This recent trip to Hangzhou, I was quite impressed with some of the newer restaurants on the side of Qiantang River. Instead of sticking to the old city and around West Lake, you should try to venture out further.
What attracted us to go in was the really green door. Hutaoli looks more like a florist than restaurant.
Once you step inside, everything is cheesy. The cups used are enamel tumblers with mushy quotes. Most of the tables are for couples and small groups. So I guess the clientele they are trying to attract are couples on a dinner date.
Not what I expected, 卤花生 braised peanuts were hard and not thoroughly braised through. It was more like peanuts soaked in soy sauce and spices.
Then came the surprise, 鱼香网红茄子 deep-fried eggplant is a large eggplant cut into strips, battered and deep fried. Then a very nice sweet and sour sauce is smoothered on the eggplant and sprinkled with black sesame. Very well executed dish and very tasty.
And then, 乳鸽汤 pigeon soup with 金针花 dried daylily was a bit bland and watery. One hit, two misses.
彩虹沙拉 rainbow salad was a Caesar salad in disguise. Instead of romaine lettuce, they used a mesclun salad. OK, two hits, two misses.
黑橄榄菜炒饭 olive fried rice was really delicious, reminded me of the black olive fried rice at home. Three hits, two misses.
黑椒白菇炒牛仔粒 black pepper beef cubes and mushrooms was OK, given the benefit of being a pub-restaurant, I would say four hits, two misses.
And finally, 胡桃里烤鸡 signature roast chicken. Wow, the chicken skin was crispy and well marinated. The chicken was moist and tender. A big wow. However, the presentation needed an update – serving half a chicken in a big tub is not exactly appetising.
So overall, 5 hits and two misses. The food here is OK.
But the main attraction is the live music. There are several sets a night, performances from local singers. They are not the professionals, more like very good amateurs trying to break into the scene. But it was lovely eye candies for sure. All the singers are ladies, not male singer. Hangzhou remains a really male chauvinistic place.
The place is decorated like a farmhouse with chandeliers and nutcrackers used in abundance.
Very cheesy, not suitable for business dinners. Service is really good and patient. So if you are bored and need a place for dinner and watch some live singing, this is a good choice. Directly opposite Sheraton Grand in Hangzhou.
Tel : 0571-87177773, 13738097771
Date Visited : Jul 2019