Dedicated to one of China's 'Great Four Cuisines'
Fu Xing Hui is a Huaiyang cuisine restaurant dedicated to serving some of the best native cooking styles from the lower reaches of the Huaihe and Yangtze rivers.
Huaiyang cuisine is lesser-known compared to other Chinese fare, such as Sichuan, Shandong and Cantonese, but in the nation’s gastronomy chart it is considered one of China’s original “Great Four Cuisines.”
The cuisine is also known for the skilled knife skills used by a chef when preparing food that can cut tender tofu into hair-thin shreds and the strict standards set in selecting the freshest ingredients.
Fu Xing Hui, an 80-year-old brand from Yangzhou, has two Huaiyang cuisine outlets in the city. I visited the one inside King88 Plaza on Changning Road.
The restaurant has elegant, bright decor and is a great venue for families and friends. But, for private dining room reservations, make sure you book in advance.
The first impression of the dishes while they were being served was favorable. The delicate appearance of the fish plates gave way to a mild sweet taste with strong original flavors. Huaiyang-style appetizers are often on the lighter side, like the chicken with scallion oil, chilled Yunnan zucchini slices and tripe with black truffle. They all taste aromatic without any greasiness.
Representative dishes of Huaiyang cuisine include braised shredded chicken with ham and dried bean curd and braised pork meatball, which are must-orders here.
The pork meatball, shaped like a lion’s head, is the most famous and mouth-watering, melting the moment the meat filling touches your mouth. Just a few bites are needed to consume this giant tender meatball, which has no grease aftertaste.
The braised eel is another typical tasty local dish and the chef managed to preserve the succulent flavors. Cooked with rich sauces, to balance the fishy flavor, the overall experience was tender but a bit oily. Braised shad is another popular fish-dish order here but I found it overly sweet.
The restaurant is a good place to dine out for regional Chinese food, while the price is pleasant on your wallet.
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 5pm-9pm
Address: 4/F, King88 Plaza, 88 Changning Rd
Average price: 250 yuan