I have not been back to Suzhou for over 5 years, many things have changed. And the downtown dining choices have seen a major upgrade too.
吴越荣记 is a local favourite, highly recommended for authentic Suzhou-style cooking.
鲜椒毛肚 spicy cow tripe
香糟鸭舌 duck tongue marinated in wine
苏式酱鸭 Suzhou style braised duck
香糟虾 drunken prawn
川府牛肉 Szechuan beef brisket
乡村小鱼 village small fishes
大麻球 giant sesame ball
This is totally a gimmick. A single glutinous dough is deep fried in a huge pot of boiling oil. The sudden introduction of high heat expanded the air in the dough and inflate the small dough ball into a huge hollow ball. Beautifully golden, it still has nothing inside. Doesn’t taste good, just instagrammable.
油焖鳗鱼 stewed river eel
海味炒粉丝 seafood glass noodles
My favourite course for the evening was the simplest course. Glass noodles (which we called tung hoon) stir-fry with shredded beancurd, mushrooms, and different dried seafood. Very full of umami.
蚌肉金花菜 Jinhua vegetable with mussels
Another of my favourite for the evening. Cooked with wine sauce, it’s sweet and simple to prepare, but complex with layers of flavours from the herby vegetable and umami from the mussels.
手拨河虾仁 hand shelled river shrimps
干锅有机花菜 organic cauliflower casserole
湖中三白 three white treasures from the lake
It contains three ingredients from the lake – two types of water chestnuts called 荸荠 and 菱角 and gorgon fruit 芡实. 荸荠 is also called 马蹄 in Singapore and is sometimes referred to as Chinese water chestnuts. 菱角 looks like a pair of horns and is also called water caltrop. Gorgon fruit 芡实 is not a fruit but the seeds from the prickly water lily. All three are in season, and they all look white when cooked, but three different texture and tastes. Shrimps have been added for some umami to a very earthy course.
小鲍鱼炖蛋 Dalian abalone chawanmushi
A whole Dalian abalone has been steamed with eggs. A bit overcooked.
手撕钢管鸡 grilled spring chicken on a stilt
The chicken looked bigger than it actually was. Deep fried till death, it was a very dry out chicken looking very sad on the pole. Definitely not a sexy pole dance like what the name suggested.
清蒸太湖白鱼 steamed Taihu white fish
清炒水芹 stir fry morning glory
葱油拌面 dry noodles with scallion infused oil
The dessert courses in a Chinese dinner are usually communal affairs, not so much a visual treat. And usually too full when we reached these courses.
桂花乌米饭 black glutinous rice with osmentheus
酒酿小丸子 little glutinous ball in wine lees
This location is next to the main attraction in town called 斜塘老街 “Crooked Stream Historic Street”. Comes with many private rooms as well as a large public hall with live stations showing some precooked dishes. Service needed upgrading even though the hardware and food were great.
Wu Yue Rong Ji 吴越荣记 (斜塘老街店)
Tel : 0512-67628819
Date Visited : Oct 2019