Hangzhou: Green Tea Restaurant 录茶餐厅

6 Mar

Like Grandma’s Kitchen, Green Tea Restaurant 录茶餐厅 is another popular chain to get your Hangbang Cai 杭帮菜 fix in Hangzhou. It feels a little more upscale than Grandma’s, but is still very affordable. We went for a late lunch to the Hubin Rd branch (perpendicular from Grandma’s Kitchen, same building) so we didn’t have to queue, but reservations are highly recommended. There is also a more popular and scenic branch near the Long Jing plantation.

Since they only had a one sheet paper menu with no pictures, we ticked our choices based on the restaurant’s recommendations. Hangbang Cai supposedly has light flavours and uses more of the steaming, boiling and roasting methods so that’s just right up my alley.

The BBQ chicken 绿茶烤鸡 had a spice rub was reminiscent of the Xinjiang spice powder which is always delectable IMO, and the skin was nice; but I felt that the meat was a little tough and dry. Give me Grandma’s Kitchen’s tea scented chicken anytime. Maybe we should have gotten the BBQ pork or char siew instead.

The stir fried crab meat with egg white 赛螃蟹 was very sweet and sour at the same time (probably because of the vinegar and sweet egg yolk) which I quite enjoyed due to the interesting flavour, especially since I’m partial to anything with vinegar. My husband on the other hand found the dish weird so it’s definitely not for everyone. It’s a little misleading from the name but it actually comes with crab stick (instead of crab meat, doh) and tofu.

Despite its plain looks, the Green Tea signature pot rice soup 绿茶招牌泡饭 served in an old stone pot was the bomb. Cooked using a seafood stock, the porridge was super tasty and moreish. The use of another type of grain other than the normal short grained rice and veggies gave it more texture too. Comfort food max.

The stir fried cabbage in Lingnan bean sauce 岭南豆豉娃娃菜 was another winner. How could cabbage ever taste so good? When soaked in chilli oil, and the miracle that is “Lingnan bean sauce” – trust me, it will. It was so good that when I tabao-ed the extra bits home, I cooked noodles and ate it with the sauce (which is perfect since its on the salty side anyway).

I don’t normally eat offal but since the husband was craving for it, we ordered the stir fried pig’s kidney with scallions. I tried a little and it was surprisingly good. Tasty, no smell in the kidney and crunchy to the bite.

The tofu stew 土豆腐煲 was a little plain for my liking after all the dishes we had. It was such a huge portion though, and for 18RMB only – I can’t really complain.

Many other tables ate the steamed fish head temptation 鱼头诱惑 and home-made bread topped with ice cream 面包诱惑 which we didn’t try so I definitely need to make a return trip. The restaurant is also quite tastefully decorated, with dim lighting, dark wood, and a lot of teapots, arts and crafts and antique looking objects on display. We sat upstairs but the dining area on the first floor is very pretty, like a quaint old library of sorts.

Verdict: I definitely was not disappointed with my meal at Green Tea, even after dining at Grandma’s Kitchen. Though some dishes far outperformed the others, everything we had was at least of a pretty decent quality. And the prices are so reasonable given it’s comfy setting and nice ambiance that you really must give Green Tea a try.  7.5/10

Price: $ (70-90 RMB per person)
Location: 83 Longjing Road 龙井路83号
Telephone: + 86 571 8703 0016
Website: www.lv-cha.com.cn

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