that's what it was. No great loss, I suppose, but oh well. The Sexy Tractor...
- Budget Travel
Petit Lijiang: Best coffee!
To call Petit Lijiang a coffeehouse doesn't seem apt. It is more of a double storey bookcafe. Great environment and coffee served. An additional plus is that the cost of their regular coffee is reasonably priced - RMB10. As I am an avid coffee drinker, I've almost drained my coffers before I discovered Petit Lijiang, drinking coffee in various cafes in Lijiang as, on the average, they cost approx. RMB25 - 35.
Local Eatery: Congee and Comfort Food
It seems a little odd, but it's not a common thing in Lijiang to drink coffee in the morning. Even when they have first grade Yunnan coffee. Rice congee and another comforting baby fodder, Soya Bean Curd/Soup is commonly eaten for breakfast. Another alternative is Yak Butter Tea but I won't recommend that since it's bloody too gamey for the morning.
Local Eatery: Steamed Meat Buns (Baozi)
What do the locals eat for breakfast in Lijiang? Baozi of course, a fluffy steamed bun filled with meat, vegetables or bean paste. You can find these buns in pratically any eatery in town, coddled in huge bamboo/stainless steel steamers. Since these little things are a paltry 0.80RMB each, you can try all the varieties if you're a greedy sod.
Here's the more common varieties found in Liijiang:
1)Rou Bao - Pork Bun
2)Xiang Gu Bao - Mushroom Bun
3)Cai Bao - Vegetable Bun
4)Dou Sha Bao - Red Bean Bun
5)Tu Dou Bao - Potato Bun
5)Xiao Long Bao - A mini-me version of the pork bun. It's supposed to be filled with broth but the ones found in Yunnan are dry.
Jiannan Chun Xiao Chi: Fried Bee Larvae
Now, Hubby and I are big fans of Jerry Hopkins and since we've eaten the worst thing in the world (balut-preserved salted duck fetus), we've gained some of the super-hero immunity when it came to other disgusting stuff.
Steamed Silkworm ? I'll eat that ! Tequila with a Meal Worm? Let me chow it down! Fried Scorpion? Let me chew that sucker!
So when the Lijiang locals told me that they had bee larvae appetisers in a restaurant, I told them to bring it on. They did. The bee babies came deep fried with salt,pepper,msg and chilli powder. And from far, they looked like plump kernels of popcorn with large eyes. Only they tasted better. They were crisp, fatty and surprisingly, nutty-tasting. Hubby and I knocked each other chopsticks in an effort to grab the last larvae. I won.
Review: A distinctive, delicious taste. Some people say that the taste was redolent of honey but I didn't detect it at all.
Jiannan Chun Xiao Chi: Fried Meal Worms
Have you ever seen the movie - How to Eat Fried Worms? It's about a boy who settles a bet with his mates by digesting worms baked, juiced and of course, fried. Well, here's your chance to really try how fried worms taste like. GO to Lijiang Old Town. Pop into any Naxi Eatery. Order the worms and eat it. I bet you it'll be an anti-climax since it's crunchy but rather bland. It won't be too different from the pop corn shrimp they serve at Long John Silver's.
Review : High on ick factor but taste was blah.
The noodle stall next to the Naxi Music Academy: Across the Bridge Noodles or Kitchen Sink Noodles?
What: Across-the-bridge noodles (guoqiao mixian) is a Lijiang specialty but the name is seriously a misnomer. They should have called the dish "kitchen sink noodles" since you'll be presented a warm bowl of cooked rice noodles, a plate of RAW vegetables, RAW chicken, raw fish and basically the whole kitchen sink, etc.
How to eat this dish: Dump the raw ingredients into the hot soup and stir it around for a while. Wait for a while to exorcise the salmonella before gobbling up everything.
Where to eat this dish: You can try this at a little stall sandwiched in an alley between the Naxi Orchestra Hall and a souvenir shop or at Brother's Jiang.
Review: Despite the thin film of oil placed on top to retain the heat of the soup, the dish is healthy. And whatever is healthy usually doesn't tentalise the taste buds. Compared to the Hong Kong's Push Cart Noodles (crammed with every part of the pig that is beautifully braised), this dish is a bland alternative. Slurp on these warm noodles only if you're after a quick and cheap(RMB12) protein fix. It's much needed after an energy-draining day of sight-seeing and bashing other tourists in crowd-infested Lijiang Old Town.
Things to note:
1)Not suitable for vegetarians and weight conscious sods.
2)There is also a old wives' tale about how the noodles came to be. I'd rather not regurgitate the tale since it's told ad-nauseum by other Vters. I enclose a gratifying recipe instead.
