Jie Xiang Lou at Seven Villas is widely regarded as being among the top three Chinese restaurants in Hangzhou. Located on Bapanling Road in the hilly green western area of Hangzhou, coming to Seven Villas takes you outside the hustle and bustle of urban life. I don’t come to this area often enough, and every time I do, I wonder what took me so long to get here. It really is the most beautiful part of Hangzhou.
As the name suggests, there are 7 villas. Villa 1 is Chinese restaurant Jie Xiang Lou, villa 2 is a French Restaurant, villa 3 is a Japanese restaurant, villa 4 is the spa and the other villas are for guest rooms. Jie Xiang Lou has been open since 2006 and MORE had visited many years ago. We return today to check-in and see what’s cooking.
The restaurant is decorated in traditional Chinese style with wooden beams, grey brick walls and lanterns. There are three menus, red menu for signature dishes, blue for seasonal creations and white for boiled and steamed dishes that are also lower in price than the other two menus with prices starting at 30RMB.
We got a sample of their signature dishes. The Stewed Beef with Sauce (288RMB) was slow cooked for hours in a sweet soy sauce, making the beef very tender and the sweet soy sauce had reached a caramel, almost candy-like state. The Braised Rice with Abalone (178RMB) had moist sticky rice infused with abalone sauce and a whole abalone sitting on top. Both dishes were beautifully plated with natural elements like flowers and a single green leaf as decoration. Even the simple jasmine white rice is of the highest standards – fragrant, soft to the bite and slightly chewy.
Service was excellent. We ordered Chinese tea and it was served Gong Fu style with a little pot for steeping tea and a little pot called “cha hai” for holding the brewed tea. The customer then pours tea from the cha hai into their little tea cup at leisure. Every time our cha hai became empty, a waiter would appear to make more tea to replenish it.
Jie Xiang Lou serves elegant, refined Chinese cuisine with impeccable service in gorgeous natural surroundings. Do yourself a favour and come out here to enjoy some of the best food and environment Hangzhou has to offer. Parking available.