Restaurants at a Glance
Chef Queen, as you would have rightly guessed, was started by a woman. A graduate of Nanjing University, JI Xiaoli founded her company on 12 March 1997. Not every of Chef Queen’s 35 outlets offers Huaiyang cuisine. Many branches have distinct themes and culinary focus. Some concentrate on Sichuan and Cantonese food. Yet others are ingredient-focussed, including sea cucumber. This flexibility helps the restaurant chain adapt to evolving consumer taste throughout China.
- Huaiyang cuisine
- 35 restaurants in 22 years
- Different themes in different branches
Jiangnan Wok, Shangri-La
The Jiangnan Wok is a good place to savour Nanjing’s culinary speciality, namely Salted Duck. This is a cold dish. Always ordered as a starter, you may also ask the kitchen to offer the entire duck. Chef HOU Xinqing has cooked for former Prime Minister WEN Jiabao, former President HU Jintao, and current President XI Jinping when those Chinese leaders stayed at Shangri-La hotels. All in – but still counting – Hou Xinqing has cooked for about 30 heads of state.
- Very good Nanjing Salted Duck
- Chef has cooked for several Chinese leaders
- HOU Xinqing is famed for his skilled slicing skills
Plum Garden, Jinling Hotel
Plum Garden is Jinling Hotel’s premier restaurant and specialises in Huaiyang cuisine although it also incorporates dishes from other branches of Chinese cooking. Nanjing cuisine itself is a mishmash of regional styles. Just as the Nanjing Jinling has very good connections with the local government, so too Plum Garden. It is the go-to restaurant when Nanjing officials want to impress visiting dignitaries gastronomically. The restaurant has a capacity of 150. Reservations highly recommended.
- Specialises in Huaiyan cuisine
- Premier restaurant of Jinling Hotel
- Reservations are highly recommended