Old and Authentically Famous Delicacies in Guangzhou – 广州老字号美食
In China, there is plenty of old and famous restaurant and cafe with authentic local food but usually hidden away from travelers, tourists and foreigners, only well known to the locals. The question is why? After some brief research, I have found out that the keyword search is just incompatible with the Chinese character on the search engine unless you know Chinese character and have searched the correct keyword to have the right information shows up. The Chinese character for these restaurants is 老字号 (pinyin; lao zi hao), with Google translated as “old and famous”, whereas laozihao means old and authentically famous. Laozihao has to be local delicacies with a brief history and famously well known to the locals. These laozihao do have a reputation for the local community serving authentic local delicacies, with some dated back to the early 1900s. Starting from Guangzhou, here I have compiled a list of local Guangzhou delicacies which I have tried them on my own as I travel China (Full Guangzhou Guide here). If you have read part 1, skip to part 2 here.
1. Wan Xing Xiao Shi 万兴小食 – Claypot Baked Rice
Also known as Wan Xing Bao Zai Fan – Wan Xing claypot baked rice, is operated by 3 brothers for more than 20 years. Though I am not sure if they are open for lunch, their dinner hour starts at 5.30 pm.
Their signature dish is their famous claypot baked rice with a variety selection of meats and they do serve soup as well.
Having your dinner here would be great that the flavor they deliver does represent the local flavors of Guangzhou. Do expect to queue and have fun hunting your seats since they have limited seating space. With Beijing Road Pedestrian Shopping Streets just around the corner, this would be a great spot to indulge in a local delicacy.
Address : Yue Xiu District, Wan Fu Road, No. 289
Price Range : 20RMB +/- per person ($2.89 +/- per person)
Overall Rating : 7/10
How to get there : Metro Line 6, Beijing Road Station, exit B, 200 meters to the East. They will be on your left.
2. Shi Shang Ju Mei Shi Wo Lan La Chang 食尚居美食窝蓝拉肠 – Steam Rolled Rice with Bamboo Tray
This restaurant is rather small and humbly hidden away from the public. Steamed roll rice noodle is a local staple and pretty common in Guangzhou, but, they use a rather interesting traditional cooking method – steaming roll rice noodle with a bamboo tray! I was skeptical if that would be possible, wouldn’t the rice batter drip through the holes of the bamboo tray?
The flavor was incredibly good and balance with the aromatic flavors coming from the fillings, pickled vegetables that were well prepared, the aroma from the mixture of black sesame and roasted peanut, a slight hint of dried shrimp and the scent of soy sauce does not overkill the entire dish. The Chinese say 正! (zheng)- means good!
Address : Li Wan District, Dong Jiao Bei Road, No. 15
Price Range : 10RMB +/- per person ($1.5 +/- per person)
Overall Rating : 7.5/10
How to get there : Metro Line 1, Fang Cun Station, exit D, do ask the local for Dong Jiao Bei Road (东漖北路), about 15 minutes walk.
3. 达杨原味炖品 Da Yang Yuan Wei Dun Pin – Double Boiled Soup
Southern China, particularly Guangdong region makes decent soup, the ancient Chinese believes that soup is sort of like a nutritious supplement with all the nutritional value extracted from the ingredient used into the liquid. This laozihao specializes in double-boiled soup, very well known to the locals. Plenty of luxury cars parked by the roadside just to get themselves a delicious soup here.
Address : Yue Xiu District, Wen Ming Road, No. 160
Price Range : 18RMB +/- per person ($2.6 +/- per person)
Overall Rating : 7.5/10
How to get there : Metro Line 6, Beijing Road Station, exit B, ask the locals about this shop. About 1km away from station.
4. Jian Ji Mian Dian 坚记面店 – Noodle House
Since the 1980s, famously known for their smooth and flavorful noodles with slices of beef brisket. It was said that one auntie here has been their staff since her teens.
The noodles are smooth to palate and absorb all the sauces of the sliced beef brisket that are cooked with Chinese fermented tofu – nan yu and a dash of pork lard with some pork crackling deliver a complex combination that does not overkill. Packed with a punch!
Address : Chang Shou Dong Road, No.299 – 301
Price Range : 15RMB +/- per person ($2.17 +/- per person)
Overall Rating : 7/10
How to get there : Metro Line 1, Chang Shou Station, exit D2, ask the locals about this shop. About 800m away from station.
5. Ren Xin Tian Pin 仁信甜品 – Ren Xin Dessert House
Very well known for their double boiled milk pudding which is uniquely rich and creamy. It is said that two types of buffalo milk are used to create this delicate milk flavor pudding.
Address : No 550, Hui Fu East Road, Yuexiu district, Guangzhou, China.
Price Range : 15RMB +/- ($2.18 +/-)
Overall rating : 7.5/10
How to get there : Metro line 6, Beijing Road Station, Exit A and head north. Just right next to Beijing Road Shopping Pedestrian Street.
6. Chen Tian Ji Yu Pi 陈添记鱼皮 – Crispy Fish Skin
Hidden along the side alley, the small restaurant served an authentic local delicacy – fish skin, crispy fish skin. They have been in business since the 1980s, with another outlet not too far away for this one.
The fish skin is extremely crispy, free of any fishy smell. All the flavor depends on the soy sauce with a hint of sesame oil. It is good in a small portion as an appetizer. However, I was alone, and eating only fish skin wasn’t so great.
Address : Li Wan District, Shop 15 off Bao Hua Road, 2 blocks on the inside. (very interesting address indeed. 荔湾区，宝华路侧十五铺三港内进第二档)
Price Range : 24RMB ($3.47)
Overall rating : 6/10
How to get there : Metro line 1, Chang Shou Station, Exit D2 and head south about 400m.
As I write this lao zi hao of Guangzhou – an authentic local delicacy of Guangzhou, I am still in Guangzhou with my schedule packed with a few more lao zi hao to visit. I will have the remaining lao zi hao updated on part 2 soon!