Wenzhou dishes have a long history dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). There are over 250 delicious recipes based on sea food and using fish, shrimps, crabs and shells as their basic ingredients. They are cooked using some 30 different methods and appear beautiful with enticing aromas.
San Si Qiao Yu (Fish Boiled with Three Kinds of Shreds) is a traditional Wenzhou dish and is easy to cook. The fish is cut into pieces and boiled with shreds of chicken, hams and wood mushrooms. The tender and smooth fish meat is very appetizing and this dish is usually used to entertain friends and relatives on festivals by the locals.
Garlic Seasoned Fishskin is a popular dish among the locals. The basic ingredient is the skin of a kind of edible shark which the locals braise with quantities of garlic that can make the skin soft and tender. It is said the dish helps to expel toxin in the human body.
Double Tastes Crabs is a piece of cake cooked with crab meat and pork during both steaming and frying, leaving it with two distinct tastes, hence its name. The cake is firstly formed by putting fried crab meat on the shreds of pork to fry together in a pan; then is placed on a plate with another steamed crab meat decorated. The dish looks like a live crab and the meat tastes surprisingly fresh.
In addition, the locals have other special ways of eating sea food. For example, they dry the fresh yellow-fin tunas and cuttle fish or soak the crabs and jellyfish. They even eat the live river shrimps or oysters with a variety of seasonings including wine, sugar and ginger.
Nanxi Top Restaurant: 2nd floor, Yong Jia Mansion, No.70, North Feixia Road
2nd floor, Sheng Li Mansion, Sheng Li Road
Fenshui Che Delicious Food City: 2nd floor, Zheng Mao Mansion (B), Xin Cheng Street
Wenzhou boasts hundreds of varieties of local appetizers. Various dumplings and cakes will no doubt offer a feast to any discerning stomach.
Xianqian Tang Yuan
Tang Yuan is a kind of dumpling having different kinds of ingredients as its stuffing. The locals regard Tang Yuan as the symbol of reunion and luck because of their round shapes and pure white colors. Among all the kinds of Tang Yuan, those made of sesames, bean paste and pork are the most famous ones. Xi'an Qian Restaurant has a long history of making these dumplings, providing you with an excellent chance to enjoy the most traditional and genuine Tang Yuan.
Address of Xi'an Qian Restaurant: No.111, Xi'an Qian Mansion (A), Xi'an Qian Street
Tall Man Wonton (Chang Ren Hun Dun)
Wonton is another kind of dumpling which is stuffed with fresh pork. When the dumplings are boiled, they look like beautiful and transparent flowers because of their extremely thin wrappings. The locals are particular about the soup of the dumplings, in which they often add laver, egg, dried meat floss and small shrimps. Tall Man Wonton is named after a tall man who was renowned for selling the most delicious wonton in the 1930s. At present, there is still the Tall Man Wonton restaurant in the city situated at No.531, North Jie Fang Road
Short Man Sponge Cake
This is a kind of dim sum made of pork, glutinous rice and sugar. It is rectangular in shape and tastes soft, sweet and a little salty. The sellers often make the cakes and sell them instantly to ensure their true flavor. Cakes sold by a short man in the 1940s were well known among the locals, hence the name of the cake.
Address of Short Man Sponge Cake Restaurant: No.116-1, Double Lotus Mansion, Xiao Nan Road
It is a kind of fried cake formed into the shape of exquisite lamps which explains the name. There are many flavors of the cake with varieties of stuffing such as pork, shelled fresh shrimps, abalones meat and beef. The cakes have enticing aromas and taste crisp. Da Wang Lamp Cake restaurant is the most popular with the locals where you may have to queue for your cakes!
Address of Da Wang Lamp Cake: No.239, North Jie Fang Road
It is one of the most famous local snacks. You can find fish pellet restaurants or stalls in almost every street of the city. The pellet is made of fresh fish meat with farina and other seasonings. After boiling, the white pellets give out tantalizing aromas with the fresh soup, drawing people to enjoy their peculiar taste.
Recommended restaurant: Wenzhou Restaurant: No.106, Chan Jie Street, Lu Cheng Road
In addition, the Nan Xi Wheat Cake, Li Datong Double Cooked Cake, Five Flavors Aromas Cake and Bean Curd Pellet are also famous local appetizers and well worth tasting.
Wenzhou also has fast and exotic food restaurants. Some of their addresses are detailed below for your convenience during your travels.
1st floor, China Films City, Middle Ren Min Road
No.80, North Fei Xia Road
Huan Qiu Mansion, Middle Ren Min Road
2nd floor, No.97, Wu Ma Street
Hangu Village Restaurant: No.50, Lu Cheng Road
Ming Tien Coffee: 2nd floor, Shun Jin Mansion, Jiang Bin Road
U.B.C. Coffee: No.163, Lu Cheng Road
Les Champs Coffee: 2nd floor, Huan Qiu Mansion, Ren Min Road
As for Ruian, you can go to Xilai Junyue Banquet Center, which is in 1688 Luoyang Avenue.