West Lake Lo Wai Lo
We took the non-stop train to Hangzhou two days ago. Yesterday we visited West Lake. It’s a huge and very beautiful natural lake. We walked around part of the lake, watched the ducks and geese and people and boats. There’s a reason the summer palace was built here, it’s gorgeous. There are pagodas and gardens, manicured lawns and maple trees too. The air around the lake is actually quite fresh and I wondered if the humidity contributes any significant or discernible moisture to the surrounding area and how that would affect Puerh storage in Hangzhou....
We splurged and ate lunch at a high end restaurant called Lo Wai Lo. I discovered a new favorite food. It’s like a Chinese version of Tabouli. Its chopped greens, fresh and grassy, a little dry, but not as dry as cilantro, and not minty at all. It’s also has a soft quality from the toasted pine nuts tossed in. It’s refreshing and clean, not too heavy to eat, delicious!
We also enjoyed Dong Buo Ro. It’s slow roasted fatty pork belly in a sweet soy sauce with spices. It’s very heavy and while the meat is delicious, I don’t like the texture of fat. The flavor of what little meat there is is amazing.
We also tried a particularly a northern specialty. It’s a stir fried rice cake with pork. The rice cake is mochi-like in its consistency and originally a log shape that’s rolled to a certain thickness and sliced. These slices are tossed with meat, green onion and a special sauce and sautéed. I’ve also heard they have the same (similar) in Korea.
The most unique dish we tried was an orange hollowed out and filled with a soup like food. It was so thick it was almost like a sauce rather than soup. It was shark fin, crab and orange, it was juicy and rich at the same time. I mixed in a little bit of rice on my spoon with the soup and it was delicious.
There are other culinary specialties we've seen here in shops. Cured meats like duck and pork.
There is a comical bun vendor who is actually a character from a famous Chinese tale. The buns are just ok, but it's the presentation that's so interesting.