About Snack Restaurants

I was supposed to write some recipes of Wuhan snacks, but I soon found it too difficult a task for me. Sorry for that, it’s beyond my ability. (I don’t think “snack” is a proper word, in Oxford Dictionary, “snack” means “small meals, usu eaten in a hurry, esp between main meals”, but in Wuhan these things are usually for breakfast. Anyone can tell me if there’s a better word?)

Today I’d like to write something about snack restaurants. Dianping is a website where netizens give marks on restaurants, and here is the Wuhan page. I can find something interesting there.

Here are some general comments on the most famous snack restaurants (So-called Time-Honored Brands).

Cai lin ji (famous for re gan mian) 蔡林记
Many people from other places would like to go to cai lin ji to have a bowl of re gan mian “for the sake of the old brand”. But “the taste is getting worse”, some branches are “no better than carts along the streets”. And ironically the dou pi and dishes are “not bad”.
tang bao
Si ji mei (famouse for tang bao) 四季美
One of Wuhan’s most famous snack restaurants where used to full of “attracting smell of meat”. Now the restaurant is still there, but the tang bao is different, “blemishing the name of such an old brand”. You can’t tell “whether it’s the degeneration of si ji mei or ourselves becoming pickier”.
dou pi
Lao tong cheng (famous for dou pi(豆皮), suspended) 老通城
Dou pi and soup of lotus root and chops are not good in appearance, but the taste is good.

From these comments, we can see the downfall of those time-honored brands. I once read an article about the phenomenon. The author said that he loved those foods when he was a child, but as time goes by, they can no longer attract him, for we are living in a time of fast-changing, but those foods still remain the mark of the time of shortage: large size, too greasy, fitting those who often have the feeling of hunger.

There are some other restaurants that are popular today.

Li’s re gan mian 李记热干面
“Noodles are thicker than normal”, pasts are “pure and good-smelling”, and “ a little bit sweet”, unlike those re gan mian in streets that the flavor of which is thickened only by salt water and soybean paste. The environment “is not good” and you “can’t find a seat” but the "business is very hot”.

And hu bu xiang (户部巷) is a well-liked restaurant where all kinds of typical local foods are supplied.

So if you ask me where you can find the most genuine local snacks, I can hardly give you an answer. Maybe it depends on your fortune. And if you find something delicious here, enjoy it!


Laoban said...

I really liked the lotus soup when I visited the Wuhan area last year. I had not tasted it before. Unfortunately we were given it 3 times a day so I am over it now.

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