This rather unassuming restaurant sits near the corner of Changde Road and Xinzha Road. It looks far too kitschy to be any good so we were skeptical when a Chinese pal suggested we eat there, but he seemed to recognize it as being somewhat well known.
The decorations inside are about what you’d expect from a place with lanterns hanging outside, but frankly we didn’t go to the restaurant for the atmosphere, we went for the food, which we must confess was very tasty.
For three people we ordered two cold dishes, two hot dishes, and a fish. The fish is a definite must as that is what the restaurant is famous for.
Garlic soaked cucumbers (蒜泥黄瓜) was better than average as it was sufficiently salty for our American tongue. The mushrooms and tripe (蘑菇牛百页) was our final appetizer of the meal and similarly to the cucumbers it was a little salty but not overpowering. Not generally a fan of internal organs we found the tripe decently edible.
Next the waiters brought out our vegetable dish which seemed a bit out of order, but anyway they brought it in a bamboo steamer covered in tin foil and then placed inside a bowl, odd especially as it wasn’t a steamed dish at all. The mixture of dried tofu and celery (豆腐干芹菜) won’t win awards but was nice and healthy.
The next dish almost made us lose our appetite, a nice big bowl of spicy blood and tripe (毛血旺). One dish of cow stomach per meal is enough for me, but really it was the blood that we just don’t do. We nibbled at it, but basically it’s a dish for the truly adventurous or the British.
Finally a rather large barbecued catfish (烤鲶鱼) weighing in at nearly 3jin was brought to the table still cooking. Blessedly catfish isn’t laden with hundreds of tiny bones so we were able to enjoy our time eating loads of fish meat rather than coughing up fish bones. Uniquely the fish was flavored differently on each side, though in the end each side tasted almost identical.
The food was good, the atmosphere/decorations were amusing, the beer was cold, all in all pretty good for a kitschy Chinese restaurant. Total cost set us back 186rmb.
Fish Door Restaurant Inn (棧客門鱼）
460 Changde Lu, by Xinzha Lu (常德路460号，靠近新闸路)
Tel: 6289-5106 (Reservations probably aren’t taken, and aren’t really needed)