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China is a foodie’s dream. From spicy Sichuan cuisine to the crispy roast duck contenders from the north and the central east of China, here are the different signature dishes from 11 different Chinese cities you’ll need to try.
Peking Roasted Duck
A classic dish in Beijing, the Peking Roasted Duck is served with perfection, from the distinct layers in meat to the exact 120 portions in every serving. Each duck is seasoned with spices, salt and sugar, and then hung in the air for a period of time before it’s roasted to attain the signature golden crisp to the skin. Typically served with sliced shallots, marinated cucumber slices and a sweet fermented bean sauce, be sure to combine and wrap them up with the carved meat in the steamed pancakes for the best experience.
Try it at: Da Dong Roast Duck (北京大董烤鸭店 ). Located in Gong Ti/San Li Tun area, it’s a 15-minute drive from Fraser Suites Beijing.
Made of hand-pulled wheat noodles and served with shredded cucumber, bean sprouts, white radish, soybean and bean sauce, this popular delicacy is a refreshing dish to have, especially in the summer.
Try it at: Old Beijing Zhajiangmian DaWang (老北京炸醤麺大王). Located in the XingLong area, it’s a 20-minute drive from Fraser Suites Beijing.
Goubuli Steamed Buns
Nicknamed after its creator, Gao Guiyou, a young apprentice from 1858, Goubuli steamed buns are a popular and traditional snack in Tianjin. Each of these buns are made with half-leavened dough, filled with a precise ratio of fat to lean pork and marinated with pork stock, dashes of sesame oil and soy sauce, smashed ginger and diced scallions. The thick dough is then carefully pinched to create an 18-fold before it’s steamed and served.
Try it at: Gou Bu Li Restaurant (狗不理 – 水上旗舰店). Located near the Tianjin Water Park, it’s a 5-minute drive from Fraser Place Tianjin
A local snack and speciality in Tianjin, these plain-looking fried dough twists tastes better than it looks. With a texture more dense and solid than Youtiao (Chinese Fried Cruller), each dough is usually made with quality flour, pleated into its signature twist, before it’s deep fried in peanut oil for an irresistible crunch and fragrance.
Try it at: Gui Faxiang ShiBa Jie MaHua (桂发祥十八街麻花 – 南楼店). Located in the NanLou area, it’s a 16-minute drive from Fraser Place Tianjin.
Soft and jelly-like in texture, Men Zi is a traditional and popular local snack in Dalian. Made of protein-rich cubes extracted from coagulated sweet potato starch, these are usually seasoned with smashed garlic, sesame and sauce before it’s pan-fried to a crisp.
Try it at: ErQiYou MingMenZi (二七友名焖子铺). Located across the road from HuaJu Cinema, it’s a 5-minute drive from Fraser Suites Dalian.
Sea Urechis Dumpling
A popular seafood and delicacy amongst the locals, sea urechis – a sea worm – gives these wheat-based dumplings the tender and lightly chewy texture, bursting with umami flavours and slight sweetness within.
Try it at: Ri Feng Garden Dumpling Restaurant (日丰园饺子馆). Located in the Ganjingzi District, it’s a 40-minute drive from Fraser Suites Dalian.
Central East China
Nanjing salted duck (Osmanthus Duck)
With meat that is even more tender than its Beijing roast duck counterpart, the salted duck is an accurate reflection of the palette of the Chinese in Nanjing – light yet flavourful. A dish redolent with lingering musks of Sichuan peppercorns and whiffs of Osmanthus, it is definitely a classic fare worth trying. It’s best paired with peanuts or Chinese white liquor.
Try it at: Nanjing ZhangYun Salted Duck Restaurant (南京章云盐水鸭). Located near Zhongshan South Road, Sanshan Street, it’s an 18-minute drive from Fraser Suites Nanjing.
Duck Blood & Vermicelli Soup
The duck blood soup is a traditional Jinling cuisine of Nanjing. Popular due to its mild and smooth flavours, with a taste that is characteristic of both the northern and southern China. Best enjoyed with small steamed dumplings, red bean dumplings, sweet-scented osmanthus sugar seedlings, meat buns or dried beancurd in chicken soup.
Try it at: Huiwei Duck Blood Vermicelli Soup (回味鸭血粉丝汤 – 南京新百店). Located in Nanjing Xinbai, it’s a 30-minute drive from Fraser Suites Nanjing.
Wuxi Pork Ribs
A popular dish in Wuxi, the pork ribs are slowly braised over low heat, resulting in tender meat that separates from the bone effortlessly. The spare ribs are coated in aromatic gravy with a bit of sweetness, typical of local Wuxi cuisine.
Try it at: San Feng Qiao Shop (三凤桥肉庄). Located in the Chongan District, it’s a 20-minute drive from Modena Wuxi.
A traditional snack in Wuxi that is made from glutinous rice and meat stuffing, with a crisp rice skin and juicy filling on the inside. The creation of Yulan pancake began in AD 1850, which was created by the Sun Kee cake shop in Wuxi.
Try it at: MaoHua Restaurant(毛华美食). Located in the Nanchang District, it’s a 20-minute drive from Modena Wuxi.
With 147 years of rich history, these miniature steamed buns are traditionally filled with soup and meat, but variations of seafood and vegetarian fillings have surfaced in the recent years. Meat gelatin is first placed within the buns before steaming, which results in the signature explosive and juicy buns.
