If it has been a while since you’ve ventured out into the tea fields west of West Lake, it is time to take another sojourn out that way. This area is really developing into something special, especially if you’re a fan of delicious, home-style, Chinese food. One of the newest places nestled in the verdant fields of tea and mountain foliage is Lvma or, the Travelling Horse Restaurant.
Bamboo, vines, and old trees frame, drape, and flow forth from Lvma’s eclectic, brightly-lit interior. The 2-story space looks like a renovated, old, farmhouse, with seating available on both floors, as well as outside when the weather permits. Decorative splashes of Southeast Asia intermingle with the welcoming waft of sandalwood incense to create an atmosphere that’s as laidback as it is upbeat, but the real draw here, isn’t what’s on the walls. It’s on the table.
We started with the Country-style Chicken Soup 汽锅打鸣鸡 (55RMB), which came loaded with fresh fowl, seasonal beans and vegetables, in a stock that had you going back for more. Next up was one of our favorites, the Pork and Beef Tenderloin Flambé 火焰双柳 (38RMB). This dish comes wrapped in a monolith of aluminum foil, then is set ablaze, right at your table. When the flame dies down, you can delve inside to find tender strips of pork and beef tenderloin in a rich savory sauce. Red and green bell peppers and fragrant mushrooms round out this stellar dish. The Hongshao Pork and Quail Eggs 鹌鹑蛋红烧肉 (38RMB) was another favorite amongst the carnivores at the table, as was their Shredded Pork on “Turkish” bread 土耳其夹饼(38RMB). The bullfrog with bamboo and maodou 豆豆圈圈蛙 (38RMB) was yummy as well, but having come out after the bold flavors of the previous dishes, left it tasting kind of bland. We wrapped everything up with a light dish of stir-fried morning glory greens. They were fresh and tasty.
We washed everything down with some iced fruit juice 冰桔茶 (16RMB) and a couple of Heinekens (16RMB). All in all, we were very satisfied with our meal at Lvma, and left stuffed and satiated. So if you’re looking for a great meal at a reasonable price, in an atmosphere that’s open and inviting, give the Travelling Horse a try. Parking is available. No English menu as of yet.