Mark Hiew (more chengdu)|
For many foreigners, whose ideas of “what Chinese food is” are based on the cuisine served up at Western Chinese restaurants, arriving in Sichuan may prove somewhat disappointing. Ruxuan Seafood, just south of Computer City, offers up reasonably good Guangdong and Sichuanese dishes at mid-level prices, able to satisfy any itch for Chinese cuisine, which tastes a little “closer to home.”
Ruxuan is a treat to look at. Cascading water along its exterior windows, a suitably sub-tropical coconut tree-themed interior and a live guqin player create an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere. The exposed kitchen and wait staff, decked out in traditional red uniforms, is lively and helpful. Tables are predominantly smaller and rectangular, seating two to eight, rather than the round table style, making it host to smaller parties rather than large groups.
The mixed congee or, “zhou” (RMB15), with its thick wholesomeness, proved the standout of the dishes we tried. The char siu buns were fluffy enough, not overly steamed, and their pork filling was just the right sweetness. Alas, the spare ribs (RMB10), a real make-or-break dish in any Guangdong line-up, were neither particularly fresh nor flavoursome. The corn spring rolls were uninspiring, if passable, much like the spicy light-fried fish, which was, and we’re saying this like true Sichuanese looking down on other Chinese cooking styles, a little bland. Far tastier was the fried onion pancake and the vegetable dishes, including the “Garlic Ear Mountain Wild Vegetable,” which are savoury yet subtle.
Overall, Ruxuan is a place to break up your routine at a decent price more than it is a benchmark of true Guangdong cuisine. The Chinese menu contains pictures, though not for all the dishes. Expect to pay around 30-50 RMB per head.