Yangshuo is famous for beer fish – a local specialty that is cooked with lots of chillis, garlic, peppers and of course BEER! The fish is called Li River fish (another must-try if you go to Guilin) although I don’t know exactly what type of fish that is.
I went to a rather touristy place to sample this awesome dish so I can’t vouch for the authenticity of it. The view is great though and we were each given a RMB 50 coupon to dine on. I was the only person traveling alone in that Li River cruise tour and this girl Kiko who was there with her mom and dad was kind enough to wave me over to share their table.
WHY DO THE MENUS ONLY HAVE CHINESE CHARACTERS?
I left the ordering to them since I can’t read anything but I managed to order beer fish and beer to go along with it (it’s the perfect combo). It is obvious I didn’t do the ordering coz here you have tofu. REAL TOFU. As in the kind that comes without anything to somewhat mask the inherent tastelessness of tofu.
This is a vegetable dish cooked with chicken. It consists primarily of shoots and it’s not too bad but I’m not a huge fan of vegetables.
Now this is an interesting one – it’s a local fern gathered in Yangshuo by the locals. It tasted bitter but I found it quite interesting and ate quite a bit of this. I think the fact that it’s indigenous to Yangshuo made me go against my vegetable principals.
This is Kiko. She’s with an MNC and was based in Malaysia for a bit.
I always leave the best for the last so here I present to you the famous Yangshuo Beer Fish!
You can actually taste the malt and hops from the beer fish and it surprisingly adds a lot to the taste of the tender and succulent Li River fish. The gravy was so good I drizzled it over my rice, which apparently is not compliant with the etiquette of Chinese dining, along with my propensity for sticking my chopsticks into the rice bowl.
I can’t remember how much the bill was but we had to top up about RMB 100 (about RM 50). I offered to pay since I was the only one who ordered beer (although Kiko and her dad drank it too) but they won’t have anything to do with that. I had to literally force my Yuan into the hands of the waitress, to the protests of the family and a lot of back and forth before I escorted the waitress away with my Yuan.
That’s Chinese culture for you. Heh! Anyway, the family is not from around here too – they’re visiting from Guangzhou and their family was kind enough to ask me to visit anytime and they’ll be my tour guide (and a place to stay). w00t! I’ll be going after my Melbourne trip. 🙂