Three Chinese Restaurants in Guangzhou

Wall Street Journal China food story and photography screenshot

I had a fun assignment last summer photographing restaurants for the Wall Street Journal. After almost a year, this isn’t exactly news, but since I’ve regularly revisited one of restaurants since then, I thought I might mention it anyway.

Fish soup with pickled vegetables at Olala Sichuan Chinese restaurant

Olala Sichuan Restaurant has been a fairly frequent haunt lately. The food is tasty and the funky interior design provides a nice break from the decrepit noodle joints I frequent on a more regular basis. If coming with a party of less than five, it’s worth calling ahead to reserve one of the non-smoking tables with couches in the front part of the venue; the back part of the restaurant, where you will otherwise end up on a busy night, has regular tables and chairs and looks rather boring.

Fish soup at Olala Sichuan Chinese restaurant

Olala (噢辣辣概念川菜) is near Taojin Station (淘金站) at 1 Jian She San Ma Lu, Dong San Jie; Yuesiu District (广州市越秀区建设三马路东三街1号); 86-20-8376-6289. Taxi drivers have an impossible time finding the place for some reason; I’ve always ended up walking.

Nine-joint shrimps at Sheng Gang Wan Seafood Restaurant in Guangzhou

Sheng Gang Wan Seafood Restaurant is also an interesting place, although I haven’t been back (I tend not to choose seafood places). Sheng Gang Wan has an interesting format (at least to non-Chinese) where patrons buy the seafood they want to eat live from a street level wet-market below the restaurant before heading upstairs to have it cooked.

Seafood vendors at Huangsha Seafood Wholesale Market in Guangzhou, China

Sheng Gang Wan Seafood Restaurant—14 Zhu Lan Lu, 6th floor, inside Huangsha Seafood Wholesale Market; 86-20-8125-7719

interior of SHAN DONG LAO JIA Shandong Chinese restaurant in Guangzhou, China

Shan Dong Lao Jia was the least interesting of the three restaurants for me. I didn’t find the food particularly exciting and the venue is a bit too typical of popular Chinese restaurants for my taste; the main seating area is a cavernous, open space with bright lighting and acoustics that seem to amplify the incessant clatter of plates.

Shan Dong Lao Jia (山东老家) — 43 He Qun Yi Ma Lu (广州市合群一马路43号合群大厦首层); 86-20-8777-8983.

I prefer the Dongbei restaurant next door, even though they wouldn’t let me make photographs there.

Check out the story at the Wall Street Journal website