This evening, I went to an amazing restaurant in Guangzhou. Tucked away behind some Lingnan style exterior walls, you'll find this extraordinary Cantonese restaurant. You'll find this restaurant by getting the bus to 云桂村 （Yun Gui Cun） or taking a taxi to 海珠区前进路南园酒家。The name 南园酒家 means 'South Garden Restaurant' (jiu jia literally means 'alcohol house' and is an archaic term for a restaurant - note 'hotel' is 酒店 （alcohol shop） think 'tavern' with rooms upstairs. Anyways, before we go on a language tangent, let's see how this place looks inside.
The entrance to Nan Yuan Restaurant
As you walk inside, you'll be struck by the decadence of the place. Marble floors and golden decor give an instant impression of luxury.
This place is HUGE. Instead of going through this room, we took a right and went through the enclosed pond, featuring waterfalls and bridges allowing you to watch the Koi fish as they beg for food:
You will pass by a few private rooms on your way to one of the main dining halls. These can be booked in advance if you are planning on impressing business clients or visitors.
Here's one of the smaller dining areas we walked past on the way to one of the main halls:
If you've ever been to a Cantonese restaurant, this will be familiar. Every room is likely to be packed out in the mornings as families go for the traditional Cantonese 点心 （Dian Xin / Dim Sum）。
We were here for dinner, so the place was relatively quiet.
The decor is beautiful in this place. If you want to experience Cantonese food in a traditional setting，look no further than 南园酒店。
I didn't take any photos of the food, or the menu (in China, usually the host gets the menu and orders the food, and will likely ask if there's anything in particular you'd like). I just go with the flow and try everything on the table. Tonight there was Salmon, fish-stuffed peppers, vegetable soup, egg fried rice, duck, etc. Your standard Cantonese fare. The 'dessert' was free at the end - 红豆沙 hong dou sha （literally ‘red bean sand’ the 'sand' just refers to the texture of the red bean once its boiled, don't worry!) which was delicious!
As October is drawing near, so is the 中秋节 （zhong qiu jie) Mid-Autumn Festival, which takes place on the 4th this year. This also means Moon Cake （月饼 yue bing） production is in overdrive these days. The Nan Yuan Restaurant is no exception - on my way out, I spotted the biggest moon cake I've ever clapped my eyes upon:
As we left the restaurant and walked down the street, I also saw that they have a shop selling moon cakes next door:
I'll definitely return and share more details on this place.
142 Qianjin Rd, JiangNan DaDao, Haizhu Qu, Guangzhou Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China, 510000
Cost: Dishes vary from 38-168 rmb