Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rui Tai Feng Yunnan Cuisine

Yunnan cuisine is most often represented in Chengdu by humbler dishes such as crossing the bridge noodles and the chicken steamed in a pot. Rui Tai Feng is a new, high end restaurant that presents a fascinating and bewildering variety of Yunnan dishes.

The elaborate place settings are very much in 'modern business dining' fashion.

The dining area is beautifully decorated with great light. We hoped the food would be worthy of the setting.

We usually associate Yunnan cuisine with pineapple, wild mushrooms, ham, potato dishes, rice noodles, and worms and insects. This menu had all that and more, with gorgeous pictures of each dish. If you can read Chinese, the menu's flavour descriptions are helpful. We asked lots of questions like "What is the best dish?", and "What dishes are most popular?" After some prompting the servers realized we needed some help ordering and told us which dishes were awesome (满不错).

The sweet dish we ordered came first - osmanthus tapioca (桂花西米露)。 We didn't eat it until we finished everything else. We are in love with anything osmanthus, so really enjoyed it.

The cold dish was long sprouts, which in most local restaurants are served in a very spicy and vinegary dressing. This one had garlic and pineapple juice with the hot peppers. Very nice. 


Savoury, rich, foil baked mixed mushrooms. (瑞泰纸包菌)

Pineapple cowboy ribs (菠萝牛仔骨), delicious and juicy. Have never had pineapple cooked like this before.

The goose liver eggplant (鹅肝酱香茄) on the menu looked much nicer than what was served. I often order eggplant to get a sense of the kitchen's skill, and this dish was pretty greasy. The goose liver sauce was heavy too and the herbs on top couldn't save it.

(Goose intestine is so popular in hot pot restaurants I've often wondered what happens to the rest of the bird, but goose liver is something we're seeing on the menus of a lot of higher end restaurants lately. I think it is because of the French  foie gras connection, but the 'gras' part has been a bit lost in translation and it's just ordinary liver from un-fattened birds. )

This was our favourite dish of the day, Lugu Lake roast lamb. 泸沽湖炭烤羊腿。 It seemed like it had been cooked, then shredded and cooked again. The pieces were chewy but not too dry, and came with a sauce and a mix of veg on the side. The menu described the flavour as xiang la, which means fragrant and spicy. It was one of the more unique lamb dishes we've tried.

We want to come back and sample a few more of the dishes that aroused our curiosity on the menu, but we'll have to save up a bit first.

Name in Chinese: 瑞泰丰餐饮
Location:  龙湖三千集 3楼 

Third floor of new Paradise Walk shopping center, which is a short stroll away from SM Square.

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