Restaurant Review: Hunan Old-style Restaurant—Hunan Lao Fan Pu

The long-awaited shopping center in Xili called Cloud City Vankely (Yun Cheng Wan Ke Li) has finally opened to public!!! It is separated into two major sections called Dongli and Xili (east and west sections). Though some of the restaurants had been open already, we recently had the first full look of the new shopping center.

Also, because it is newly opened, in order to gain popularity, every restaurant tries to attract customers and create buzz with major discounts. There are many great restaurants concentrated in the shopping center’s 4th floor. The most compelling restaurant must be Tan Fish (Roast fish restaurant). When we were there early on a Thursday night, the number of waiting table had reached 183!…So we chose its next-door neighbor, Hunan Old-style Restaurant, Hunan Lao Fan Pu. It stood out right away for its extremely unique and immersive interior which is decorated to resemble old Hunan. We went in to take a closer look and try out the food at this Hunan specialty restaurant!

One of the interesting things is that there are open kitchens in the restaurant so you can observe the cooking process on site if you wish!

Before ordering, it is good to be aware that Hunanese food tends to be spicy. A lot of stir-fried dishes will have spice added. But if you do not like to eat spicy food, don’t worry! As long as you tell the waiters to put less chili or none at all when ordering, they will accommodate for your taste.

The specialty of this restaurant is fish head. However, due to time constraints, we did not order this dish. Those who are interested in this dish should definitely order it, just be aware it can take longer to cook. Also, be careful to avoid small fish bones. The flavor will be worth it, so if you order it just enjoy your time and eat slowly!

Our Meal

Here are the things we decided on:

【山里油豆腐】¥32  Oil tofu

【山里土鸡】¥78 Native Mountain Chicken

【丝瓜焖蛤蜊】¥42  Stewed clams

【农家炒茄子】¥28  Country-style stir-fried eggplant

【铁板大虾】¥56  Iron-plate shrimp

【酱油拌饭】¥22  Rice with soy-sauce

My favorite dishes must be the Native Mountain Chicken and Rice with soy-source. Native Mountain Chicken takes on a very characteristic Chinese style for serving chicken. The chicken is sliced and cooked so that it is slightly crispy. Later, spicy chilies are added for delicious flavor, and some potatoes as well to make the dish rich and filling.  Furthermore, the Rice with soy-source is a good choice for a staple food. In fact, during old times, when people could not afford meat or vegetables, they added soy-source to rice for taste. Now, the dish is quite different from that in the old times, but it might remind you of the history.


In general,  while plates are large, the portion of each dish is just normal. The size and portion of meat in most dishes was slightly disappointing as well. However, the food tasted great and they offer distinct Chinese dishes that many people from outside of China have maybe never tried. I recommend taking advantage of this new restaurant and experiencing what could be a new taste and ambience of China that is now available within just a few kilometers of campus.

By Rosy Wu


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