Try out this hidden Hui gem, but watch the salt!
This place to taste authentic Hui cuisine is rather hidden. It is the guesthouse of Anhui Province's Shanghai office, inside a lovely villa tucked inside a traditional lane on leafy Xinhua Road.
The service is attentive from the moment you enter. There are private rooms for intimate gatherings.
Hui cuisine originates from the mountains of present-day Anhui Province and makes use of a rich array of ingredients from the mountains and rivers, including wild herbs, river fish and livestock. Most of ingredients are found in southern areas of the province near Huangshan Mountain where the terrain is covered with ample, uncultivated fields and forests where wild herbs and different plants with medicinal value abound.
Hui cuisine is one of the eight famous culinary styles in China and is generally salty, spicy and sometime a little sweet. Local diners may find the dishes somewhat salty but the kitchen can help adjust the flavors.
Hui cuisine chefs pay attention to the taste, color of dishes and the temperature too, and are skilled at braising and stewing, with less frequent use of frying and stir-frying.
Some master dishes are usually stewed in brown sauce focusing on heavy oil and sauce.
Stinky mandarin fish tops the must-try list among Hui dishes and it's definitely the must here.
The fish is preserved in salty water for several days, then fried and braised in soy sauce. The distinctive smell may not appeal to some people but when you start to take bite after bite, you are easily addicted to its special taste and texture.
Another signature dish is the braised stone frog with brown sauce. The cave-dwelling stone frog lives in the mountain area and is tiny, but rich in protein. Nevertheless, the sauce here is too heavy and salty.
Although it's the place to taste traditional Hui recipes in an exclusive private room setting, tell the kitchen if you prefer your food less salty.
Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Address: No. 5, Lane 185 Xinhua Rd
Average price: 450 yuan