Leave your stereotypes behind as you enter through the massive red door and prepare to heed impressive Chinese stories. The team of cooks here from Singapore tells them as effectively as anyone in the city. This restaurant will satiate you with authentic flavors and an ambiance that is right as rain. Only the beautiful view of Golden Horn Bay through the panoramic windows will remind that you are in Vladivostok.
When you open the illustrated encyclopedia of traditional cuisines and high culinary art of southern China (read – the menu), a thought immediately arises – how to plan out your travel time so you can come back to "Chinese Stories" again. To try everything is unrealistic, and only the most decisive might have the power to make a selection quickly. When even the broccoli looks so good you’re tempted to shamelessly betray meat, it already says something about the brightly colored Bao (dim sum buns), rich soups, and indecently appetizing seafood.
If you worry that gastronomic experiments will lead you into unexpected thickets, choose one of the well-trodden paths. First up is chili crab – seasoned crab prepared in a thick spicy chili sauce according to a Singaporean national recipe. True, in Vladivostok, it was somewhat improved by replacing the small crab with Kamchatka King, such that the “Flavor Guardians” – experts from Singapore who regularly come to the restaurant to check food quality – acknowledged that the dish is even better with our local hefty sort. And sure enough, it turned out exceptionally delicious and succulent.
A second familiar scenario in Chinese Stories is Peking duck. If you think there is no way this world-famous dish can surprise you, take a little test. Does the word combination “sparkling sugar” mean anything to you? Answering no arouses interest that needs to be quenched immediately. This duck starts with a crispy caramel crust and is finished off in a savory oyster sauce. Carving and serving are a real show, and wrapping the meat with vegetables in wheat pancakes is a Feng Shui canonical ritual.
Aside from the food, every corner of the restaurant carries deeper meanings of ancient Chinese philosophy – symbolizing wealth, luck, prosperity. Service staff can explain all these secrets, so feel free to ask them about the interior. For example, they can describe the wall of power and teach you how to make a wish by it. According to Feng Shui, a place is divided into zones of water and fire. Water carries life-giving energy, Qi; it is the territory of harmony, health, and well-being. Fire is a space for business success and recognition, so they recommend holding meetings and making deals in these areas.
A third way, for the brave hearted, is to experiment. Order all the things you have never eaten before, or whatever seems most unusual to you, such as that classic of Chinese street food – chicken feet. They are not as scary to try within the walls of the restaurant as they are in crowded markets in China – and definitely safer. Healing chicken soup with Cordyceps flowers to relieve stress and boost immunity is just what the doctor ordered against fatigue. Cordyceps, as well as more than three hundred other spices and ingredients, is brought from China to maximize the authenticity of the dishes.
Active Instagram users will not leave without calling attention to the Bao with cute little piglet faces… and they won’t have bet wrong – “likes” are guaranteed.
After spicy food, you simply must refresh your taste buds with some mango pudding, coconut mousse, grapefruit gelatin, or one of the other desserts. No matter what you choose, get ready for an extravaganza of textures, flavors, and aesthetic pleasures.
The desserts are also a tribute to national culinary traditions, but in an ultramodern signature elaboration. Their delicacy and tropical notes put a bold exclamation point at the end of your personal Chinese story of experiencing Vladivostok.
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