It's one of the most famous restaurant not only in Hangzhou but also in China.
The name came from a Song dynasty poem, which means house after house. It's to describe the prosperity of Hangzhou at the time of Song dynasty.
The most famous local food there is West Lake Vinegar Fish, Begger's Chicken, Dongpo Meat etc.
Here is a website for the restaurant:
It's not a cheap restaurant comparing with other local restaurants. However since you have been Hangzhou, you should try it.
Favorite Dish: West Lake Vinegar Fish, Begger's Chicken, Dongpo Meat etc
Located on Solitary Island, LWL has a beautiful view of West Lake. Enjoy the scenery before your meal, as, if it's a busy night (plan on it), you are unlikely to get a table with a great view. You can plan a romantic boatride after your meal as well, as there will be several rowers waiting right in front of the restaurant to escort you around the lake for about 80 RMB (& up, depending on where you want to go).
The restaurant itself is striking, as it is lit up at night with neon and Christmas tree lights. Inside decor nice. However, when you get up to the main dining area (basically a huge ballroom) on the second floor, expect lots of noise and clamour, and a whole army of friendly, but busy waitstaff running around.
My experience here involved some confusion as to our table reservation. We had a party of about 12 people, which didn't quite fit at the nice table with the view (we tried, but it was so smoke congested there, that several people couldn't handle it). Then we waited for a larger table, which was being held down like a fort by a drunk businessman, who got quite rowdy. Finally, we ended up, despite protest from the staff, in a private room. This is the way to go. The private rooms are quite, complete with a private bathroom, and nicer furnishings.
I recommend going with a large party, reserving a private dining room, and ordering all the famous dishes to split amongst the group.
Fantastic. We tried to Dongpo pork, Beggar's chicken, West Lake fish, some crispy rice with sweet and sour sauce, West Lake Shrimp, and several vegetables. Fantastic all around.
It was my most expensive meal in Hangzhou, but we feasted like royalty, tried all the famous dishes, complete with an everlasting fountain of beer and wine. Still, I paid less than $20 US. The more people you bring, the more you can try and the lower the price will be when you split the bill. You could spend much more by trying exotic dishes, or could spend a bit less by being conservative.
Favorite Dish: Beggar's chicken. Eating this dish at Louwailou, you come to feel why people say Hangzhou is paradise on Earth. Sure there's the rude drunk local who's taking up that 10 seat table an hour after all his friends left and wants to start a fight with you. Sure, a cloud of cigarette smoke covers the whole room. Sure you can't hear yourself think. But once this tender, savory, juicy chicken just melts away in your mouth, you'll be hooked too. Of course, you'll be "begging" for more. Teeheehee.
It is made by killing a fresh chicken, stuffing its stomach with spices and condiments, wrapping it up in West Lake lotus leaf, then packing it in Shaoxing wine, salt water, and mud. It is then baked for several hours. When opened, steam rises from the lotus leaves, and you can inhale the heavenly fragrance before the chicken reaches your plate.
We had a private room for ourselves to enjoy the great tastes of some of the deliciously tasty dishes this restaurant provides with a very pleasantly decorated Chinese surrounding.
Favorite Dish: Well this was my first time to eat frog and not my last.....lol....just fantastic!
The kitchen's menu is complete with authentic regional food that is Halal for those Muslims out there. The price for a group of four is reasonable. We especially like the dining room set up that allows us to watch them bake up the bread and tandoori. Buffet on Saturdays. English menu available.
Favorite Dish: Masala Chai, a kind of milk tea; full-bodied, robust flavor, soft
This Thai restaurant is located on the north-east side of West Lake. Food was very good but the service was a bit on the poor side mainly because I was sat in a corner upstairs and also because it was busy. There's also a nice ambiance in the form of live music.
It's a local fast food chain restaurant.
As the name says, most of them are noodle and I remember they also have breakfast.
The noodle is ok, you can try it. However, the most imporessive one is their rice liquor. I like the rice liquor so much that I had it during my breakfast there, when I came back in the evening, I went there again after dinner and ask them to give me four orders of the liquor!
Don't forget to try some!
Favorite Dish: Rice Liquor
Xi Le (Happiness) Restaurant is definitely one of the grander restaurant that we have stepped into. Though there were many tables, but at least 70% of them were occupied.
The restaurant is especially popular for business dinners. Book ahead if you require a private room (bao xiang), if not the main dining area is roomy and comfortable. The seafood here is excellent, and you must try their specialty Ba Bao Ya (roast duck stuffed with luxurious fried rice). The menu is translated, although it is still best to go with a Chinese colleague. Good meal Yn100-120p/p.
Favorite Dish: We tried the restaurant's signature dishes: Cu(4) yu(2) - A fish of xi hu (West lake), Shrimp meat with longjing flavour, and dong(1) po(1) rou(4) or Fatty braised pork. Palatable but not for those who are health conscious.
