Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yangshuo Dining

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.

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