Chao cuisine, a branch of Cantonese cuisine, is very popular in Shantou. Influenced by the seaside geographic features, the locals make most of their traditional dishes and snacks with seafood and they emphasize the freshness and tenderness of the dishes. Nearly every dish has its special seasonings, making the dish taste salty, sweet, sour or spicy.
Shang Tang Ju Bao (Steamed Abalone in Condensed Soup) is made by steaming the abalone with gingers, shallots, garlic and sugar in chicken soup. The soup and oyster sauce are then concentrated into condensed soup that is used to spray on the steamed abalone. The dish boasts of its beautiful color, smooth meat and rich flavor.
Suancai Baishan (Boiled White Eel Packaged in Pickled Vegetables) is often eaten with wood mushrooms and pork rib soup. The soup is much fresher with the flavor of the pickled vegetables while the meat is tender and soft, leaving you with a long aftertaste.
Longhu Hotel: West of the Yingbin Road, Longhu District
Hong Wen Haishen refers to Stewed Trepang in Boiled Lard. The preparation follows a very complicated process including frying, stewing and boiling with various ingredients like mushrooms, dried small shrimps and chicken. The condiments are also quite rich and diverse such as gingers, shallots, garlic, liquorice, soy sauce and red lobster sauce. After the dish is prepared, some vinegar is served as an additional seasoning.
Xinfuhua Hotel: No.9, East Jintaozhuang Community, Hanjiang Road
Doujiang Ju Ji means Steamed Chicken Covered with Fermented Bean Sauce. The belly of the chicken is stuffed with gingers, shallots and cilantros while its whole body is covered with a mixture of bean sauce, wine and sugar. The prepared chicken is then steamed in an earthenware casserole for about 20 minutes. The cooked chicken has a golden color and tastes smooth and tender with strong fragrance of the fermented bean sauce.
Kuaihuo Seafood Restaurant: southeast corner where Changping Road and Taishan Road meet
Jingua Yuni (Pumpkin with Mashed Taros inside) is a very beautiful traditional dish. The pumpkin is cut in a triangle shape and soaked in sugar water for about 11 minutes and then boiled in water. The taros are mashed and steamed with lard and sugar. After the two things are both prepared, stuff the pumpkin with the mashed taros and then you can enjoy this dish. It does not only look beautiful but also tastes sweet and delicious.
Golden Seagull Hotel: No.169, Shanzhang Road
Beef Pellet is extremely springy and tastes crisp and fresh. It is made by squeezing the mashed beef into pellets. Of course many flavorings are needed during the making process, such as fish sauce, fish powder, salt, pepper and sesame oil.
Fried Gaoke is made by frying the steamed rice cakes. The rice cakes are stir-fried firstly with fish sauce and red soybean sauce and then fried with sugar, shrimps, oysters and lard in a pan. The golden cakes taste crisp and tender, sweet and fresh, yet a little spicy.
Xinxing Restaurant: No.77, Xinxing Road
Baked Oyster is a peculiar local snack. It is a kind of cake baked with oyster, potato powder and eggs in a pan. When you eat it, you can add some pepper or fish sauce. It is not only crisp and delicious, but also beneficial for your eyes and stomach.
Xitianxiang Baked Oyster: Xitian Lane, Shengping Road
Luo Tang Qian is a kind of glutinous rice dumplings boiled in clear water and then fried in scallion butter. The dumplings are always covered with sugar powder and white sesames on both sides.
Yue Mei Wan Restaurant: No.21, Haibin Road, Jinping District
Chaoxiang Cheng Delicious Food City: East of the Nanguo Shopping City, Changping Road
Stewed Goose is made by stewing the goose in salted water with many spices like soybean sauce, sugar, ginger, citronella, cassia bark, aniseed, garlic and wine. During the boiling process, the goose is turned over and over again in order to let the spicy water soak all the meat. The stewed goose is then cut into thick pieces, sprinkled with the spicy water and then placed on a plate. The goose used is a special kind fed in Shantou suburb and is one of the biggest goose species in the world. Its head looks like a lion head, hence its name 'Lion Head Goose'.
Jianye Restaurant: 1st floor, Henghui Mansion, Fenghuang Shan Road
Gan Mian (Dry Noodles) is one of the most famous Chinese snacks. The noodles are very chewy and they taste more delicious if you mix some stewed meat, fermented flour sauce and chopped chives together with them. A kind of fresh pork rib soup is often served together with the noodles.
Ai Xi Dry Noodles Restaurant: near the Overseas Chinese Park, East Zhongshan Road, Longhu District
Xiami Sun Ke is a special kind of steamed dumping of a strange but beautiful color and shape. The wrapper is called Ke and is made of steamed rice and glutinous rice. The stuffings are rich including meat, shrimps, bamboo shoots and wood mushrooms with seasonings like scallion, pepper, sesame butter, lard and fish sauce. The upper part of the dumpling is like a white ball while the bottom appears semicircular in golden color. The dumplings taste soft and sweet, with a fresh flavor of the bamboo shoots.
Piaoxiang Restaurant: No.50, Guoping Road
In addition, the Gongfu Tea is also worth tasting. Originating from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the tea has an exquisite manner of preparation. Firstly, boil the sedimented water in a copper pot and use the boiled water to warm the boccaro teapot and the teacups. Then, put the carefully selected tea leaves in the pot and pour the boiled water over the leaves about two centimeters (0.01 feet) above the pot. Finally, after the leaves are unfolded completely, tip the mouth of the teapot to pour the tea into the cups. The tea tastes a little bitter at first, but later it will become surprisingly fragrant and sweet and the flavor lasts for a long time in your mouth.
Recommended Tea Houses
Hengshan Lin Tea House: middle section of Hengshan Road, Longhu District
Chaocha Tea House: B6, Leye Yuan Mansion, Daxue Road, Shengping District
Restaurants for Vegetarians
Lotus Vegetarians Restaurant: No.33, Haibin Road, Jinyuan District
Fangsheng Vegetarians Restaurant: No.3 Apartment, North Jintai Garden, Hanjiang Road
Xiang Hua Yuan Vegetarians Restaurant: No.18-20, No.2 Apartment, Lotus Garden Mansion, North Huashan Road
Shan Yuan Vegetarians Restaurant: No.06, No.8 Apartment, Longhu New Village, North Longhu Road
Western Food Restaurant
Lanbao Western Food Restaurant:
Address: No.160, Changping Road, Longhu District
Hao Ke Lai Beefsteak Restaurant:
Address: West of Nanguo Shopping City, Changping Road
No.2, North Jinxin Road
1st floor, Nanguo Shopping City, Changping Road
Address: No.83, Jinxin Road
West Wenci Road, Chenghai District
Address: 1st floor, Jinxin Mansion, East Jinsha Road
No.62, Dongxia Road
2nd floor, No.22, Pinpai Street, Jinyuan Road
U.B.C. Coffee: where Zhonshan Road and Gongxin Road meet
Address: Ming Tien Coffee Language: A104, Jinxiu Garden, Hengshan Road