Yunnan food with a scent of history

13:31, September 28, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

For anyone who steps into South Silk Road restaurant near the Workers' Stadium, the eatery impresses with its distinctive dcor and coveted Yunnan delicacies.

Looked at from afar, the restaurant entrance is reminiscent of tree-shaded porch of a French country villa. A row of emerald shutters and the equally old-fashioned skylights above them invite the sunset glow and summer breeze inside.

But manager Liu Xin explains it's all original Yunnan flavor.

"If you wander the streets in Kunming, you will often come across small restaurants that look exotic," Liu said.

The look is influenced by the geographical proximity of Vietnam, which was a former French colony.

The bar counter behind the shutters serves nearly 100 different wines and whiskey. Some couches, each made of a different material, are placed around old-suitcase-converted teapoys to embellish the drinking tableau.

Those who don't drink can still stay to enjoy the nightfall, Liu said.

And truly, when the night falls, there's plenty more to offer.

Seated in the somewhat dim but cozy dinning hall, you can imagine that you are attending a French dinner party.

Round dinning tables, mostly designed for eight people, are covered with milk-white tablecloths. A simple glass vase stands on each table accompanied by sets of equally elegant tableware, each consisting of a porcelain plate laid on a bigger counterpart and a pair of chopsticks and a spoon lying on the right side.

Cream curtains, made of flax, fall against the cream window frames, which set off the wooden floor, on which the sound of footsteps adds to the cozy family atmosphere.

One more element that imparts a private dining atmosphere is the utensil cupboards of different heights that divide the space into distinct areas.

Liu is considerate enough of dinners' visual fun that he displays in one of the high cupboards a series of porcelain tea caddies of different designs and long history that he collected from Central China's Hunan province.

In another, Li shows the artifacts that evoke the ancient tea merchants, such as a brick of tea more than 100 years old and faded saddles that traveled the South Silk Road.

Liu wants these momentos to remind customers of the restaurant's cultural roots, but they also remind diners of restaurant's artistic provenance.

Fang Lijun, one of the most renowned contemporary Chinese artists, is the main shareholder of the restaurant, so the dining place has been decorated with his artistic eye.

Reproductions of Fang's characteristic works hang on the walls, along with faded pictures of his early drifting life, which is in keeping with Liu's desire to provide an ideal dining place for those who prefer to eat exquisitely-made dishes in an exquisite environment.

Source: China Daily


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion