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Crayfish Crack Open Summer Fun 2018-11-16
As Hangzhou’s temperature soars to new heights, the appeal of crayfish (Xiaolongxia in Chinese) does, too. Summertime is when crayfish meat is both tender and sweet. A true summer treat is idling a summer night away over a big pot of spicy flame-red crayfish with friends.

Hangzhou features a variety of dining spots for crayfish. To begin your delectable journey, start here with the following recommendations.

Zhu Jiuxi Xu Yi Crayfish Restaurant (朱九溪盱眙龙虾馆 )
Address: No. 428, Dengyun Road , Gongshu District (拱墅区登云路428号)

This restaurant has been in Hangzhou for longer than most locals can remember. Much of its fame comes from the type of crayfish offered: Xu Yi crayfish. This kind of crayfish is large, delicious and fresh.

A quick lesson on crayfish: there are many different types in China, because they can survive and thrive anywhere with water -- even in swamps, ditches and rice paddies. That being said, crayfish living in areas with fresh running water and abundant grass plants tend to be cleaner, fatter and more tender. So it is that Xu Yi County, the production place of the restaurant’s famed Xu Yi crayfish produces fine crayfish: it’s situated at the lower reach of the Yahe River (涯河) and at the bank of Hongze Lake (洪泽湖). There are 100 water plants species there, which, combined with the natural water sources, makes Xu Yi an ideal place for crayfish to thrive. It’s a safe bet that each bite of their Xu Yi crayfish will be mouth-watering.

Mei Cun – King of Crayfish (美村龙虾王)
Address: No. 6, Wantang Road, Xihu District (西湖区万塘路6号)

The restaurant that dares to call itself the ‘King of Crayfish’ is none other than Mei Cun, located on Wantang Road. This restaurant serves both spicy and non-spicy crayfish dishes to please any palate. For those seeking to dial down the heat, the non-spicy crayfish is very fresh and savory, without overpowering the crayfish itself. For those favouring a more fiery flavor, the numbing spicy crayfish never fails to please (Just be sure to drink plenty of water!). All crayfish dishes come with Nian Gao (a glutinous rice snack), onions and other vegetables to help absorb any grease.

Liang Da Ma Ma Restaurant (梁大妈妈菜馆)
Address: No. 98, Hedong Road, Xiacheng District (下城区河东路98号)

A stand-out in Hedong Road, a famous food street in Hangzhou, nothing beats Liang Da Ma Ma in popularity. The word on the street is that the crayfish served in Liang Da Ma Ma Restaurant is the best in town. The only downside: you may have to queue for a while to try a bite. If this turns you away, the neighboring restaurants and stalls are also worth a try. If you’re willing to brave the queue, you will be in for a treat.

As you can see, Hangzhou offers several different styles of crayfish, all of them worth a try. If you’re looking for something new this summer, consider stopping by for a bite of crayfish. Don’t worry: they won’t bite back.
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