Add:17-23 Donghexia, Xiaohe Road
Tel:0571 8694 9407
Time:9:30am - 9:30pm
Credit Cards Accepted
English Service Available
Yun Shui Yao has only been opened for 2 months now, but is already making its mark on Hangzhou's food scene. Located in a small, somewhat secluded area on the north end of town, this quiet little spot doesn't look like much, but a peek inside reveals a carefully reconstructed environment built to simulate the ancient waterways that once connected villages via wooden flatboats. This was a very long time ago, before everyone started “driving” blacked-out Audis, and pimped-out hatchbacks with contradicting aftermarket performance tags on them. If you drive a Subaru, don’t slap a TRD sticker across the driver’s side door. You’re making your car look foolish. If you’re rolling in a Buick, don’t glue an AMG or Type-S badge anywhere around the word, Regal. It doesn’t work that way, but I digress. Upon walking down the stone steps, our first impression was one of surprise. The warmth and rustic comfort of the interior was inviting. As we meandered past rough-hewn wooden tables and benches, we noticed how authentic the artwork and artifacts looked, much more so than the simulacra on Hefang Street. There were lots of colorful tapestries and rugs covering the floor-level seating, while the rest of the booths were made up of benches and large tables with simple, carefully set dishes, chopsticks, and cups in a very natural and pleasing array of greens, blues, and other earthy colors that fit perfectly within the space. We found our table and got ready to taste the Yunnan style food this place was known for. After a round of pu'er tea to start things off, we were given small woven baskets filled with melon seeds and tiny round wafers of dried tamarind paste to wet our whistles. To get us going in the right direction, we found a large bowl of steaming beef and potato noodles (束河辣煮牛肉 38RMB) in a very savory, slightly spicy broth that steamed in large clouds and filled the air with a heady aroma. While it may sound a little anticlimactic, it's only fair to point out that this dish was the favorite of the day for the MORE crew, but that doesn't mean the rest of the meal fell flat. We were blown away by a dish that can only be described as a kind of cheese-and-fish sticks platter (鱼茸乳扇卷 28RMB), which may sound strange, but made everyone around the table roll their eyes with pleasure as we dunked them in ketchup. Other notable items were the Lamb Chops and onions in a tiny hotpot (宫庭羊肉 48RMB), and a large dish of “Yutou” Fish Head soup (阿瓦寨私房鱼头 58RMB) that also made us pick at every scrap of meat, with its amazing flavor and delicate texture. Our host pointed out that this dish inspired 4 restaurants to open in Wenzhou, and the recipe is so carefully guarded that the doors are closed to the public when this dish is being prepared. Pretty serious stuff, but tasting the delicious fish was enough to make us understand what all the secrets are about. We recommend this venue to anyone who is looking for a little taste of Yunnan, without leaving Hangzhou. Picture menu available.