The madam of the house was the jack of all trades. She took care of the hostel business alone while her husband worked elsewhere. In the morning, she left the hostel to solicit for business at Heping. Food at the hostel came from her garden and the hills behind. She was also the one to clean and cook them for the guests. Amazing woman!
Monday, June 27, 2011
At Sanjiang, I walked the four streets of the intersection where Bai Huo Hotel was situated. Eateries were clustered on one of these streets, and they all looked run-down and dirty. There were other eateries elsewhere too, especially on the east bank side of the river, but these were the nearest to Bai Huo Hotel.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Chengyang consists of a cluster of Dong villages. Dong Village Hotel where I stayed offered both Guilin cuisine and the local Dong cuisine.
Although its menu offered a small selection of food, most dishes were not available. This could be due to the lack of visitors. When I was there, the only other visitors who came were a French couple who arrived at night. Hence, it was understandable that the hotel did not keep a large stock of food. Therefore, guests were obliged to accept the limited choices that were offered.
Dining option is available in the ancient town itself. However, I wanted to eat in the new town, expecting to get better value for money. There were no other guests and yet, it became my longest wait for lunch to be served. In all likelihood, the restaurant had only started to shop for the provision upon my order. The dishes were only served after half an hour.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
There are a few hotels cum restaurants in this small town. At the hostel where I put up (it does not have an English name), the owner and his wife were also the cooks of the house.
On the second day, I woke up early to look for breakfast. There being not much choice, I ended up having Guilin Mifen and steam buns for breakfast.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
My itinerary to China has Yangshuo as my first stop for lunch. However, because of the hiccup in Guilin on my way to Yangshuo, I missed lunch. I went out in search of food at about 2:45 p.m. The lunch-time crowd had disappeared and virtually, all the restaurants and cafe were empty. As I walked the streets, my first taste of Yangshuo cuisine was hawkers' food.
Before coming to Guilin/ Yangshuo, I had read that restaurant food would cost more at West Street and that it would be cheaper outside this area. Hence, during my stay in Yangshuo, I avoided West Street, except for breakfast. My first meal was Guilin Mifen (Guilin rice noodle) at a hawker stall somewhere near West Street. It was here that I realised that except for the noodle, some slices of meat and soup, I would add my own condiments, which would invariably consists of two types of Guilin chilli sauces (very hot and not very hot), chopped parsley, chopped spring onion, chopped pickled long bean (sour), an unknown typed of chopped pickled vegetable (sour) and maybe, fried peanut.
Business starts late in Yangshuo, usually at 8:00 a.m. or later but some restaurants do open early for business at West Street.
During the course of my two weeks in Guilin/ Yangshuo, I quickly realised that for breakfast, the choices are limited to plain, white rice porridge, fried wheat dough, Guilin rice noodle, eggs cooked in tea, steamed buns and almost nothing else. Unfortunately, I was never fond of Western breakfast. It's boring. Otherwise, my choices could have been greater.
The only Muslim restaurant, situated facing the entrance to Yangshuo bus station, is at Pantao Road. There is a wide variety of noodles and rice dishes here. However, one of the woman staff has an attitude problem and I decided to stop going there during the later part of my stay in Yangshuo.
My favorite restaurant lies two doors away from the Muslim restaurant. Here, there were a wide range of dishes to choose too.
There were other places that I went for my meals. This restaurant was situated at the junction of Pantao Road and Guanlian Road.
Steamed meat buns have always been one of my favourite breakfasts, irrespective of whether I am in Sibu or other parts of Malaysia. Hence, I tend to buy steamed meat buns for breakfast whenever they are available.
At one street near West Street, I decided to try out a restaurant where the cook was seen frying noodles at the five-foot way. Yes, fried and not soup noodle. I decided to order a plate of rice noodle for my dinner, sans sour condiments. It was very good.
I saw a few eateries with food prepared for cooking being displayed outside their premise. I had hesitated about ordering it because I did not know how to order one. In addition, there was some apprehension about its hygiene because the raw and semi-cooked meat seemed to have been put on display for many hours already. I was worried about food poisoning. However, the cook said nonchalantly that yes, the meat was already on display the whole day. She said it as though having stale meat was no big deal.
The customer would make his selection of a plate of mixed vegetable, meat, etc. from the rows of raw and semi-cooked food on display there. This would then be given to the chef to cook up a dish. The plain claypot rice would be cooked at the time of the customer's order.