Things just seem to get better and easier and more and more convenient as time goes by. Restaurants are cleaner, banks friendlier, bars more numerous, clubs more modern, businesses more transparent. Some say that the cost of this rapid development is the loss of culture and tradition. Hefang Jie is certainly not the quaint local street that it once was, but at least it has running water and the power lines are no longer a fire hazard. This is development. There is an area of Hangzhou that has not got better and cleaner and more convenient: the Seafood Market. There was a time when the market was behind where the Hyatt now stands. It went with the widening of Dongpo Road. You dodged delivery trucks and climbed over mountains of ice to pick your fish from the tanks in the sellers cubbyhole shops, and then took it off to your favoured little restaurant where they would cook it for a corkage fee. The place was smelly and dirty; the bathrooms were terrible, terrible. But the fish was fresh and cooked to perfection. Sitting outside, rain or shine, watching the market work while you ate, there was a unique feeling of being in it all. The seafood market is now down by Xixing Bridge (No. 3 Bridge) but not a lot else has changed. The fish is still placed outside on ice, and you can browse through the amazing array of seafood on offer: shrimps and lobsters, scallops and oysters, octopus and squid, along with a huge number of local and imported fish. Just point out what you want, and the restaurant owner will tell you how he thinks you should cook it. The food is fast in coming and very fresh. The place is still smelly, and the bathrooms should be visited in only the direst emergency. There is no menu and no English, but sitting back having eaten enough fish to turn you into a genius, there is still that feeling of being right in the middle of the action. You Can Order: Boiled Shrimp 白煮基围虾 45RMB; Crab Fried with Ginger and Spring Onion 姜葱炒花蟹 113RMB; Lobster 龙虾 80RMB/one; Oyster 生蚝 10RMB/one; Big Tuna Fish Cooked in Oil and Soy Sauce 葱油大金枪鱼 38RMB; Deep Fried Small Tuna 油炸小金枪鱼 5RMB/one; Octopus Fried Rice 八爪鱼炒饭 10RMB; You can ask them to cook in these ways: Boil 煮 zhu; Steam 蒸 zheng; Fry 炒 chao; BBQ 烤 kao; Deep Fry 炸 zha; In Soy Sauce 红烧 hong shao; Fry with Ginger and Spring Onion 姜葱炒 jiang cong chao; Oil and Soy Sauce 葱油 cong you.
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