The weather has been tremendous lately (Wow! Hangzhou has finally gotten a proper autumn), but who knows how long it’s going to last. Why not hit the road and get outside to eat? Last month, on one of those perfect days, the MORE team all went out for a small lunch; it turned into a feast once we saw the menu. We’ve been in the area around the Fajing Temple many times before, and have had many different varieties of free range chicken, but the Shaoxing Wine Chicken 花雕鸡 (98RMB) here was simply to die for.
Now it’s traditional to order a variety of dishes, and that’s exactly what we did. The Stir Fried Vegetables with Nuts 坚果炒时蔬 (38RMB) added great color to the wooden outdoor table. We got a Cone Salad 甜筒沙拉 (35RMB) which provided us with a bit of sweet fruit. The Prawns with Wasabi and Mayo Sauce 芥末大虾 (78RMB) did us right for the seafood. A hearty filler was the Egg Cup with Bacon Cheese and Vegetables 惊喜喜蛋 (58RMB). And the last thing to arrive, but certainly not the least delicious, was the Stir-fried Long Beans with Homemade Meatballs 缸豆手工肉丸 (28RMB). All of this was pleasantly washed down with a pitcher of Kumquat Tea 冰橘茶 (78RMB).
Everything was nice, and of a good portion, but if we had to do it again, we would break tradition and just order one chicken per person. No vegetables, no color, and no variety needed. The chicken was done in a terracotta pot and cooked in a dark, slightly sweet wine sauce with its breast facing down so that all of the juices marinate throughout. It took a while before we could get to the big pieces of meat, but what’s a bit of work when the reward is this good? Parking isn’t easy, but still available. And if you can’t get there while the weather’s good, no worries; they’ve also got a quirkily designed inside area. Smoking is permitted outside.