Monday, January 12, 2009

Korean Food

One thing I like about Shenyang is the number of Korean Restaurants, be it low end or high end. There is bound to be one that suit your budget and taste buds.

Although there many Korean Restaurants located in various parts of Shenyang, there is a place where many of the commercial and family run restaurants are located. "西塔" (Xita) is so called the Korean street. Many KTVs, restaurants, saunas, drinking holes and supermarts catering to the Korean community run amok in this enclave no bigger than 5 football fields. If you need anything Korean, if you can't find it here; look no further.

Xita has got a multitude of restaurants serving Korean BBQ, Ginseng chicken soup, kimchi, korean pancake, raw octopus, etc. For those who dare to venture and not care about the ambiance and amenities. Go forth to the small lanes of Xita and you will discover a world of unparalleled Korean cuisines.

百帝园 is one place to go if you are entertaining on company's account. Good ambiance and $$$$. Located at 图门路72号 , 024-23470008

牡丹馆 is a unique Korean Restaurant run by North Korea. Nightly Korean cultural shows are the highlight of this restaurant. Do not be surprise if you see the performers serving you as most of the waitresses double up onstage singing and dancing. Located at沈阳和平区西塔街93号庆会楼斜对面 牡丹馆 电话:024-23471791, this is the place to entertain your VIPs.

For the budget conscious, go to 依腾生鱼片, located at 沈阳和平区西塔街浑春路北街6号1-1-3, near西塔街. It is value for money.

In all Korean Restaurants, go for the raw fish set. This set does not only come with sashimi and at least 5 side dishes. The raw fish set would be enough for a group of 4-5. Not only can you savour the fresh sashimi, you will also get to taste their house specials without pondering what to order.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shenyang Food - Indian Restaurant

Indian food in Shenyang???.. An incredible yearning for tandoori chicken, masala, naan and lassi overcame my moment of madness. Hey, nothing venture nothing gain. Why not give it a try.

With an air of doubt and disbelief that the taste can be as good as those Indian restaurants in Shanghai, I grudgingly accepted an offer to organise a Indian food dinner in Shenyang.

Moments after diligently searching the web, I managed to find the address. Easy to find location. Paakwaan Indian Restaurant, near the American Consulate and behind Heidi Restaurant. No problem at all.

A group of 5 descend upon the Indian at dinner time. Restaurant was empty, only 2 diners. Oh no, not a very good sign.

Since we are in the tiger's den, there is no backing out now... Took a look at the menu. First impression was not too bad. All my yearning was there; tandoori chicken, masala, garlic naan, and even lassi. My confident in the restaurant raised a notch. It scaled even higher when I found out from the waiter that the cook hail from India.

We ordered samosa, tandoori chicken, mix vegetables masala, chicken curry, fish masala, cauliflower curry, chicken briyani rice and off course lassi.

Verdict: Lassi was expensive at RMB18 per cup. The food taste rather authentic albeit on the high side. The chicken briyani is nothing like what we get in Singapore or Malaysia. It is more like fried rice with chicken. Tandoori chicken is rather tasty and the accompanying mint sauce adds flavour to this dish. The caulifower and mix vegtables masala are not too bad. Taste of the fish masala was not too bad although it could do with fresher fish.

For those who loves Indian food, go try but forget about the lassi and chicken briyani.

和平区南三经街39号: 024-22713099

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shenyang Food - Cantonese Soup

One of the better value for money Cantonese soup restaurant which I visited quite frequently is "汤城一品" located at "沈河区文艺路地王国际花园西门南侧(文化路小学对面) 83962000".

The soup is reminiscent of the traditional double boiled Cantonese soup. It also serves one of the best roasted pork in Shenyang. With the right amount of meat and fat and crispy skin, it is absolutely delicious.

Enough accolades on the roast pork. Back to the soup which the restaurant is famous for. No need to go for the expensive version, just go for the average price version at about RMB45 to RMB70 per pot, you will not regret it. The "pot" version is enough for a group of 4.

The style of cooking is predominantly Cantonese. The fare is above average. A better alternative to Gulf Boy Hong Kong Tea Restaurant.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shenyang Food - Charcoal Steam Boat or Hot Pot

The other hot pot or steam boat that I like was the "广乐宫" which uses charcoal flame instead of gas flame.

Once you stepped into the restaurant, the decoration will amaze you. With definitive attention to details and with matching colour scheme, it looks like a high end Chinese restaurant rather than a ordinary steam boat or hot pot restaurant.

