Fine Dining

Hangzhou Restaurant 杭州酒家 @ Hangzhou (Repost)

This century-old shop was formerly known as Gaochangxing Restaurant. In 1951, it was renamed Hangzhou Restaurant. It is the first state-run restaurant in Hangzhou. The national leaders Zhou Enlai and Marshal He Long have all visited.

This is a repost (new article and photoshop) to do justice to the food photos.
在杭州有漂亮的市容(西湖周邊,特別是省人大那附近),以及比較好的人文特質
享受著有如西子一般淡妝濃抹總相宜的西湖美景,也必須要有美食的陪襯

When you visit Hangzhou, there are three classic restaurants that you need to visit : LouWaiLou 楼外楼, Flavour Mansion 味庄 and of course, Hangzhou Restaurant 杭州酒家.

History of Hangzhou Restaurant 杭州酒店的历史

说到品味杭帮菜的好去处,如果觉得楼外楼知味观等老字号略显俗套,外婆家、绿茶等新贵又稍欠地道,那么可以尝试兼有这两派之所长的杭州酒家。这家开张于1921年的老牌杭帮菜馆在建国初期曾是杭州饮食界的当家花旦,1956年时杭州政府评选的36道杭州名菜中就有25道由其提供,被誉为“食在杭州第一家”。如今历经沧海桑田的杭州酒家在继承传统的同时积极吸纳新兴餐厅的经验,成功地杀了个回马枪,重新成为杭州饮食界的新宠,极难得地同时吸引了怀旧人士与潮男潮女这两大看似风马牛不相及的人群。

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The original shop in Shanghai opened in 1912.

这家“高長興酒店”颇有来头。原来“高長興”三个字在绍兴酒行业中,是和王宝和、沈永和等齐名的老牌子,出自绍兴柯桥,清朝康熙年间创业,酒坊传承多年。民国二年 (1912) 在上海福州路407号(今古籍书店附近)开设酒菜馆,另在南京的秦淮河畔、杭州的延龄路仁和路口 (1921) 等地开设分店。各店均有名厨掌勺,供应的陈年黄酒都来自绍兴。杭州的高長興酒家于1951年更名为杭州酒家,是杭州首家国营菜馆。复兴中路东台路口的这家高長興酒店开设于1944年,原名“高長興炎記酒館”。

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杭州酒家的太雕酒虽不如地道的绍兴黄酒那般浓醇醉人、回味无穷,却更显甘美清爽,柔顺的酒味非常好入口。尽管称不上是品级最上乘的太雕酒,或许难以满足资深酒客的味蕾,却更适宜作为餐酒来饮用,喝完后不会出现“后反唐”(即黄酒的强烈后劲),性价比也颇佳。

What I really liked was the way they have decorated the bottles for the classic house yellow wine. According to my host, this yellow wine was pretty crap. It was a best-seller because of the beautiful bottle.

The Dinner 晚宴

It was a business dinner, the portions were a bit extravagant and the number of courses excessive. But it was what a typical business banquet would be like.

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古越花雕

No, we did not drink the famous house yellow wine. Instead, we went for another brand that is smoother, like a sake.

冷菜 Appetisers

凉菜三品 Amuse Bouche

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冷菜

3 small appetisers were served like an amuse bouche.

  • 马兰头腐皮卷 Indian aster wrapped in beancurd skin – a variation of the usual presentation of Indian aster mixed with chopped tofu. The minty herb with the almost bland beancurd were held together with the spring roll like wrapping, making it so easy to consume.
  • 酱黄瓜苗 pickled baby zucchini – I have tried this as a tempura, in a hotpot, but first time as a pickle. Tasted just like 拍黄瓜 smashed cucumber, but more delicate.
  • 芝麻核桃 sesame crusted honey walnut – tasted like something out of a can of cocktail nuts

If the amuse bouche is like this, I have much to anticipate for the rest of the meal.

桂花蜜藕 Lotus roots in osmantheus honey

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桂花蜜藕

You stuff the cavities of the lotus roots with sweetened glutinous rice. And then the whole thing is steamed and then cut to shape. This is followed by drenching it and drowning it in a really sweet osmantheus flower molasses. Not my kind of appetiser, it is more like a dessert to me.

杭州酱鸭 Hangzhou Smoked Duck in heavy sauce

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杭州酱鸭

The texture of the duck was more like preserved items: hard and chewy. Taste wise it was very good indeed, not too sweet and the meat remained very moist. It actually tasted more like smoked duck to me. Maybe it was being smoked as part of the whole process.

麻酱油麦菜 Romaine lettuce with sesame peanut sauce

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麻酱油麦菜

A slight variation here, they layered the lettuce with mung bean skins 凉皮. So you have two dishes in one – 凉皮 and 油麦菜.

杭州熏鱼 Hangzhou smoked fish

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杭州熏鱼

Unlike the Shanghainese (who uses pomfrets), Hangzhou smoked fish uses the carp. This river fish is usually boney and quite tasteless. The process of frying it and then cooking it in a heavy sauce makes the fish more palatable. But it’s a hassle to work through the bones.

The Main Courses 热菜

龙井虾仁 Sautéed shrimps with Longjing tea infusion

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龙井虾仁

Just like all other restaurants that sold this dish, none has properly infused the Longjing tea into the shrimps. Longjing tea is very delicate, the scent is not overpowering like osmantheus. I think the dish was more a tourist gimmick as Hangzhou is surrounded by tea plantations for Longjing.

