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Fresh out of Ningbo

By Li Xinzhu (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-22 09:15
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Fresh out of Ningbo 
Yun's Fusion Cuisine provides a unique view of the Huangpu River and the Expo Garden. Yong Kai For China Daily

Yun's Fusion Cuisine serves up Zhejiang specialties, with a focus on seafood from Ningbo, in retro-chicdcor , says Li Xinzhu.

Most restaurants that specialize in Ningbo cuisine put seafood at the top of the menu, as this is a staple favorite of those living in the Yangtze River region.

Yun's Fusion Cuisine, a Ningbo-style restaurant at the top of the Pavilion of Future, is no exception. What makes it different is its adventurous, swinging 60s-style dcor: long pink sofas, tables with gold-painted legs, and blue flannel chairs.

The restaurant, which is located in the Puxi side of the Expo, can serve about 380 people at a time. Its main dishes come from Zhejiang province, especially the cities of Ningbo, Hangzhou and Shaoxing. It also offers typical Shanghai dishes.

"We make a point of cooking lots of fresh dishes for seafood lovers," said Zuo Shihong, one of the restaurant's managers. Yun's is the top brand of the Harvest Festival Group, a large domestic enterprise involved in catering, hotels and food production.

The Expo branch provides a unique view of the Huangpu River and the Expo Garden for customers via its outdoor patio. It was designed by a group in Hong Kong to compete in the high-end restaurant market, said Zuo.

In contrast to the huge thermometer in the middle of the pavilion, Yun's is discreetly tucked away at a side entrance. The management, concerned that the location would put a dampener on its business, festooned the pavilion with colorful and eye-catching signs to attract customers. The ploy worked.

"It's a great Chinese restaurant on this side of the river," said local resident Huang Yimin, 38. "The dishes are much more to my taste."

Huang said his family chose to eat there because of the reasonable prices and sweeping views.

Yun's began offering cheaper set menus due to the low early turnout of customers at the start of the Expo, meaning you can now enjoy some great local food at a nice discount.

"We've received a lot of positive feedback from visitors on the set meals," said Zhou.

Chef Jiang Junlei, a specialist in Southeast Asian and Japanese cuisine, said he likes to keep experimenting with the menu.

"I like to try new recipes. Innovation is always important to me," he said, giving the example of his sea cucumber with Japanese sauce.

All of the seafood he uses come from Xiangshan, a small county in Ningbo that is close to the East China Sea and famous for its fresh seafood.

Zhu Guoqing, the restaurant's other top chef, comes from Ningbo. He said working with Jiang helps them conjure up new culinary wonders together.

"We have a lot in common so it's easy to develop new recipes," Zhu said.

According to the manger, Yun's Fusion Cuisine will remain in place when the Expo ends, as the building in which it is located will not be removed and torn down like the other pavilions.

Fresh out of Ningbo 
Typical Ningbo and Shanghai dishes make up most of the restaurant's menu.

Fresh out of Ningbo

Fresh out of Ningbo

(China Daily 10/22/2010)

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