Suzhou, like many other cities we've been to in Asia, has certain types of businesses located on specific "named" streets. For instance, our hotel was located on restaurant supply street. Even though we'd already had a pretty full day, a nice short nap recharged our batteries, and we were off looking for some dinner. After walking up one of the side streets, the Missus was getting pretty hungry. She stopped at one intersection, a restaurant on each corner, and said, "let's eat at one of these places." I looked around and told the Missus, "I don't think you'd want to eat on this street......" You see, we were on "pet shop" street! The Missus, taking a glance at the shops around the restaurants agreed that we'd both feel more comfortable eating on another street..... just so long as it wasn't tombstone street..... or "hair extensions" street for that matter.
We finally came across this little restaurant on one of the side streets.
Named Pǐnwèi Rénshēng, this place was packed, with a pretty raucous crowd.
Mainly due to stuff similar to what's pictured on the right. The guys at the table in the photo was having a very loud time getting ripped. They started placing empty beer bottles on the empty chairs. After the chairs were full, they started placing bottles on the floor, which was a bad move. One false move, and bottles would go rolling all over the floor......
As for the food......
Finally having a seat, I realized how hungry I was...... as was the Missus. The first dish up, Wined Fried Fish:
Wine marinated fish were deep fried to crisp perfection. I practically ate all of this myself, bones and all. The Missus found the strong wine flavor too strong, while I loved the saltiness and wine flavor.
We both loved the fresh sauteed bamboo shoots.
Though the bamboo shoots were starting to just get past the tender stage, I enjoyed the salty, but not too sweet flavor. Combined with the earthiness of the bamboo shoots, these were good.
The Missus wanted something comforting, and chose the Wintermelon Soup with Ham.
A nice classic dish. Actually, the Missus hated wintermelon growing up, but loves the soup, which brings Her comfort. Simple flavors, savory flavor from the ham and salt. The Missus still didn't care for the pieces of wintermelon; I ate those, but loved the broth....and ham (of course).
The final dish was steamed eggplant with garlic. I had expected something closer to this(without the chilies of course). But the sauce was pretty bland, and the eggplant wasn't completely steamed, and in fact had a raw texture and taste.
Overall, this was a satisfying meal, and we left the restaurant...gingerly stepping over empty beer bottles, feeling relaxed.
As we walked along Guan Qian Jie...... I noticed something.......
The Missus, usually always headed off seemingly on a "mission", was just strolling along!
I'm not sure if it was that wonderful tea we had earlier in the day, or perhaps the atmosphere...... Suzhou seemed much more laid back than Hangzhou.... or maybe a combination of both (and more!), but we felt so relaxed.
Which was nice.... since we had another full day in front of us!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!