据说与乾隆爷有关的龙井虾仁虽是闻名遐迩的杭州佳肴,地位却有些尴尬,终究不如西湖醋鱼、东坡肉等来得脍炙人口。这很大程度上是因为河虾仁必须完全以手工剥制,无论食材还是人工都成本颇高,再加上龙井茶叶就更显奢华,难免有价无市。白嫩微粉的河虾仁尝来清鲜甘甜,弹性十足的质感体现出绝佳的新鲜度,这就是饭店业的良性循环:大客流量加快了食材的流转速度,以新鲜食材做的菜肴自然味道更佳,从而也就更能吸引顾客。

只是平心而论,杭州酒家的龙井虾仁和我过去在其他杭帮菜馆品尝过的一样,依旧难以分辨龙井茶的清雅香气,茶叶更像是装饰而非香料。或许是龙井虾仁本就该如此,亦或许是受制于成本故而茶叶的品质和分量都有所欠缺,总而言之始终未能充分体验到虾仁与龙井的珠联璧合实属一桩大憾事。

栗子烧肉 Braised pork belly with chestnuts

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栗子烧肉

I love chestnuts in all manner – eaten as it is, roasted; cooked in rice; added to braises and stews. Here, they combined my favourite Jiangzhe dish 东坡肉 Dongpo stewed pork with chestnuts. Yummy.

西湖醋鱼 Westlake fish in vinegar sauce

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西湖醋鱼

Also known as 宋嫂鱼 Sister Song’s Fish, this is a traditional local specialty dish of Hangzhou. It first originated in Southern Song Dynasty. The material of West Lake Fish usually is the grass carp found in abundance in the multiple bodies of water around Hangzhou. After cooking, the chef will pour the smooth sugar and vinegar on the fish, which will cause the pectoral fin to stand up. In this way, the fish is tender and sweet with special crab flavour.

酱肉蒸春笋 Bamboo shoots steamed with salted pork

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酱肉蒸春笋

There’s a layer of oil rendered from the fats of the salted pork belly when it was served. It is the quintessential signature of the Shanghainese style – heavy sauce and glistening oil. Beyond that, it was surprising tasty and not so overwhelming. The bamboo shoot was the highlight. It has borrowed the flavours from the pork and by doing so gained a new altitude of flavour.

老鸭汤 “Old duck soup”

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老鸭汤

The word “old” does not meant that the duck was an old duck and the meat was tough and dry. It uses an adult duck and simmered in a Jinhua pork bone stock until all the goodness are extracted to the creamy white soup. The flavours are further enhanced with dried bamboo shoots and ginger. A very hearty and satisfying soup for a cold autumn night. Yes, due to the cooking, the duck is very “old”.

粉丝蒜茸扇贝 Steamed scallops with minced garlic and vermicelli

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粉丝蒜茸扇贝

A Cantonese dish masquerading in a Huaiyang restaurant.

油淋广东菜心 Canton lettuce with soy dressing

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油淋广东菜心

Not Cantonese because of the use of the sweet and savoury Jiangsu-style soy sauce.

咖喱蟹 Curry mud crab

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咖喱蟹

I usually skipped curry crabs in all manner outside of Singapore. I stick to my Singaporean chilli crabs.

上汤苋菜 Spinach in superior stock

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上汤苋菜

Very home cooked style, very simple and tasty.

Dimsum 点心

I missed the photo for the 酒酿丸子 glutinous rice balls in wine lees soup. I didn’t like that, so I didn’t take a portion.

荷花酥 Lotus puff with sweet bean paste filling

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荷花酥

荷花酥是浙江杭州著名的传统小吃。荷花酥是宴席上常用的一种花式中点,给人以美的享受。“出淤泥而不染”是人们对荷花高雅洁丽品质的赞誉,用油酥面制成的荷花酥。形似荷花,酥层清晰,观之形美动人,食之酥松香甜,别有风味。

花瓣酥到掉渣,內餡是淡淡微甜的豆沙,外貌更是美到冒泡

松丝汤包 Soup dumplings with pine

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松丝汤包

At first I thought of it a gimmick. Xiaolongbao steamed with pine needles? But when they unveiled the steaming hot dumplings, a whiff of pine filled the air. Momentarily, yet unforgettable. Just remember not to eat the pine needles.

Reservations required, very popular as it is near West Lake.

The Location

Maybe it’s the popularity, maybe because it’s near the tourist Westlake, I was not impressed by the service or the food. The food was a hit and miss affair. The classics were all OK, but the others were misses.

I would come to just have the bragging rights that I have done one of the bastion of Hangzhou cuisine.

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Hangzhou Restaurant 杭州酒家
205 Yan’an Rd, HuBin ShangQuan, Shangcheng Qu,
Hangzhou Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 310003
延安路205号1-3楼,杭州市
Tel : +86 571 8708 7123

Date Visited : May 2018

3 comments on “Hangzhou Restaurant 杭州酒家 @ Hangzhou (Repost)

  1. Oh I haven’t been, will check it out.

  2. Pingback: Flavour Restaurant 知味觀 @ Hangzhou – live2makan

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