Monday, 1 February 2010

Hunan Renjia Restaurant

Taizi Plaza, Taizi Road, Shekou, Shenzhen
Visited 31st January 2010

Sunday morning in Shekou and before the strangeness got even weirder with a visit to Windows on the World we decided brunch was in order. A stroll around the plaza at Sea World didn't come up with many exciting options so we wondered across the street and found this little place tucked away on the first floor of a building off a small mall. I'm not totally sure of the address in English, but in Chinese it is '南山蛇口太子路太子廣場'. The restaurant is a pretty big space, though it's relatively dark and even at this early stage of the day there was the mandatory filthy cloud of cigarette smoke.

I'm no expert on Hunan cuisine, but apparently it's all about garlic, shallots and lots and lots of chilli. The menu had English translations and once we saw the bargain prices we ordered in a greedy frenzy. Our 'quiet' brunch suddenly consisted of steamed chicken with garlic, cellophane noodles, dumplings and beans with pork. First off arrived a big bowl of sweet potato based cellophane noodles; simply served with a light chill dressing these slippery noodles were filling and tasty. Next came half a steamed chicken smothered in a mountain of garlic, chilli and an oily soy based sauce; this dish was packed with intense flavour and was really tasty. I couldn't work out what type of beans we got, but the big green monsters were crisp and tasty. Accompanied by pork, garlic and again lots of chilli I really liked this dish. Our final order was a plate of dumplings ... twenty dumplings, yes twenty. We were already stuffed at this stage, but these steamed parcels were stuffed with pork and chives and while good, were nothing memorable.

I'm really glad we stumbled across Hunan Renjia Restaurant. I enjoyed trying the tastes and flavours of Hunan, though I'm not too sure how often I could handle the hit of garlic and chilli that seems such a key element of this style of cuisine. Our tasty meal was excellent value at just over RMB100 for a mountain of food. The service was good, though the food was pretty slow to come out. Hunan Renjia Restaurant offers an authentic alternative to the coffee chains and western restaurants around the Sea World area.

No comments: