Who knows? Maybe it’s the season, maybe it’s the economic downturn, but it seems like new restaurants aren’t opening up as quickly as they used to. Though we’ve heard news about the new restaurants that will be opening in the Oakwood and the Crown Plaza, it looks like we’ll have to wait another month for those. This month, instead of revealing some new places, we decided to give you a little glimpse into the past because basically there were no new places to review. And, we’d like to assume there are many people who wonder what Hangzhou used to be like, because it makes this review all the more relevant. These hypothetical people are intrigued at the number of years some of us expats have been here and naturally they wonder how Hangzhou has changed over the years, but it’s actually much easier to imagine than many would think. Go down to Xixi Road between Hangda Road and Baochu Road and find one of the last remaining plastic goods shops. Picture the whole road full of those shops with people teeming around like they now do at the In Time department store. Now envision those roads all over town and you’ve got your glimpse of old Hangzhou.
For another blast into the past, head down to Qingzhiwu. Many places around town used to look like this little street and there used to be many restaurants like Old Place Spicy Fish. This place is definitely a throwback to a time unknown by today’s grade school students spoiled on KFC and Dairy Queen. We went on a Tuesday afternoon and it was full of an older crowd enjoying hot pot and spicy fish. We got the Fried Chicken Pop Corn and it was bone-free deliciousness. This place isn’t about the décor. It’s all about the food and the Old Tofu, Braised Chestnuts and Pork in Soy Sauce, and the Crispy Sweet Corn Cake were all above par. Our meal for four came to just under 200RMB. You pick and choose your food.