Hongzhou has been reputed as the City of Gourmet Food with a long history of cuisine culture. Hongzhou cuisine features fresh materials, elaborate processing and natural flavor and attends to the color, smell, taste and shape. The name of the traditional Hangzhou cuisine is usually came from beautiful stories and legends and is reputable in China and abroad. There are over 9,700 restaurants in Hangzhou, among which the old and famous ones include Louwailou and Zhiweiguan, while restaurants with the new-style Hangzhou dishes include Zhangshengjl and Huazhongcheng.
Legend has it that in the Northern Song Dynasty when the eminent writer Su Dongpo was the governor of Hangzhou, he organized a large-scale dredging of the West Lake. In order to reward the laborers, he made Dongpo Pork. It is a dish with a history of over 900 years. It features bright red color, heavy juice and limp and soft. It doesn’t taste fatty.
West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce
It’s also called A Dish of Sister and her Brother in-law. Legend has it that there was a lady called Sister Song in the South Song Dynasty. She cooked a bow of fish seasoned with sugar and vinegar to stimulate the appetite of her sick brother in-law. Now it is cooked with fresh West Lake grass carp, which blends three flavors of fresh, sweet and sour. It tastes fresh and tender with a flavor of crab.
It is made of a fat and tender Yue chicken (raised in Shaoxin). The chicken and the ingredients are wrapped up with fresh lotus leaves and other special materials and then baked with a slow fire. The meat is white, tender and crisp, which falls easily off the bones.