One of the best known restaurants on the lake, Louweilou, in my mind was a disappointment. I am very much a gourmet, though I can appreciate a simple hamburger as well as the next guy. But as such, I've begun to notic that, in China, it doesn't matter if you go to the most expensive place or a little family joint, the food just about tastes the same. The reason for this, of course, is the obsessive and relentless use of MSG. I'm sure there are some of the top places that don't taste the same, but no one place in China has really stood out as being "oh so good".
However, at Louweilou, they offered things that were unique... chicken, baked in newspaper and mud (what it looks like) and called Beggar's Chicken. It was too expensive for our budget, as was the Vinegar Fish, but that's what they're known for and they had some other good to decent food. It has a nice view of the lake.
There are three Papa John's in Hangzhou. To the rest of the world, this means nothing, but to me... Papa John's is from my home city. So it was nice to see... and have.
Favorite Dish: They still don't understand tomato sauce in China... you need it! Flavor! Not just cheese and bread.
To many (including me before) Chinese food and vegetarian food are opposites. The Chinese generally believe a healthy diet should include both vegetables and meat. Thus, in many restaurants, when you say you don't eat meat they don't quite understand. And this was surprising to me as the Chinese invented tofu and in Europe, this is the staple of a vegetarian diet! However, this restaurant made me realise that there is not only great Chinese vegetable dishes, there is even delicious vegetarian cooking to be had. Buddhists come here every now and then (I could tell from the robes and the shaved heads of monks and nuns) as on 15th day of each month Buddhists are supposed to avoid meat.
The place is a bit hard to find but so worth the effort! This restaurant is a typical buddhist vegetarian restaurant in that the dishes look like and are called like their meaty counterparts, but all food served is strictly vegetarian (suitable also for vegans), so meat subsitutes are used, but the texture and taste is so similar you could fool any staunch meat eater. Even the seafood looks like the real stuff, and the taste and texture is remarkably similar. The dishes are good value for money, but some are very expensive so do check the price if you feel like ordering "lobster" or something along those lines.
Not only is the food absolutely wonderful, the restaurant is nicely decorated in a modern and fresh style with some creative touches (look up at the ceiling). The restaurant is quiet (quite unlike typical Chinese restaurants), and they play soft music. This is a place to stay for hours! Except that they close for lunch at 14.00 (chefs leave 13.30). Open for breakfast (for the youth hostel where it is located) and dinner. You can also order food for takeaway, but then may need to have someone do it for you in Chinese.
The menu is extensive, with some pictures and the dish names in English too, so pointing will work if all else fails.
NB Website is in Chinese only.
Favorite Dish: Deep fried fish in sweet and sour sauce, tomato and mushroom hotpot, meatballs and sago in coconut juice are the absolute long time favourites!
I used to come here once a week as my office was close by, so I guess I tried almost everything.
Price for the tea cost between 58 to over 100 yuan (per person) and includes all you can eat snacks and delicacies, Hangzhou-style. The tea is bottomless and you get to refill from a hot kettle nearby. If you like hard boiled egg with the little bird (embryo) still inside :-s, then you're in luck. If not, don't worry, there's a ton of other things you can eat: a variety of pastries, cakes, fruits, ice cream, noodles, nuts, chicken feet, dried squid.........to name a few.
We sat and ate at this restaurant for a couple of hours because we were waiting for the right time to catch our bus to Xitang. So if you have a couple of hours to kill, this is the place to do it.
Average food and then I was overcharged for it. Menu in Englis, bill in Chinese. When I worked it out, they tried to say I ate more than I ordered. Finally they gave me my change back, but really, can you be bothered?
Favorite Dish: Despite being overcharged the food here was very, very average. There is no reason to go!
Seem like a common soup in the Hangzhou area. A local sea food soup is just about every place. Always comes with a few small shrimp, some sea weed, and some times some sand in the bottom of the bowl. A few places made a tasty soup, but more often you got a bowl of clear water with what seemed to have some sort of sealife in it. Drinking reminded me of the time when I was 8 years old when my sister double dared me to drink water out of a fish bowl.
Jac and I had the very first taste of Chinese food at one of the rest stop towards Hangzhou. The Rest Stop after a long journey was one of delight.
Favorite Dish: It is always nice to take in warm food when the weather was cool. We were introduced to this rice dumpling called Da(4) rou(4) zong(4) zhi(3) or Meat rice dumplings.
It was a culture shock as even though I'm a Singaporean Chinese, the food prepared by the China Chinese are either very saltish or it's very oily. The rice dumplings were super oily but they tasted quite good.
One day my wife and I visited our friend. They invited us to havie supper in this restaurant. We ordered four dishes including fried prawn and a fish ball soup. They are delicious and we four all were really satisfied. It is RMB90 only
Favorite Dish: Fried prawn