I was secretly hoping that this month’s provincial restaurant wouldn’t be as depressing as the Anhui entry in June, but our visit to the Fujian Provincial Government Restaurant wasn’t that enlightening. It wasn’t bad, but it also isn’t quite worth the trip, especially if you don’t have a specific Fujian dish that you love in mind.

The restaurant itself looks quite posh – big tables with clean tablecloths, hordes of attentive staff that may have never seen foreigners before, a clean carpet, and actual wine glasses on the table.

However, the problems started as soon as we opened the menu: shark’s fin. Right. Firstly, the dishes were extremely expensive (shark’s fin soup at RMB 328). Secondly, who even eats shark’s fin anymore? We don’t, and neither should you.

After flipping through a couple of pages of over-priced, show-off ingredients that are or aren’t endangered and/ or poisonous, we finally made our decision: crisp-fried dried tofu rolls with minced pork (RMB 42), sautéed sweet and sour pork tenderloin with water chestnut (RMB 48), a Fujian style bowl of noodles in satay sauce (RMB 26), stir-fried tofu and bamboo shoots (RMB 38), and stuffed glutinous rice balls stuffed (RMB 24).

The crisp-fried dried tofu rolls were were served with a refreshing, sweet chili sauce. The sautéed sweet and sour pork tenderloin was also not too bad, but the water chestnut took us all by surprise. Note that the noodles are not made using satay sauce as we know it, but rather a local Fujian variation.

However, credit where credit is due: the glutinous rice balls were awesome, and came stuffed with a delightful mix of crushed peanuts and sesame seeds, covered in black sesame powder. They were so good that I might actually go there just for the desserts – the menu is home to a few other attractive sounding desserts, including deep fried taro rolls, egg tarts, and ma yuan.

In the end we were lucky that there was a chuan’r and beer garden nearby so we could make up for lost calories. Let’s hope that my third time picking a provincial government restaurant is lucky.

Fujian Provincial Government Restaurant
Daily 9.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-11.30pm. 3F, Fujian Dasha, 11 Anzhen Xili Sanqu, Chaoyang District (6442 8833)

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Photos: Ken

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