There are many Cantonese dining restaurants all over Guangzhou. Naturally, no two restaurants are ever identical in quality and taste. That said, the offerings by long-established Cantonese food spots will always be the pride of the Guangzhou people. This is the case for places of elegance as well as humbler-looking ones tucked away in hidden corners alike. This article will bring to you 10 traditional Cantonese establishments that will satisfy your cravings for authentic, classic cuisine!
- Lei Garden: 40 Years on
- Hui Shi Jia: Sizzling Claypot, Tingling Tastebuds
- Ju Bao Seafood Restaurant: Time-Honored for Pigeons
- Li Hua Restaurant: Renowned for Long Queues
- Xin Ji: One of The Best Kept Secrets Among Locals
- Ya Yuan Restaurant: Stamp of Approval from Chua Lam, Famed Food Critics
- Nan Yuan Restaurant: 50-Year-Old Establishment Set in Serenity
- Jade Garden: Awarded One Michelin Star for 5 Successive Years
- Bing Sheng: Upscale Cantonese Restaurant of Over 20 Years
- Xiang Qun Restaurant: Serving More Than 20 Cantonese Classics
Lei Garden: 40 Years on
Established in 1973, Lei Garden hails from Hong Kong, where each of its 10 branch restaurants has been awarded with at least 1 Michelin star. The brand name also received much acclaim as a "true master of culinary arts" and "a restaurant for celebrities".Known for its exquisite presentation and dedicated service, Lei Garden attracts large crowds of food lovers despite its relatively higher price tag among Cantonese restaurants. Doors open at 11:30 and queues already form a short half-hour later.Lei Garden also has its own farm, spanning a total of nearly 200,000 square meters. The farm supplies the restaurant with fresh pork, chicken and organic vegetables.
Hui Shi Jia: Sizzling Claypot, Tingling Tastebuds
Hui Shi Jia is located at Bin Jiang Palace and has a history of over 20 years. It was featured in the second season of popular gourmet documentary "A Bite of China", which further propelled it into fame.Since the airing on television, the restaurant has also opened other branches.The highlight of the restaurant is its "sizzling-sound" claypot dishes. Years of working on the craft has made it such that "any ingredient can be masterfully cooked" using the claypot.There are also many outstanding creations, such as French-Cantonese fusion foods and Chinese dishes inspired by abstract concepts and Zen philosophy. Each is a work of art.
Ju Bao Seafood Restaurant: Time-Honored for Pigeons
The original Ju Bao Seafood Restaurant commenced operations in 1988, along the bustling Beijing Road. Its signature dish is crispy roasted pigeon. With "as much as 1,000 being sold per day" at peak times, sometimes, orders are so overwhelming they can't keep up!Besides the roasted pigeons, they also sell cinnamon-scented stewed pigeons.The key lies in its unique, secret sauce, made from dozens of herbs including dang gui, conpoy, Chinese yam and cinnamon sticks.
Li Hua Restaurant: Renowned for Long Queues
Li Hua Restaurant is a time-honored restaurant serving authentic Cantonese specialties. Despite its ordinary-looking exterior, hordes of people queue up during meal times each day.The extensive menu features dried tangerine peel with pork ribs, braised chicken with shallots, goose intestines, iced swamp eel slices, swamp eel slices with assorted ingredients, and goose liver with soy sauce. These authentic Cantonese dishes are practically a must-order for everyone who visits.
Xin Ji: One of The Best Kept Secrets Among Locals
Xin Ji Seafood Restaurant has a celebrated history of 30 years at Changdi Road. Located in a relatively obscure spot, this hidden gemis mostly frequented by the locals. It may not have a lot to offer in terms of seafood variety and is pricier than other restaurants, but the culinary offerings are absolutely top notch.This restaurant bears semblance to traditional food stalls, tempting visitors with mouthwatering wok hei (wok fragrance). Its shredded chicken, wu liu dan (eggs in sweet-sour sauce), goose intestines, sweet and sour pork ribs, crispy roasted pigeons, and soy sauce pigeon are all familiar comfort food for the locals.
Ya Yuan Restaurant: Stamp of Approval from Chua Lam, Famed Food Critics
Dining at Ya Yuan Restaurant may be known as an expensive affair, but it has remained a dominating force at Chaotian Road for over 29 years.Its humble decor and high prices have not stopped it reaping praise from food connoisseurs such as Chua Lam. The dishes may not be wallet-friendly, but they certainly taste heavenly.The yellow croaker is crisp perfect, while the scallion with oiled chicken piques the senses with its extreme fragrance and the claypot rice is rich with flavors. Any order at Ya Yuan Restaurant is bound to serve up a hearty, homely experience.
Nan Yuan Restaurant: 50-Year-Old Establishment Set in Serenity
Nan Yuan Restaurant has been operating since 1963 and is one of the top 4 garden restaurants in Guangzhou. Its premises include bamboo forests, flower gardens, and Lingnan architectural structures such as green bricks and tiles, upward curving roofs and pavilions.The restaurant is revered for its Chaozhou cuisine and Cantonese dim sum. To ensure the best taste, all dim sum are steamed piping hot only when ordered. The delicate Chaozhou cuisine is also masterfully created; popular dishes include Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, roast goose, braised chicken with soybean paste, and braised shark's fin.
Jade Garden: Awarded One Michelin Star for 5 Successive Years
Founded in 1971, this Cantonese restaurant under Hong Kong's Maxim's Group has received One Michelin Star rating for 5 successive years. Located within the high-end shopping mall Taikoo Hui, the restaurant is set in a luxurious, elegant environment and uses palace-style cutlery.Capturing original flavors and maintaining good health are the two main focus at Jade Garden. When it comes to enhancing gastronomic flavors, the chef ditches MSG to display true craftsmanship.Don't leave without trying its signature dessert "Fresh Fruit Napoleon", a perfect combination of sweet fruits with crusty pastry textures. Another highlight of the restaurant is its "Guangzhou Dim Sum Platter".
Bing Sheng: Upscale Cantonese Restaurant of Over 20 Years
Bing Sheng is considered one of the younger establishments among the traditional establishments, emerging in the scene only in 1996. It has made a name for itself given its high-quality cuisine. There are presently 5 branches (main branch at Haiyin, Wufeng, Tianhe, flagship store at Zhujiang New Town as well as Huangpu Avenue).This restaurant promotes an authentic experience of the Lingnan culture, from the thoughtful use of ingredients to its presentation, service and environment. No wonder it attained the prestigious "Five-Star Restaurant" rating for restaurants.
Xiang Qun Restaurant: Serving More Than 20 Cantonese Classics
Xiang Qun Restaurant was formerly a small stall selling iced drinks,and has continued to maintain the simple decor of its humble origins. The environment and service may not be the most sophisticated, but business is booming nevertheless.Food enthusiasts come for their authentic, homely dishes. Its specialty, deserving of its tasty reputation, is poached chicken drizzled with scallion oil; this dish is made from free-range chicken, promising a crispy texture that complements the smooth and tender meat.