Dining in Wuhan

The city of Wuhan offers the more spicy side of Chinese cuisine with such mouth-watering dishes as raw pig's ear, water buffalo intestine, fried eel and the infamous chicken feet. Most of these dishes are served in tongue scorching sauces that will leave you half-blind and dying for water. The wealth of food available in Wuhan reflects the city's location between Shanghai and Chongqing. Most of the places around here serve a good mixture of eastern Sichuan cuisine and more oily braised dishes. Wuhan style cuisine focuses on preparation, cooking time and the appearance of dishes. Fish and shellfish are especially good. Snacks such as buns and omelets are also popular here.

Wuhan is modernizing and hoping to attract western visitors, with this drive, the inevitable influx of McDonalds and KFC has occurred and there are an increasing amount of more upmarket places serving western food shooting up across the city. In Hankou, the American Cowboy Restaurant nearby the Shangri La Hotel serves a buffet between 2pm and 11pm everyday for RMB30. The food is good and this place attracts a largely middle class Chinese clientele. Also in Hankou, near the Galaxy Plaza is the Yes Bar, a lively place serving basic western food.

Steamed Wuchang Fish
Steamed Wuchang Fish is one of the most famous dishes in Wuhan With a history of over 1,700 years. This fresh water fish, when prepared correctly is soft and rich. The best way to prepare the fish is to steam it together with Chinese ham, mushroom, bamboo shoot, and chicken soup. China's Chairman Mao Zedong in his poem "Swimming" writes: "I have just drunk the waters of Changsha. And come to eat the fish of Wuchang." Actually, the so-called "Wuchang Fish" is not the lake fish from the present Wuchang, but those fished from the waters in E Country, because in ancient times, the name Wuchang referred to all the area of the present E Country.

Fried Bean Curd Sheets
Fried Bean Curd Sheets stuffed with three delicacies are a classic Wuhan breakfast. To make this dish, bean curd (or tofu) is stuffed with pork meat, egg and shrimp. Good sheets are fairly thin and made with pure water at a low temperature. Sheets fried according to such requirements are crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Hot-dry Noodles
Hot-dry noodles are an essential part of the Wuhan diet, eaten by almost everyone daily at breakfast time. Hot-dry noodle are made by cooking the fresh noodles mixed with sesame oil in boiling water. When the noodle has cooked and cooled, it becomes pliable. The noodles are then placed in boiling water again to be reheated and the process is repeated. After seasoning has been added, including spring onion and sauce, the hot-dry noodle is ready to be served.

Xiaotaoyuan Soups
These are kinds of restorative soups cooked over a low heat which preserves both the fresh taste and the nutrients. The most famous include Chicken Soup, Spareribs Soup, and Duck Soup. The best place to taste it is the Xiaotaoyuan Restaurant at 64 Lanling Lu in Hankou.

Mianyang Three Steamed Dishes
The three steamed dishes refer to steamed fish, pork, and meatballs or shrimp balls. People of Mianyang (now Xiantao City in Hubei Province) keep the traditional way of steamed dishes from the old days. Nowadays, chefs have tailored the ingredients, cooking methods, and techniques for the local people's taste.

Hongshan Vegetable Bolts
A kind of red vegetable grown in Hongshan District in Wuchang is a speciality of Wuhan. It is crisp and tender with a refreshing flavor. A famous dish called Hongshan Bolts fried with Smoked Pork can be found on every menu in any restaurant. The carefully chosen vegetables are those grown right around the area near Baotong Temple in Hongshan, which are considered to be the most crisp and tender. The bolts and smoked pork are cut into three-centimeter (1.86-mile) long pieces and stir-fried. The finished dish should be fresh and tender.

Cailingji Noodle Store
Add: 854, Zhongshan Avenue, Wuhan
Tel: 82835152
Description: The best place to try Hot-dry noodles.
Opening Hours: 08:00-20:00
Guiyuan Restaurant
Add: Guiyuan Temple, Wuhan
Description: excellent vegetarian food, the famous dishes as "Stir fried Chicken" or "Fish stew with Soy sauce".
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
Laotongcheng Restaurant
Add: 1, Dazhi Road, Wuhan
Description: a classic restaurant serving traditional Wuhan dishes, famous for fried bean sheets.
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Xiaotaoyuan Soup Restaurant
Add: 64, Shengli Road, Wuhan
Description: famous for turtle soup and beef soup.
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00