For all the advances made here in recent years, finding food is still a hit-or-miss ordeal, with the usual places becoming stale in a hurry, and new places often feeling more riveting than relaxing. Admit it, though. It's a big part of why we love living here, and for the adventurous eater there's nothing better than taking a stab at the latest place that makes news amongst the locals. The MORE crew was lucky to get a chance to sit and eat at the Blue Lotus Gardens Restaurant, a hideaway tucked away in the hillsides of Hangzhou's National Tea Museum. Amidst a backdrop of tea farms and small mountains, we pulled up to the restaurant, and it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a bit different. First off, there’s no trouble finding a parking space. There is outdoor seating even in the middle of winter, thanks to the construction of a large heated tent that easily seats about 30. Meal orders are taken outside, with a row of blackboards serving as the menu. Plenty of beer is on tap. We spied the Carlsburg logo at the bar amongst others. Finally, the interior was not taken to the extreme with annoying decorations or impractical seating arrangements. It was particularly comforting to sit down on heavy wooden benches, and feel as though the act of eating would be a natural and unassuming feat, unhindered by fancy tablecloths and delicate stemware. Food started showing up, and the first item was a terrific combination of wild tea tree mushrooms and octopus. It was an excellent dish, which always makes things a little hard during a review since the following dishes would have a lot to live up to. Fortunately for us, the crispy lamb chops were up to the challenge! Crisp, spicy, and without losing too much moisture in the tender bits of lamb meat, they were quickly devoured by all of us. Pork neck with sweet green peppers, and a very nicely done dish of seared tofu “scallops” with sea cucumber made the rest of the meal a delight. For those who are looking for something that brings a little modernity to the mostly-Tibetan menu, the Blue Lotus is a good find, with prices that fit the 200RMB range. Be sure to ask for the special Tibetan barley wine too, and don't worry, it doesn't pack a wallop like bai jiu does!