Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ji'an Eating

Restaurants in Ji'an
Ji'an is small and there are plenty of restaurants with a variety of food. One street (the first right after the roundabout) in particular has about 5 Huopen restaurants, otherwise Chuan restaurants are scattered across the town. It goes without saying to look around before you choose, and the further you stray from the tourist areas (like the waterfront) to better the food will be. Asking taxi drivers will also find you a good place to eat.

Skewered Barbecue or Chuan(串)/Shaokaorou(烧烤肉)
Ji’an is famous for one thing: barbecue, AKA chuan or shaokaorou. On average it’s slightly more pricy there than in other cities, but it is definitely, definitely worth eating. Not only was the meat the most delicious (especially the lamb) I’ve had in China, it also didn’t cause any stomach upset either. To get to the place I went to, go through the market (with the river behind you) turn left down the road at the top end of the market and then take the first right. It's on the left hand side if you keep walking. It's small and run by a young couple. Excellent quality, excellent service!

North Korean Pan cooked stew or Huopen(火盆)
Another worthwhile local dish is huopen, a Chaoxianzu speciality. It’s a dish of different kinds of meat including North Korean style sausage, bean sprouts and tofu in a thick sauce. It’s cooked right in front of you, over charcoal in a large wide pan. Served with a side dish of Kimchi and Chinese style peanut dipping sauce (麻酱/Majiang), this is a truly local speciality that leaves you wondering whether just across the river, the North Koreans are enjoying it too. From 80RMB (for the smallest pot) it will easily feed 4 people. Click here for the street (the first right after the roundabout)

Ice noodles or Lengmian(冷面) or nengmyeon(냉면) Another North Korean special, is Lengmian/Nengmyeon. I've had it many times in South Korea and its perfect on a hot summer's day. A dish of cool noodles in an icy sour/savoury soup, if you don't feel too adventurous, make sure they don't put in a slice of watermelon at the end!
I didn't have time in Ji'an to try this speciality, but a restaurant at the small market seemed the most inviting place, full of life and laughter.

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