n West Wenyi Road between Gucui and Tongpu Road is a quaint little place called the Jiyi Theme Restaurant. This place was recommend to us by a “friend” who thinks it’s perfectly fine to leave out key words in a street address, then act surprised when you can’t find it. The guy’s just the worst, but this time he did some good, bringing this restaurant to our attention.
The interior at Jiyi is clean, rustic, and spacious. The exposed brick walls, slab stone floors, and wood beam staircase make the place feel warm and lived in, while the decorative brick-a-brack that lines the walls and shelves, while not offensive, prompts one to want to make it illegal for folk artists to have yard sales. The good news is the attentive and friendly staff quickly makes you forget about the fact that it looks like the bargain bin at the world’s saddest Pier One exploded inside.
The food, on the other hand, did nothing but elicit smiles from all the diners at our table. The salted rice w/ potato and pork 香锅咸饭 (28RMB) was a real crowd pleaser. It’s a delightfully, fulfilling, comfort food. The kind you want to eat in bed with your dachshund, while you’re wrapped up in a comforter, watching Next of Kin. The deep-fried shrimp 季忆三宝(48RMB) served with diced watermelon and cashew nuts made for a sweet combo, the mayonnaise and ketchup dipping sauces kind of didn’t. Our server recommended the Jiyi Steak 牛排季忆 (38RMB), which came breaded and drizzled in w/ mayo, with a basket of fresh iceberg lettuce on the side for making healthy wraps. Problem is, it ends up tasting like a delicious steak sandwich sans bread, and who wants a steak sandwich with no bread. The Creative Crawfish 创意小龙虾 (58RMB) more than made up any slight we felt with the previous dish. Clean crawfish tails and claws were tossed in a sauce that was delectably equal parts spicy and sweet. Being in a mood for shrimp, we ordered their shrimp and glass noodles 锅烧鲜虾粉丝 (22RMB), which were a tasty and filling finish to our meal.
We washed it all down with pitcher of fresh watermelon juice for 46RMB, which we thought was kind of an extraneous price for watermelon juice that contains no booze. In the end with left happy, even if we spent more money than we would have liked for a light lunch outing, but if you’re in the area, and want some nice food in a nice new place, then the Jiyi Theme Restaurant will definitely fit the bill. Picture menu. Parking available street side on Tongpu Road.