Hangzhou: Kui Yuan Guan 奎元馆

6 Jul

I read about the historically famous Hangzhou noodles shop Kui Yuan Guan 奎元馆 on CNNGo, and it sounded like such a must eat so we headed there for a pit stop on the way to the train station to do a quick taste test. Although originally founded by an Anhui business in neighbouring Ningbo, Kui Yuan Guan has been around Hangzhou for more than 150 years since the Qing Dynasty. It has been featured in a famous martial arts novel by Taiwanese author Gu Long, which probably further contributed to its popularity. The restaurant is also known as 江南面王 (as you can see on the old school chopsticks holder) which means “King of Noodles in Southern China.” Enough said!

This was their supposedly signature bowl of shrimp and fried eel noodles 虾爆鳝面, with chewy hand made noodles and a light broth that is made using shrimp and eel. I’m personally not a fan of eel and I felt that this was a little too bland for my liking, especially since river shrimp is very mild in taste.

Now the seasonal crab roe noodles 蟹粉面 on the other hand, was a different story. It was bursting with pure unadulterated crab roe and flavour and made my tastebuds sing – if there was liquid gold, this broth would be it! :) The same noodles complemented the salty and rich broth well and even though I was so full (this was just a snack) I couldn’t stop myself from eating as it was so good and addictive! A must order for crab/crab roe lovers! Btw, the noodles come in pretty big portions so small eaters could share.

I realised that both noodles we tried were seafood based, although they do have other ones with pork and vegetables in them (but then again you’re in Hangzhou, surrounded by lakes). Depending on what you order, it could be a hit or miss, but if you’re happy with a pretty decent bowl of noodles in a sanitised yet historically significant place in Hangzhou, then do give it a try.

Price: $ (~40Y per bowl)
Location: 124 JieFang Road 解放路124号
Opening Hours: Daily 930am to 10pm
Tel: +86 571 87028626

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