Chiu Chow

Chiu Chow, known as Chaozhou(潮州)in Mandarin, is located in Northeastern Guangdong Province, near the border with Fujian Province. Not well known in the West, Chiu Chow food is actually a subcategory of Cantonese cuisine, considered by many food experts to be the best of China’s Eight Great provincial cuisines. Because of its location, it bears similarities to Fujian cuisine.
The district of Chiu Chow includes farmland, fishing villages and a deep-water seaport at Swatou, or Shantou (汕 头), which was a treaty port during the 19th century. A wide variety of high-quality fresh produce and seafood has traditionally been available in the district, and the people there – many having travelled abroad – have long been exposed to Western cultural influences. This includes ingredients and cooking styles.
As with other Cantonese chefs, Chiu Chow chefs prize freshness. Not only that, they also take the way food looks seriously. They are, in fact, known for their skill at carving vegetables into edible works of art! Preparation and ingredients are additional aspects that set Chiu Chow cooking apart from other types of Cantonese cuisine. Cooking times tend to be longer. As a result, gravies tend to be thicker.
Dipping sauces – ranging from pungent to sweet and sour to spicy – are a distinctive feature of Chiu Chow cuisine. They are used at the table. They are also used in the kitchen in the preparation of many dishes. Instead of using salt, Chiu Chow chefs use fish sauce to add the desired amount of saltiness in their dishes.
Chiu Chow restaurants are scattered all over Hong Kong, mostly in working class neighborhoods. But there has been a trend in recent years for Chiu Chow eateries to go upmarket, with snazzier surroundings – and more professional service.
Xingli Chinese Restaurant
Renowned executive chef Chan Ah-kin oversees the kitchen at this tastefully designed, contemporary Chinese eatery. The focus is on traditional Chiu Chow specialties such as marinated meats and cold dishes. The stewed fish maw with Medlar, barbecued chicken in soybean sauce, steamed grouper, and braised fresh crab meat with scallops and eggs are highly recommended. There are 19 gorgeously decorated private rooms for private dining or business functions. Bilingual menus and staff.
Ritz Carlton
116 Fuhua San Road, Fu Tian District, Shenzhen
Tel: (86 – 755) 2222 2222
Specialties: bird’s nest soup, shark’s fin, and abalone
Average food cost: ¥ – ¥¥¥
Opening hours: 11 am – 2.30 pm; 5 pm – 11 pm

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Price Guide
¥ – most dishes under ¥50
¥¥ – most dishes under ¥100
¥¥¥ – most dishes under ¥150
¥¥¥¥ – many dishes/main courses more than ¥150

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