Food & Drink

In Hangzhou you are in the centre of one of six major styles of Chinese cuisine. The food culture of Hangzhou is very light in the sense that it belongs to the cuisine of cooked food. This technique makes it possible to make the dishes with a mix of sweetness and salty, which is one of the distinguishing features of the Hangzhou cuisine. The second feature is that the food is not so oily as in other kinds of Chinese cuisine.

If you are coming to Hangzhou in springtime, one of the things you won’t miss is to try planked new bamboo shots stewed in peanut oil, words simply can describe the taste – you have to come and taste it for yourself. The meat you find inn the menu is mainly pork and seafood, beef and lamb are not so popular as in the North and West. Other sorts of the Chinese cuisine, like Sichuan and Shaanxi, are of course also represented in Hangzhou.

Although you are in Hangzhou and in China, the city offers a lot of possibilities to have a non-Chinese meal. Many restaurants serve food from all over the world, which is good to know, if you are longing for home food.



One dish that is very typical for Hangzhou is Dongpo pork – Dongpo rou. This dish is named after a Song dynasty poet Su Dongpo (1037-1101). It is luscious belly pork so braised to perfection that it melts in the mouth including the thick delicious gravy. Su Dongpo himself was so taken by its taste that he wrote a poem to praise the pork.



Dragon Well Tea – Longjing Green Tea

One of the most famous and popular teas in China is growing here in Hangzhou at the West Lake. This green tea is regarded as one of the most delicious teas of them all. The soil and climate, together with the technique for reaping that was evolved for about 1200 years ago, makes this kind of tear very unique. The leaf looks very much like a sparrow’s tongue and when soaked in a teacup, it stands straight right up. The Dragon Tea is fragrant and has a mellow taste. It divided in four marks: Lion, Dragon, Cloud and Tiger – the Lion is regarded as being the best of them.

The name came from a spring-fed well, called Dragon Well that is situated nearby a temple and a teahouse just outside Hangzhou. A legend says that during a severe drought, a monk summoned up a dragon to help him with the rain, and the friendly creature did.

In Hangzhou there’s of course a tea museum, the largest one in China and just outstanding in its kind. Here it’s possible to drink tea and watch tea performances, among other features such as a very ample collection of tea utensils.