To describe this hot pot restaurant as ordinary is a culinary sin. The selection of meat and seafood are absolutely top notch for its freshness and quality. Even the vegetables and mushrooms are pre- wash before ending up on the dining table.

To me, hot pot or steam boat is all about flame. Hot pot is all about slow cooking and getting the the ultimate taste and texture. Too intense a heat will spoil the taste and texture of the meat and seafood.

With a gas flame, the heat is too intense and the food get cooked too fast. Once a food get cook too fast, you will not get to taste its natural flavour. This type of flame is not suitable for slow cooking as it tends to break up the protein in the meat, which make the meat a bit hard and chewy.

Call me a traditionalist, for me the ideal hot pot must be heated by charcoal flame. The charcoal flame cooked the meat slowly and give it a more rounded and less chewy taste. This way, you could taste the freshness and goodness of the meat.

Service is good. Price is reasonable giving its ambience and services. The bill for a party of 4 comes to about RMB280.

I would rate it as a must try for hot pot.

广乐宫 located at 和平区文体西路68号; 024-23921888

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shenyang Food - Duck Soup Steam Boat or Hot Pot

Winter is approaching, what is better than to have a group of friends sharing a meal of steam boat or hot pot. That's precisely what we did. Except that, we had a different kind of steam boat - Duck Soup Steam Boat (Hot Pot)

Mention hot pot or steam boat in Shenyang and most of the locals will mentioned "国府肥牛", "东来顺" or "小肥羊" which used either chicken stock or pork bone stock or beef bone stock for their soup base. What my friends and I ate the other day was "duck soup" steam boat.

The taste of the soup was excellent with the right tint of duck aroma. A whole duck was used in the steam boat soup stock and the meat is enough for a diner of 4 adults without ordering the usual company of beef or mutton slices.

I would recommend only vegetables and mushrooms to go with the duck steam boat for a group of 4. If the duck meat is not enough, it is not too late to order mutton or beef slices.

We finished off the meal with their home made noodles, which I must say came as a surprise in shape and texture and taste. The noodles come in a round dough. After we finish off the duck, vegetables and mushrooms than the waitress will come to stretch the dough into long thin slices and put it into the soup. The noodles was excellent.

It reminds me of one of my favorite dish in Singapore,the "salted vegetables duck soup" except that no salted vegetables.

The restaurant is small compared to "国府肥牛" or "东来顺", decoration nothing much to crow about. Heck, we only come for the food. For a diner of 4, the whole meal cost RMB130 without drinks. For the interested foodies:

千方老鸭汤 located at 沈阳市和平区南八马路125号. 024-23392066

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shenyang Food - Western Food

For those who love German beers and German sausages, there is a cheaper alternative to Paulaner Brauhaus; that is Lenbach Beer House. Located at 和平区八经街72号, tel 22852766, the ambience is cosy although the ventilation / exhaust system could be improved so as not to confuse the dining area with the kitchen.

A wide selection of imported German beers will make the most discerning spoilt for choice. Food is not too bad, "sauerkraut" is passable albeit sweet. Roasted pork knuckle is a feast for 2. Pumpkin soup is good while the potato soup is so-so especially with staled diced ham.

The desert "volcano" is worth trying. Baked chocolate muffin with hot chocolate filling served with vanilla ice cream is a great way to end the meal.

Service is attentive and with pricing not likely to burn a hole in your pocket, this is a great place to chill out with a nice mug of lager.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shenyang food - International and Seafood Buffet

Interesting buffet selection.. Everywhere in China, there bound to be without fail, a number of international hotels serving international and seafood buffet.

Likewise in Shenyang, hotels like: Sheraton, Marriot, Traders, Holiday Inn and Lexington are serving international buffets. However, in terms of variety and spread, none of the above will beat the Golden Jaguar. At RMB260 a person, it is even more expensive than the hotels. In terms of size, variety and selection; Golden Jaguar certainly beat the hotel hands down!

Located at "华府天地" a sprawling shopping mall, it is an accessible place for shoppers although the mall is not 100% tenanted.

An alternative to the posh and ambience of hotels buffet and vastness and depth of Golden Jaguar, is a local restaurant serving seafood buffet name "全记". Located next to the old Shenyang zoo, it is a place to go for crabs. Priced at RMB88 a person, it is economical baring ambience and service.

Fresh prawns,shellfish and crabs are the mainstay. Collect the crustaceans and simply put them in the hot pot provided. Viola, crabs, prawns and shellfish al dente.. Nothing beats the taste of freshly cooked seafood.

全记海鲜自助城,沈阳市大东区大什字街3号, 24347999, 24836555