This weekend was rather cold yet that did not deter us from going out for dinner last Sunday evening.Blaming the harsh weather[as though we need a reason to go there!!!] we dined at our regular hotpot. In spite of the weather it was crowded and after enjoying the piping hot dinner we were shivering in spite of the warm clothing went we walked out!!The temperature had plunged to - 8 degree Celsius and we could feel the sudden change in temperature as soon as we stepped out of the restaurant.
We hurried home and the only person who did not like the idea of coming home was lil angel!She still preferred to go out again and we had to pull her indoors!!!
So if I had been to hotpot why this post,I have already written about it,you might say,rite?
I thought I would share a dining experience that 'happened' a few months ago,maybe a year.The photos were in my folder and I had totally forgotten about them until I found them this weekend when I was searching for something else!
This restaurant is situated a little away from our home and is a nice place to have vegetarian food .[By now you must be aware that its pretty difficult to find vegetarian stuff at restaurants].This restaurant showcases the delicacies of the Miao and Tujia minority.You already know about the Miao minority from my previous food review post ,so let me tell you what I learnt about the Tujia minority.
The Tujia people have an ancient history dating back to 2000 years.They live around Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, and Guizhou in china.They are spread elsewhere too.
The Tujia cuisines are all about the sour, fragrance and spicy taste. It pay particular attention to the spicy stuffs and use condiments such as the chili, pepper, prickly ash pepper, garlic, shallot, Chinese chive.Their food is primarily rice and corn,sometime potato and sweet potato,wine brewed out of glutinous rice and pickled vegetables.
Remember the Szechwan fried rice and the Szechwan noodles?Yes, those spicy dishes that have been created as a fusion with the local cuisine have roots from Sichuan,China where the people favor spicy and sour foods.
Now back to our restaurant….
The restaurant is tastefully decorated with huge painting depicting the lifestyle and people in the Sichuan region.
The ground floor has a large dining area with a number of tables and ‘not-so-comfortable’ chairs. But if you go there a couple of times you really wouldn’t mind the chair.
The first floor has a dining area in the center and all along the sides are small cubicles for private dining. No hike in pricing for choosing either of the dining areas. There are bamboo partitions in between 2 cubicles that can be rolled up when you take 2 cubicles to accommodate more people. The waitresses are dressed in traditional clothing.
The menu card is very interesting! This is one of the reasons I like to go to this restaurant.The dish is beautifully photographed and the name of the dish is written in Chinese and English. Since it is well known for its spicy cuisine, there is a picture of a chilly or two near the name of the dish indicating the degree of spiciness and those with no chillies are almost bland.
They serve weird dishes too[Weird dishes according to me] but I rather not mention them!
Well, my favorites are cold noodles, a salad of roasted peanuts and crunchy radish.Apart from that lil angel and I like Potherb cake of Miaojia style[16 RMB].It is a dessert made with pumpkin.
Chinese grandma’s hamburgers[22 RMB]..Its vegetarian but don’t know why it is named so.It is a dish of soft buns with depressions in the center.
They provide a vegetable sauté that is put into the depressions and savored.The vegetable tastes like banana blossoms to me but I really don’t know which vegetable is there in it!
Fried sliced potato in Iron plate[18 RMB].
Well,there is an interesting story here.The first time I went there,I was eager to try this one and ordered it.The piping hot potatoes appreared and they looked so appealing.I wanted to dig into it that very second but then thought I will click a couple of pics to share with my parents 'boosting' about the vegetarian dishes that I 'discovered' in my town.
After the photo session I was about to pick up a slice of potato when hubby stopped me and said 'This doesn't look like potato,mat be its a slice of meat',I put back the 'potato' and the chopstick and waited to ask the waitress what it was.A cute girl came and smilingly replied in a casual tone,'Oh that!,Its pork.It's tasty with fried potatoes'.Gosh!!I was shaken.Thanks God, I didn't taste it.So putting the dish away we ordered another one.
The waitress removed the 'non-veg potato' after the right one was served.Thank God for that too coz when we traveled to a place called Hangzhou in China a couple of years back,something similar to this happened and the chef simply came to our table and removed the meat pieces and made it 'vegetarian' for me!!That too this happened in one of the famous star restaurants there!I never take chances from then on.
Now back to the topic,the picture in the menu card didn't say anything about pork being added to it.After poking and prodding the dish I was finally convinced that it was vegetarian and was too hungry to click another pic.The taste was good but quite oily.
We also had a dish of mushroom and baby bok choy in a tangy gravy.I don't remember how much it cost but can definitely remember its yummy taste.
Last weekend we dined here again and I found that they had brand new menu cards with a lot of vegetable / vegetarian dishes!!
Here are some of the dishes I tasted...
Yummy Eggpalnts with beans.The eggplants were soft and the beans crunchy,a lovely spicy combo!!
The menu card said Spicy cabbage but the dish did not live upto its name!It was good but very tangy and not at all spicy!