The most famous attraction in Hangzhou is West Lake, 西湖. A once popular imperial retreat, you can walk or bike around the lake or take a short cruise and take in the beautiful waters.
Instead after our quick snapshots at the lake, we headed straight to 楼外楼, a famous restaurant in existence for more than 100 years.
What a grand building with and equally grand staircase inside
Outside of the building I spotted the outdoors oven containing their famous Beggar’s Chicken (叫化鸡也称为乞丐鸡)
Packages of 乞丐鸡 waiting to be delivered to the dining room
Delivered to our table in a chicken decorated porcelain bowl. There are 2 prices for the Beggar’s Chicken. RMB188 or RMB388. We tried the latter and was not impressed at all. If you do wish to try it out here and are on a budget, perhaps one should go for the cheaper option.
东坡肉. This was one of the few dishes that we truely enjoyed that evening. Soft and tender braised fat pork belly, you can cut it with just your chopsticks.
Some of the other dishes we had. The sweet prawns was nice, the rest just decent.
One of the several dining spaces with the view of the West Lake.
Dinner starts early here, from 5pm. We were told that you cannot make reservations so we did a walk in at 5:30pm and it was already full house. We waited about 30 minutes. Service is nonchalent at best which, considering the prices, rich history and grandeur of the place, is quite disgraceful. But perhaps it’s the local style.
My rating 6/10
Lou Wai Lou Restaurant
No 30 Gushan Road, Westlake, Hangzhou
Tel: (0571) 87997416