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Gold Chino, Intime Branch/金玲珑饭香店
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When it comes to ranking the best cities in China for food, it's easy to forget about Hangzhou. The common perception of this city is mired in the rubble and dust of construction sites, oppressive rush-hour traffic, and thronging masses of people trying to squeeze past each other as they make their way to work. Gold Chino Restaurant makes an attempt to change all of that. The interior is full of warm, vivid colors, contoured white chairs, to the rough-hewn slats that make up the majority of the walls. One wall in the dining room has been entirely covered with a layer of tiny plastic leaves, which creates an open-air feeling that actually works. Dinner was equally compelling to the visual senses, with a carefully arranged tower of Fried Prawns with Sweet Chinese Soy Sauce centered on a white dish, and delicately browned “packages” of Eel and Chives Seasoned with Soy and Vinegar that bore a striking resemblance to tiny, grilled Mexican tortilla wraps. Our favorite item was the Braised Beef Shank with Ginseng, an impressive sight with neatly stacked carved slices of beef, set next to a single somber-looking bone that gracefully arced upward as it rested in the center of the dish. A pair of tiny ramekins gave diners a choice between a slightly, fiery, Sichuan-style pepper salt, and a small pool of soy sauce to dip your beef into. Finally, we were treated to Gold Chino's signature, and complimentary, Coconut Milk and Fresh Mango dessert, served in a simple glass dish. Needless to say, this is a special treat for anyone who is looking for a break from the usual assortment of Chinese restaurants, and it offers a vibrant and welcoming feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Prices will run about 100RMB per head, and parking's a snap. The restaurant also serves as a retreat of sorts for those who are tired of the sterile and blindingly-white, artificially-lit halls of the department store. You'll want to spend some time here, not just dine and dash. No matter what your reasons are, you can be assured that the husband and wife team of designers at the helm of the Gold Chino restaurant have made it their mission to be the first in Hangzhou to bring a fresh concept of much-needed style to the masses…one dish at a time.

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3/F, Intime Department Store, 18-26 Jingtan Road

0571 8653 3588

Opening Hours:
11am - 2pm, 5pm - 10pm; 11am - 10pm (Sat. - Sun.)
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