GUANGZHOU, CHINA: A TASTING TOUR WITH JIANYU LEUNG
Explore Guangzhou’s food gems and eat like a local with chef Jianyu Leung of Jade River restaurant, as the city receives its first ever Michelin Guide.
Guangzhou (Canton) is China’s third largest and richest city, and is acclaimed as its city of gastronomy, and the home of Cantonese cuisine. As China’s South Gate, Guangzhou also offers quick access to Hong Kong and Macau.
This June, the Michelin Guide arrived in Guangzhou for the first time, awarding eight restaurants with one star, including Jade River at the White Swan Hotel, regarded by locals as one of the best spots for authentic Cantonese cuisine. The restaurant’s Executive Chef, Jianyu Leung, has over a 28-year career, devoted himself to elevating Cantonese cuisine with classic soul, but with insightful perspectives.
Where to eat in Guangzhou? Here the chef shares some of his favorite food spots in town.
DINE LIKE A LOCAL
Canton is the home of ‘Yumcha’ (the Cantonese tradition of brunch involving tea and dim sum) with a time-honored history and brilliant culture. Hongtu Hall is one of the best places to have wonderful Cantonese dim sum. It is very popular and the locals from young to old get ready to wait in line.
2/F, 1 Shamian South Street, White Swan Hotel, Liwan District
The Cantonese eat rice rolls and congee all day long, from breakfast to late night. The congees at Yuan Ji are quite exceptional, because of the very fresh ingredients and their patience. They provide bowls of classic Cantonese congee that are difficult to find elsewhere.
93 Huagui Road, Liwan
Da Ge Restaurant’s owner Mrs. Rong believes that she should offer an authentic Hong Kong-style dining room in Guangzhou, even though the gourmet cultures are similar – but her dishes are even better than in Hong Kong. As for many other people, my favourite is beef chow fun.
Da Ge Restaurant
90 Xili Road South, Panyu District
Offal is significant in Cantonese gourmet culture, whether in soup, congee or rice. Lianfeng Food Stall is an impeccable spot to have pig organ soup or similar. The ingredients are cleaned and the varieties increase after 11pm, with people driving from far away to eat there late at night.
Lianfeng Food Stall
12 Qingluo Road, Shawan Town, Panyu District
Noodles are indispensable for daily life and Cantonese noodles’ texture and flavour tend to be more exquisite than in other parts of China. Lide Noodle Bar’s noodle soup is outstanding, as is its Cantonese barbecued pork.
Lide Noodle Bar
298 Dubao Road, Liwan District
Haiyan Lou is a spot for affordable delicacies like buttery foie gras and barbecued pork.
2/F, JiangpanHuating, 1040 Binjiang Road East, Haizhu District
The owner of Huacheng Garden keeps a low profile and consistently offers the best family-style dishes. Every early morning he visits a variety of seafood markets to buy fresh ingredients. He has said that what he is offering is what he eats in Huacheng Garden each day, which is his passion. I like the soup and chicken very much.
5/F, Kingold Century, Huaming Road, Zhejiang New Town, Tianhe District
It is rare that the locals have seafood barbecue, but Wut Put delivers it. With a casual atmosphere, guests are able to relax after work, in the midst of aromas from the barbecue. Enjoy a beer or whisky paired with the food. Wut Put is also a perfect choice for late night.
Wut Put ( Jianshe Road Branch )
5/F Yuhai Food Street, 1 Jianshe Sixth Road, Yuexiu District
Mr. Rocky’s cozy atmosphere and comfort food at reasonable prices has won it a reputation in the city. The pizza, cooked on the spot, is fresh and delicious.
06-07 Zhujiang Party Pier Beer Culture & Art Zone, 118 Modiesha Street, Yuejiang Road, Tianhe District
HIGH END RESTAURANTS
Newly Michelin-starred Jiang by chef Fei fuses Cantonese and Hainan cuisine. He also embraces modern plating and cooking techniques. I highly recommend the steamed crab with Chinese Shaoxing wine and refined chicken fat, and the beef.
Jiang by Chef Fei
4F, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 389 Tianhe Road, Tianhe District
As the saying goes, less is more. Yue Jing Xuan selects the best of the best, offering only a few choices, which emerge from an open kitchen that brings the chefs and guests closer together. I really like the dish of barbecue crispy pork belly, because they only choose the tenderest pieces.
Yue Jing Xuan
68/F, Park Hyatt Hotel, 16 Huaxia Road, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District
You’ll find surprises in every single dish at The Penthouse, although they look simple. The reason I like the steamed asparagus with garlic puree is that take really good care of the garlic puree with their hands, which takes time, but it melts in your mouth. Aside from The Penthouse, the buffet restaurant in the hotel is worth dropping into and is ranked as one of the best buffets by local foodies.
23, 25/F, South Tower, Grand Hyatt, Zhejiang New Town, Tianhe District
Guangzhou is a port city with abundant seafood, and Huangsha Aquatic Product Trading Market by the wharf is the busiest seafood market in the city. Normally, the market offers fresh seafood from everywhere. There are also some restaurants in the market where they cook the still living seafood that you just bought from the seafood stalls.
Huangsha Aquatic Product Trading Market
11 Huang Sha Da Dao, Liwan District