Favorite Dish: Ingredients for Bridge Noodles:
9 oz (250 g) coarse rice noodle (hokkien:chor bee hoon)
1 oz (25 g) spinach
2 oz (50 g) boneless chicken breast
2 oz (50 g) fish fillet, skinned
2 oz (50 g) prawns, shelled
1/2 tsp rice wine
1/8 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
1/8 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
6 cups (1,500 ml) reduced sodium and fat chicken broth
Blanch the spinach briefly in boiling water, drain, and set aside. Mix the rice wine, ginger and the soy sauce into a marinade. Slice the chicken, fish, and prawns paper-thin. Spread out on a serving platter and add the marinade. Let stand.
Heat a pot of water to boiling and add the noodles. Bring back to a boil and cook uncovered until they are soft, about 4 minutes for dried noodles and 2 minutes for fresh ones. Drain in a colander and lay the vegetable on top.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.Bring to a fast boil for 1 minute. Transfer to a tureen and bring to the table with the platter of meats and the colander of noodles.
Pour the meat and noodles into the boiling hot broth. They will cook instantly. Stir and serve in individual bowls.
An eatery in Su He Old Town: Food Outside of Lijiang Old Town
There's no doubt about it, the food taste a lot better when it's served outside of the touristy Lijiang Old Town. If you can, take a day trip to the nearby old villages of Su He or Baisha and dine in any of the eateries there. The food will cost a fraction of the prices in Lijiang Old Town and the taste will be a lot closer to the original Naxi recipe.
Favorite Dish: Local deep fried mullet ( Naxi Fried Fish ) coated with tangy black beans, garlic and chilli oil. Though the dish looks awful, the fish flesh was fresh and succulent under its crispy coat. No wonder since we saw the cook washing the fish in the stream outside of the restaurant just a couple of minutes before cooking it!
Su He Old Town: Roasted Yunnan Ham
What : Silvers of wind-dried roasted Yunnan Ham.
Review: The crisp silver of fat and pork melted on my tougue and meld well with the plump rice grains.
Where to eat this : Su He Old Town, Lijiang, Yuanan
Name of Dish : Roasted Naxi Ham
Don Papa: The best western restaurant
I’m glad that I found Don Papa in the Old Town of Lijiang. The food was so delicious. I wanted to try each dish from that restaurant, but I failed because I didn't have no enough time. And since I found it in Lijiang, I kept getting fatter.
It was not easy to find it. I would have missed it if they had not displayed colorful desserts at the entrance. Entering it was one of my best decisions during this trip. The owner spoke Chinese and French. So in the restaurant, the official languages were French, Chinese and English. I enjoyed all the dishes and decoration of that restaurant, and pleasant talk with other customers and the staff.
It’s one of the smallest and the best western restaurant (French) that I’ve found in China.
Favorite Dish: Shepherd Pie, onion soup, salad, icecream, pie, 12 kinds of pizza and omelets
Rembrandt Cafe: Happy owner of Cafe
Near Stone Bridge, a wooden house stood beside a water way, lightened by red lanterns. It was Rembrandt Cafe. The first time I stopped at Rembrandt Cafe because I liked its name and location.
Three lovely girls worked there. One of them, Sasha, was the owner. She and her cafe have been in Lijiang Old Town for 6 years. I enjoyed talking with her, a happy, independent and intelligent woman. But the stars were two little doggies, you will see them in the pictures.
I liked the decoration and atmosphere of it, quiet, natural, simple and comfortable. And I liked the staff.
If you go to Rembrandt Cafe, I hope you enjoy your time there, delicious Italian food, maybe the girls can still remember me.
Favorite Dish: About food, I recommend pasta, mushroom pizza, XXX pizza( sorry, I forgot the name), Naxi fried rice.
Ali Baba's: What's in a name
OK. Ik looks like nothing and the name is not impressive, but the people are very, very friendly. The breakfast is very good, the dishes - local and western - simple, but good. The prices are low and the have free internet (with a complementary banana!). O, and you can hire a bike.
Favorite Dish: The chicken Huan style, and the beef with tomatos and peanuts.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Afternoon Sun (in Chinese): Western restaurant - kind of
The pizzas are a reasonable attempt (although I think they're brought in frozen and cooked). There are other western dishes, also Chinese and Japanese. They serve good coffee although I can't say the same about the beer!!
Prices are good too: (Feb 2007) around 30RMB for a fair size pizza. That's US$4. Last night I paid 40RMB for black pepper steak.
- Budget Travel