Pearl River Delta - Shenzhen
Ba Shu Feng reputedly serves some of the most authentic Sichuanese cuisine in Shenzhen. The old multi-storey eatery with a rustic interior has been replaced by a contemporary new outlet in the basement of a shopping mall.
The spiced beef giblets had just the right balance of flavours and textures. The pork slices hung on bamboo stems, while slices of pork and cucumber hung on what looked like a tiny clothes line. Two classic dishes - kung pao chicken and mapo tofu - reflected Sichuanese cuisine at both its best and worst. The chicken was perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of heat, a gooey sauce and lots of crunchy nuts. The tofu dish, however, was too heavy, too thick and too dark. It had so much salt, MSG and numbing peppers that the sauce was powdery. The house tea, full of sour plums, dates and herbs, is served from Sichuanese teapots with long spouts. Michael Taylor
BA SHU FENG
SHOP NO. 7, B1/F, FENGHUANG JINGJI FENGHUANG YINXIANG
LUOHU DISTRICT, SHENZHEN
(86 755) 2568 0388
With 100 choices on the menu, the dim sum at this stylish Chinese eatery is among the best. The har gao were meaty and succulent with a hint of water chestnut, while the spring rolls had just the right balance, with delicately crispy skins.
The focus might be on Chiu Chow cuisine, but the extensive menu ranges from local delights and barbecued meats to sashimi, bird’s nest, abalone, seafood, stewed soups and the fiery tastes of Sichuan province.
Not to be missed is the braised Liaoning sea cucumber in a clay pot, a scrumptious concoction of ginger and leek stewed in soy sauce and hoisin sauce.
Another signature dish is the Jinhua poached slice sea conch, braised in a combination of Macau shrimp paste, julienne white turnips and chopped Chinese celery.
At weekends, there is a special set menu for four. Courses range from Norwegian salmon sashimi to char-roasted baby duck, pot-stewed aged duck with mushrooms and barbecue pork rolls. Diners can choose two additional snacks from 12 choices.
Reminiscent of the hearty fare of Hunan province, the fried shredded potatoes with chillis were a delight. The poached seasonal vegetables in broth reflected the delicately nuanced Guangdong dishes. Save room for desserts, especially the mouthwatering sweet soups. Michael Taylor
XINGLI CHINESE RESTAURANT
4/F, THE RITZ-CARLTON, SHENZHEN
116 FUHUA SAN WAN ROAD
(86 755) 2222 2222