I was blatantly excited when I encountered Zhiweiguan (知味观) that’s just a short walking distance away from Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺)! Zhiweiguan is famous for their dim sum and “dong puo rou” or braised pork in Hangzhou and I specifically chose Renhe Hotel knowing that it is close to the branch near Jiefang Road (解放路). Unfortunately, the Jiefang branch was under major renovation so it broke my dreams of eating dim sum there every morning for breakfast.
When I looked at their menu, I realized there was no dim sum menu and enquired about it. It turned out that the Lingyin Zhiweiguan branch is known as “Weizhuang Zhiweiguan” (味莊知味观) that serves a la carte dishes whereas other Zhiweiguan branches serve dim sum.
So for lunch, we ordered their signature braised pork and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!! Culinary expertise is presented so delicately, with thin slices of three-layered meat, meticulously arranged in a shape of a gleaming pyramid.
The meat slices are consistent in texture, flavor and every single piece had the right proportion of fat sandwiching the lean part. There was not one piece that had too much fat or had too much lean meat. The fat layers are so thin and they are almost translucent, giving a mouthful of heavenly bite that melts in your mouth.
There’s more hidden treasures inside the pyramid -dried bamboo shoots braised together pork slices, absorbing all the juices from the pork. It is heartbreaking for me to tear this piece of art apart! I
Our mixed vegetable dish has a lot of goodies – broccoli, fresh bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and black fungus. Nice but a tad oily.
Our last dish – the fried eel dish is disappointing though. The eel pieces are coated with thick batter that has absorbed too much oil in the process of frying and some parts of the batter are a little soggy too. The eel meat within has a smooth texture but blend. The flavoring relies a lot on the sweet and sour sauce, which is mostly coated on the excess batter, leaving the eel, the key ingredient, rather plain and unflavored.
When in Hanzhou, give Longjin tea a try.
The waiting lobby is grand and comfortable if you ever have to wait for a table.
If you happen to visit Lingyin Temple and don’t have too much extra time to look for food, I think Zhiweiguan is a good place to tie in with the visit!
More Info on Zhiweiguan
Zhiweiguan Official Website