Before my Hangzhou trip, I did some research on what are the restaurants, eateries and food to try. One of the places that I have shortlisted was Grandma’s Kitchen (外婆家), a popular restaurant that serves authentic Hangzhou dishes.
We went to the restaurant on the first evening we arrived – at around, 7pm. There was a long queue and the forecast waiting time was just too long. I read about the legendary long queue but didn’t expect it to be so bad. As we were already hungry, we ended up having dinner at a nearby restaurant.
On our final night in Hangzhou, we deliberately arrived at Grandma’s Kitchen early for dinner. Though we arrived at the restaurant at 6pm, the queue was already long. After getting our queue ticket, we walked to West Lake to take in the musical fountain performance.
Unfortunately there was no show as it was damaged by typhoon that struck a few days earlier. So we just hung around West Lake and managed to catch a mini laser show.
The restaurant has different queue number for different table size. While waiting, guests can help themselves to complimentary tea and peanuts. After 1.5 hours wait, our number was finally called!! We had to take the lift to level 3 to be seated.
The restaurant has a relatively extensive menu full of clear photos and reasonable prices. We quickly placed our order with some help from the staff.
While waiting for our food, we took time to look around the restaurant. The section where we were seated consisted of tables for 4 – 8 people. There were many locals dining out with their families.
The restaurant décor is minimalist with clay pots and photos the main items used.
Service was relatively fast and our food was served rather quickly. We had stir-fried Chinese cabbage, a yam dish, claypot herbal chicken and the restaurant signature dish braised pork (红烧东坡肉).
Food was good especially the braised pork. The pork is braised for a few hours till soft and tender. The meat just melts in the mouth. Surprisingly it was not greasy but of course oily. We didn’t finish the fat layer though.
The dinner bill came up to RMB143 including tea and rice for 4 persons, quite reasonable for a restaurant meal.
When we finished dinner an hour later, there was still quite a long queue waiting to get in. I guess if you do not want to wait long, it might be a good idea to get to the restaurant at 11am for lunch or 5pm for dinner. The restaurant opens from 10am – 2.30pm for lunch and 4.30pm – 9pm for dinner.