Grand Metro Park Hotel,
2 Pinghai Road
Chris decided that Japanese was the way to go for our Valentines Day dinner.. and he picked Imarigawa Japanese Restaurant, which was touted to be a very traditional Japanese restaurant in Hangzhou. However, we (okay, it was me) were very silly and thought that the massive Grand Metro Park Hotel (where the restaurant is in) was in the city, “just around the corner”.. and so walked there. And walked. And walked. And walked. OK my defense is that when we asked a girl, she said it was only 10 mins away! YEAH RIGHT. 1.5 hours of walking later, we finally found ourselves there. Cripes.
All we wanted to do was zonk out after that unintended exercise, but at least we’d worked up quite the appetite 😉 The restaurant is actually reasonably priced (for Western standards) but fairly expensive (for local standards). Fantastic, attentive service though, and the food was served promptly. To be honest, I actually thought it’d be more unique or romantic.. as when I heard it was “traditional” I expected loads of very Japanese dishes and sitting down on the floor. But it was regular dining and their menu was fairly restrictive.
The food was very good, but not spectacular – which I’d (fairly or unfairly) expected in such a fancy hotel. The star dish for me was this sort of rice soup with seaweed, salmon and floating crispies. It was a novel concept and totally hit the mark. Cooked rice in a tasty broth, with floating bits of shredded seaweed and salmon. We were fascinated with the generous portion of little balls floating on the top, which we couldn’t figure out what they were 😉 It was a delicious dish – satisfying and oh so tasty. I’m going to try and hunt it down in Shanghai!
The impressive Grand Metro Park Hotel
A little Japanese garden at the restaurant entrance
Bottles and bottles of sake and other liquor
Pretty (and English!) menu
Asahi (it’s better than the Asahi in Australia, weirdly) and edamame
Some bean jelly thing, crispy lotus chips and prawn
A sort of rice soup with seaweed, salmon and floating crispies.
First time I’ve ever seen it but it was so so so good!
A very cool spade-spoon 😛
Writing Chinese words in chalk on the street. Are they proverbs or something??
Taking a stroll after dinner through the city
Downtown Hangzhou… a far cry from the bamboo forest just 20mins away 😉