The Resident Lounge of the new Marriott Executive Apartments is cozier than we expected for a hotel restaurant, but then again this is a Service Apartment with 44 seats for the residents to enjoy with family, friends, or coworkers. It’s situated at the new complex at the EFC on the western side of Hangzhou, tucked away across a walkway from the 2nd floor lobby of the Marriot service apartments.
The Chef Salad 主厨沙拉 (58RMB) with chicken and shaved parmesan, lightly covered in a sweet and mustardy dressing was selected to whet our appetites. A piquant Tom Yam Goong Soup 冬阴功汤 (38RMB) followed, exactly as zesty as we needed it to be.
We sampled their noodles in two forms, the first was a traditional Beef Noodle Soup 私房牛腩汤面 (58RMB), which had a delicious earthy flavor, and a tall tangle of Spaghetti Bolognaise 肉酱意面 (58RMB). Both of these were very good, standard fare. The noodles were perfectly cooked in both dishes, and it was made clear in discussion that the people in charge understand and take their pasta’s doneness seriously.
Other carb options on the menu include the Fried Rice with Dried Bamboo Shoot 笋干酱油炒饭 (38RMB), a good staple meal, and a Penne Carbonara 奶油培根面 (58RMB) which I ultimately finished the lunch with and would have sent me right to sleep if I hadn’t heavily pre-medicated with coffee. Stay tuned with their cooking class, you can learn how to make these dishes.
After our noodles we got started on the main course. It being my cheat day, I indulged in my first hamburger of the year since Spring Festival (MEA Burger 万豪汉堡, 98RMB), and it was a glorious stack of bacon, cheddar, onion, lettuce, and tomato. Though the burger was delicious, I was shamefully out of practice and had to put the hamburger down after finishing three quarters rather than honorably devouring it in one go.
The real standout of the meal to me was the main course of Grilled Spring Chicken 香煎蒜香春鸡 (88RMB), a succulent and completely satisfying portion of butterflied chicken cooked to have an almost cracker-like crispness in its skin.
Local Hangzhou fare is also available, including Braised Dongpo Pork 金牌东坡肉 (58RMB) and Fried Shrimp with Longjing Tea Leaves 龙井虾仁 (88RMB). For the more internationally minded a modest selection of Tapas is also included on the menu.
Rather than a glorified cafeteria the Resident Lounge feels like a place to meet other residents; instead of a place to pass through, it feels like a place to stay and enjoy. A selection of food from around the world is provided to satisfy both the nostalgia and curiosity of the Marriot’s residents, and events—including chef led cooking lessons and the GM’s Friday night cocktail parties—are hosted on weekends to build a sense of community among them.
The EFC’s close proximity to Hangzhou’s western tech hub a 15 minute drive from Xixi Wetlands makes it an ideal location for people visiting or working at places like Alibaba’s nearby headquarters, Hundsun Technological Park, Hangzhou Internet Dream Town, and any of the many other campuses and complexes in the area. Metro Line 5 will also provide convenient access at the Central Park Station. Set menu at 58RMB/set is available for office workers around EFC on weekdays and Sunday brunch is served on August 25th, from 11:30am to 3pm.