Looking for the next new thing is something of a sport here in Hangzhou. From sublime culinary experiences, to the utterly horrifying ones, there's something for everyone in this city. Don’t worry, dear reader, we look for the ones that are a little closer to the former, and as far away from the latter as possible. This doesn't mean we don't appreciate a good noodle shop with dirty floors and greasy tables, or a cavernous, expansive, and typically Chinese venue, replete with screaming customers, the wafting aroma of bai jiu, and thick haze of cigarette smoke, any less than the rest here to explore China with an appetite for adventure. Experimentalist notions go a long way with us, and we’re highly receptive to establishments willing to cater to those eager diners who demand innovation. My trip to Qingtao Restaurant took me to Lishui Road, on the north side of town on a classically cold winter day. We needed something to warm me from the inside out, and we were very excited about trying this new venue. As soon as we walked past the nondescript partition that obscures the restaurant, it was easy to see the tasteful architectural design features of this establishment. Bare, concrete floors and walls awash in peeling and cracking white paint gave the entire dining room a very modern, stylish, well-lit, and artsy effect. Halogen pendant lights hung from the rafters, and large frameless pieces of artwork surrounded us. Seating is roomy and without complication, with standard tables or sofas available for your choosing. Thick tan leather and stark white wooden chairs, combined with antique, industrial equipment in strategic locations completed the theme. As much as we were impressed with the décor, the food was surprisingly traditional in its preparation and presentation. Whole steamed bass served in a glistening pool of sauce, and a couple of dishes of tofu made for a good, nourishing start, while the taro root julienne with large slivers of garlic, and crisply-fried vegetable wontons made for a slight departure from classic fare. All in all, this meal was a solid and respectable example of local cuisine done well. While we would have liked to see something a little more daring and perhaps a more fusion-inspired menu, visitors won't be let down.