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Gourmet Tour in Taiyuan

Post Time: Apr 24 2015 By Vanessa Li

Going to Taiyuan how can not try the unique cuisine -Tounao. Taiyuan Tounao only can be eaten in the winter morning. According to Taiyuan friends said, if you eat Tounao in the winter, you will be fit and in ruddy health. In Taiyuan, the most authentic Tounao is Qing He Yuan Restaurant Tounao, but the local friend told me, Qing He Yuan Tounao taste is too heavy, generally even Taiyuan people do not get used to the taste, he advised me to go to a slightly taste restaurant in to try, if I can accept then to try Qing He Yuan Tounao.

Out of the hotel in the morning and walk for about two stations, I come to the Yongle Shao Mei Tounao. The restaurant is located in the Longtan commercial center of the Jiancaoping District, the store is not big that can accommodate a three or four decades people. When I am here is at half past seven in the morning, after I enter I find almost all seats are occupied. Coming here forwating Tounao mostly is the older people around 50 and 60, there are a few younger workers.
Tounao is actually a kind of medicinal food, also known as decoction of eight ingredients, invented by the Taiyuan people Fushan during Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty, he created the soup seasoning to cure his mother and after his mother became rehabilitation, he imparted the method to a restaurant. Since it is called decoction of eight ingredients, the natural material has eight ingredients of mutton, lamb bone marrow, vinasse, stewed noodles, lotus root, long Chinese yam, astragalus membranaceus and ginger, and used the eight ingredients decocted into soup, that is Tounao. And pickled leeks are not optional collocation, it is a guiding herb.

Tou Nao and Shao Mei
This is my first time to eat Tounao, is also the first time to see the Tounao like this. Soup is not very thick and not very thin and do not have the smell of mutton, the smell of wine is not strong, I feel good that is do not have much strong taste.

One or two tael Shao Mei, which in my hometown is called Shao Mai, at first I am thinking the local people was wrong to write the word, then I was told in the local called it Shao Mei. They are the same kind of pasta. The Shao Mei here tastes also very good. Steaming hot Shao Mei wrapper is soft and thin, after a bite you will get mouthful oil, the mutton stuffing taste very good which do not have a smell of mutton and not greasy oil, but it is small. Inside the restaurant there are small bottles of millet wine, 3 Yuan a bottle.


Tounao and Shaomei 
I stay in the garden international hotel, and I eat lunch and dinner in here with my friends. This is the Chinese sausage, very refreshing.
You Mian Kao Lao Lao (莜面栲栳栳), this is a famous dish in Taiyuan, but it is more delicate, with the mutton and Tai mushroom. 

You Mian Kao Lao Lao

Going to Taiyuann you must have taste noodle, but the variety of noodle in Taiyuan is too rich, I can't remember what the name of this noodles is. Taiyuan is given priority to eating noodle,but in the most of other places in China is exquisite on the sauce of noodle.
This is called Tijian’er (剔尖儿), looking like just the boiled mutton slices, actually is also a kind of noodle, with a red pasta. It's a pity that I've had enough so I do not taste too much.

In the evening I want to go to Taiyuan famous Liuxiang Lane to eat snacks, but outside the rain starting to fall, so I have to also eat my dinner in the hotel restaurant, I don't like to eat buffet, so I order the dishes.
This dish is called the Old Datong Haggis in a steaming hot pot. 

the Old Datong Haggis
Sizzling old vinegar braised hairtail on the iron plate, it is the waiter recommended.

Sizzling old vinegar braised hairtail
Shanxi braised meat with vegetables and noodles, it is so-so. If you want to eat local food you have better not to eat in the hotel that you cannot feel any characteristics but the price is expensive.

 Shanxi braised meat with vegetables and noodles

Wantuo (碗托), is also a feature of Shanxi noodle with a thin layer, It tastes quite good and it is pliable and chewy.

In the second day, our dinner is in the old Taiyuan restaurant. Old Taiyuan Restaurant has old Taiyuan flavor. We come to this restaurant that is located in the Yingze Street. The restaurant is large, and it is decorated in Shanxi courtyard style. The room is also interesting in the restaurant, the wall is posted old newspaper of 50s and 60s of last century, and the paper is yellowing and faded, but what striking is the content of the newspaper above, although look very harsh, but that is, after all, a page of the real history.
Taiyuan famous cuisine fried boiled pork. The food is simple, but the taste is delicious. 

 fried boiled pork

Sweet and sour balls, appearance is beautiful, it is said that this is Taiyuan famous dish, taste sour and sweet, pretty delicious. All the balls are eaten out at last.
Sweet and sour balls

This seems to be called jujube cake.
jujube cake
Shanxi Guild Hall, local friends strongly recommend us to eat. This is the in the Victory Street, the menu card impressively write it is an eating museum, Shanxi people's lounge.

Shanxi Guild HallShanxi Guild Hall
I like to eat this dish with the sauce, the taste is very refreshing, noodles is also very chewy. Chinese sausage. The smell of marinade is mellower
 Chinese sausage Chinese sausage

Characteristics Toufu is really tasteful.
Characteristics Toufu
In the private room there is performance. The guest can order song to let the performers to perform; the songs are Shanxi folk songs. Besides, there is electronic organ accompaniment and two people sing harmony. Listening Shanxi folk in Shanxi courtyard style private rooms is quite a kind of enjoyment.
Finally the staple food of course is the features of Shanxi noodle! Although I already very full, but this is good smell of noodles soup, I almost ate up.

Shanxi noodleShanxi noodle

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Vanessa Li

Vanessa Li

Position:Travel Consultant

I'm delighted to be able to help you in your journeys. As the great Mark Twain said: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbour. Explore. Dream. Discover!” You can only appreciate home after you've been somewhere else, and the greater the journey, the greater the appreciation! So come to China for one of the greatest journeys you could ever take! 

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