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01 November 2020

China - Lu Yu - grilled fish

22 June 2024

Hello Folks. The second full moon in October, known as the "blue" moon, is just behind us. Yesterday evening the "Blue Moon" appeared in all locations around the world and ... it is already November.

This situation, in which the moon appears twice in one month, is possible for a simple reason. The Lunar Month is 29 and a half days long. Thus, once every three years (2.7 to be exact), the moon may come full twice in one calendar month. This happened yesterday, October 31, when the moon was full again during the same month. As you remember, the first autumn full moon associated with the Mid Autumn Festival was on October 2nd.

November also welcomes us with a terrible weather situation. The typhoons are pulling again. The most formidable one named "Goni" is first class. It is currently going to Manila in the Philippines, but unfortunately, as the map shows, it will also hit the central provinces of Viet Nam. Another time. The situation is getting really worse. To make it even more dangerous, to the north of this typhoon, there is also a tropical storm "Atsani" that will probably reach the northern Philippines islands, Taiwan and we will see how much it will harm the Vietnamese provinces.

Well, that's life in the tropics. It has its charms, but also sometimes, just like now, on the border between the rainy and dry seasons, typhoons follow one another and you just have to wait them out.

In a moment, we will enter a dry season that will give everyone a break from such situation.



Something unusual?

In such an extraordinary month, with such a configuration of two full moons, which is an uncommon phenomenon, it would also be appropriate to recommend something unusual to eat.

As I wrote in several articles in the "Food" section, the selection of dishes, the palette of flavors and colors is unusual in Asia. In my opinion, the largest in the world.

There is something unique in this palette so that the people of China allow themselves weekend trips to these very restaurants (there are several of them in China) to try unique grilled fish. I invite you to the restaurant "Lu Yu" for a fantastic fish from a special charcoal grill.

Could there be anything unusual about grilled fish?

If it is served and prepared like in "Lu Yu" restaurants, it is.

First of all, the restaurant is equipped with a huge charcoal grill, which looks a bit like a brewhouse in a brewery. It is shaped like an inverted funnel with a chimney leading outside the restaurant.

It consists of a central hearth and vertical entrances - "pockets", into which you put a prepared fish, placed in a wire cage.

The process of preparing fish for grilling is quite lengthy. It begins with cleaning the fish and placing it in a marinade for several hours. The recipe for this marinade is a closely guarded secret. All preparations begin not at dawn, right after receiving fresh fish from the market. The fish in "Lu Yu" are never frozen.

After the guests have placed their order, the selected fish is placed vertically in the central grill.

The entire grilling process has its stages and takes about 30 minutes. The cook turns the fish several times, putting it into different pockets of the grill, constantly controlling the temperature inside the hearth.

It starts with a very high temperature to quickly "close" the skin of the fish and then, over low heat, turning the fish several times, prepares it in such a way that it is juicy, soft and easy to transfer to a special, table grill, which includes both the hearth coal and a roasting pan.



What a fish...

In this roasting pan, the fish tastes even better. It is immersed in the stock, covered with a whole set of spices and vegetables that can be freely composed when placing an order. The level of spiciness can also be determined.

You can order a mild level with lots of parsley and garlic. You can order tofu, vegetables, seafood. No matter what you like, the final effect will make eating such prepared fish provide you with an amazing culinary experience.

One fish is enough for two or three people. If anyone would like to try something else besides fish, the restaurant "Lu Yu" also offers grilled chicken, which is served in a unique way according to my taste.

Namely, this chicken is simply prepared by the waiter on waxed paper, dividing it into pieces by hand, and these are the pieces we enjoy together.

Since the waiting time for the fish is quite long, the whole process takes about 45 to 50 minutes, it is worth ordering this "broken" chicken so that you can wait the time needed to serve the fish "Lu Yu".

While living in China, I have had the opportunity to visit the Lu Yu restaurants several times. One in Qingdao and two in Shanghai.

The standard is very similar everywhere. The fish is fresh, seasoned fantastically. The sauce in which they are served is an excellent combination of flavors. You can also order your own combination. Although here, without knowing Chinese it will be a bit difficult.

The way of serving is also the same. The restaurant serves fish in a portable roasting pan with a fireplace underneath. The charcoal heats up the sauce and the fish dipped in it.

An extremely colorful dish.

The fish is already cut by the cook, so it's easy to pick up pieces of tasty meat with chopsticks. For this beautiful, colorful, green and red peppers, parsley, tofu, garlic, tomatoes and anything else you can order.



Where to eat?

The restaurants themselves, at least the ones I've seen, have a uniform appearance. They are very colorful in Mediterranean tones, i.e. blues and whites. Apart from food, there is something else that distinguishes these restaurants. As part of the menu, they serve amazing tea, in cups made of bamboo. You pour it yourself, from a large vat. It is a herbal tea that fantastically activates digestive juices and helps you survive if the spicy level exceeds your tolerance.

Should you be in Qingdao, "Lu Yu" is located at the corner of Shandong and Middle Hong Kong Road, in the "MC3" shopping mall, on the fifth floor. Just after exiting the elevator, on the left side you will see the characteristic logo of the restaurant and the entrance. Please note that waiting in line to be seated may take an hour.

There are two restaurants in Shanghai. One of them is in central Shanghai, on Huaihai Road 755, Huangpu District. You have to go to the Nike store and then use the escalator or elevator to go up to the fifth floor. Logistically, this restaurant is very close to Red Line 1 Subway Station, Middle Huaihai Road.

The second restaurant "Lu Yu" is on Xujiahui, on Haushan Road 2038, on the third floor of the C&A shopping mall. Accessible by elevator from outside the street. Unfortunately, it is usually very crowded here. Instead of waiting for another elevator, it is worth entering shopping mall building, where the second set of elevators will take you to the third floor, straight to the restaurant.Also here, remember about the line waiting for a free table. The nearest metro station is Xujiahui junction, metro lines 1.9 and 11.


You can also eat a similar type of fish in Kuala Lumpur. Also prepared on the grill, although slightly different. Served in portable roasting pans with a small hearth, but grilling takes place on an ordinary open grill. So the taste is not the same.

Fortunately, it is served with quite a lot of spices, and in Malaysia they also add tiger prawns. Compared to the Chinese "Lu Yu", however, it is a class difference.

Therefore, for the transition from the rainy season to the dry season, to survive the humidity and heat, I recommend visiting one of the "Lu Yu" restaurants, where you will eat grilled fish while experiencing the culinary heavens. After you finish your meal in Qingdao, take a walk to the promenade. There will also be something for the ear. Sunset with the sounds of a saxophone ...

And since the fish "like to swim", do not forget to try the herbal tea, which they serve in the Lu Yu restaurants for free, along with the ordered dish. It tastes delicious.

And it really "quenches your thirst." Especially after the chili pepper.


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