Spare Ribs with Rice Cakes
A unique and flavourful dish with 50 years of history, the Spare Ribs with Rice Cakes are a traditional favourite amongst the locals. Large and thin pieces of rice cakes are fried, then cooked with the spare ribs till crisp and golden. Slightly sweet in taste, this is another must-try in Shanghai.
Try it at: Xianlaide Restaurant (鲜得来排骨年糕 – 云南南路店). Take an 8-minute walk from Fraser Residence Shanghai.
Probably one of the most popular Sichuan dishes in Chengdu, Mapo beancurd is more than just being spicy. Despite the ominous-looking bright red suspension of chilli oil, you’ll be surprised to find the many elements of spice, smoothness and aromatic flavours all within the sauce, amidst the smooth beancurd cubes and minced meat.
Try it at: Chen Ma Po Dou Fu (陈麻婆豆腐老店). Located in LuoMaShi, it’s a 10-minute drive from Fraser Suites Chengdu.
Address: 197 West Yulong Street, LuoMaShi, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu, China
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 9pm daily
Contact: +86 028 8674 3889
Boiled Fish with Sichuan Pickles
Legend has it that the dish began in Jiangjin, Chongqing, where the pickled cabbage and fish pairing was chanced upon by a fisherman. This Szechuan-style stew has a sour twang and spicy flavour to it, making it an appetising dish.
Try it at: Yu’s Family Kitchen (喻家厨房). Located in the QingYang District, it’s a 15-minute drive from Fraser Suites Chengdu.
Hot Dry Noodle
With a history of 80 years in the Chinese food culture, Hot Dry Noodles is said to be one of the most significant, famous and popular breakfast food in Wuhan, often sold in street carts and restaurants in residential and business areas. They are available from as early as 5am and can also be found in night markets as a popular late-night snack. This Wuhan dish is undeniably a national classic, cinching many accolades such as the “Top five noodles of China” by People’s Daily, and was also rated No.1 in the “China’s Top 10 famous noodles” by Business Insider in 2013.
Try it at: Modena by Fraser ZhuanKou Wuhan during breakfast
Why: Since the 1990s, braised crawfish have become extremely popular in the local restaurants due to its vibrant colour, aroma and semi-sweet flavour. Now, crawfish are eaten as a way of life amongst the locals in Wuhan.
Try it at: Bali Crawfish Restaurant (巴厘龙虾). Located in the Jianghan District, it’s a 35-minute drive from Modena by Fraser ZhuanKou Wuhan.
Address: Wansongyuan Road, Jianghan District, Wuhan, China
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2am daily
Contact: +86 027 8583 5377
Lucky Strike (Steamed Fish Head with Chopped Chilli)
A representative local cuisine in Changsha today, Lucky Strike garners the umami and nutrition from fresh fish head and spiciness from chopped chilli, all integrated within the steamer. Taste the fine balance of heat with irresistible taste and aroma in the Changsha classic.
Try it at: Modena by Fraser Changsha. This is a signature dish, prepared only with the freshest and largest fish in the season.
Mala Chicken Cubes
A typical Hunan dish that is famous in Changsha, this simple stir-fry of chicken dices is laced with the right amount of heat from pepper, vinegar and chilli for the signature Sichuan spiciness.
Try it at: Yuloudong Restaurant (玉楼东). Located near the OUKE Dream Arts Exhibition and Xiaoyuan Park, it’s a 15-minute drive from Modena by Fraser Changsha.
A typical meal in the morning for the Cantonese, dim sum is one fitting for the kings and queens. Ranging from the sweet to the savoury, served in palatable portions with a large variety, each of these dim sum restaurants can have as many as fifty to sixty items on the menu.
Address: No.598, 4F, Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China
Opening Hours: 7am – 1pm daily
A dish named after the ancient county mayor in the Qing Dynasty, Taiye Chicken’s cooking method is quite simple. The chicken is boiled and smoked with fried black tea leaves and honey, before it’s cooled and served in slices. Best eaten with a savoury soup on the side.
Try it at: ZhouSheng Ji Taiye Ji (周生记太爷鸡). Located at the intersection of Beijing Road and Wenming Road, it’s a 20-minute drive from Fraser Suites Guangzhou.
Shajing Town is where the best oysters in the world come from. Once farmed within Shajing and now farmed out of town, these oysters still retain its true characteristics of being large in size and sand-free. But of course, they are still widely sold here in this town.
Try it at: Shigonghui Seafood Restaurant (师公会海鲜酒家). Located near Shenzhen Saige Plaza, it’s a 45-minute drive from Fraser Suites Shenzhen.
Hailing from Gongming Town, the roasted goose is a must-try in Shenzhen. Though its meat might be slightly fatty, it is never greasy. Take a bite and you’ll taste hints of the various ingredients in the marinade – sugar, cooking wine, fermented bean curd. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the key to perfect crispy exterior lies in the coating of honey before it’s roasted.
Try it at: Shenjing Huaxiang Goose (深井华香鹅). Located in the FuTian District, it’s a 45-minute drive from Fraser Suites Shenzhen.
If you’re game for the ultimate culinary experience, have China as the next destination on your travel list. Complete your culinary exploration at any of our 16 Frasers Hospitality properties across China. And if that still fails to satisfy, just ask any of our friendly staff for more unique food recommendations to try.