This restaurant is named for its address, #8 Ren Min Nan Lu. The name doesn't make the place any easier to find, since every building on that very long block seems to be #8. It's the same building as the provincial gymnasium, on the south side.The unusual decor is athletic themed but there are plenty of very nice spots to sit, both indoors and outdoors.
We asked about the specialties and were recommended the turtle and sea cucumber, neither of which really tempted us. We started with the celery appetizer (also recommended by the enthusiastic server). Not really a re-order. One intriguing thing on the menu was Sichuan pepper greens as a cold dish.
The thing is, Sichuan pepper comes from a plant with thorns. It tasted fine, with a mild numbing flavour, but care needs to be taken when eating something with the ability to bite back.
We had to try the fish appetizer. Small, split and fried and filled with healthy stuff, nine yuan each. We crunched them hole, including the heads. Delicious.
Tea tree mushrooms, in a pretty typical presentation, were very good.
Clay pot beef and radish. Very good.
We'd got complimentary bowls of fruit to start the meal. As a digestif, chilled test tubes full of bitter melon juice:
The menu has a few sweets on it, like egg tarts and durian pastry. I tried the strategy of ordering sweets after we ate the savoury dishes, since ordering dessert with your meal usually means it comes as the first dish or somewhere in the middle. However, they make their desserts to order and it would have been too long of a wait.
The staff were very sweet and took overwhelmingly good care of us, whisking plates away as soon as they were mostly empty and escorting us to and from the facilities when needed. Next time I would probably tell them to cool it a bit. The menu has pictures and English which is mostly understandable.
Ren Nan 8 Hao
人南 8 号