China 2nd stop. Xiamen

Our first time in Xiamen. Temperature in the 90’s during the day, cooling down to the 80’s after sundown. Not nearly as humid as Shenzhen, with a welcomed warm breeze now and again. We chilled in our hotel room during the heat of the day, enjoyed a cold beverage while watching the sun roast all the tourist enjoying their boat excursions.

1st lunch at a restaurant serving North Eastern China food, as best as DW can explain to me. Love the three-wheeled delivery with the pickup bed out front. I want one!

First nibble is a braised chunk of Pork on the Bone. Chinese caveman style, but with the requisite delicate plastic glove.

Followed by stir fry Chives, Bean Curd Skin and Bean Sprouts.
Bitter Gourd fried Egg.
A stir fry of Bean Curd Skin, Napa Cabbage, Cucumber, Carrot, Rice Vermicelli and slivered Fried Egg.

Lamb Dumplings with delicious lamb flavor. Donkey Dumplings more subtle. Both with great skins

We over ordered, just a little. There’s a couple dozen dumplings waiting in the cooler for a future snack.


OK, you threw me off initially as I looked at the pictures and was thinking, “Oh Lord, Xiamen, yet nothing looked familar compared to Penang’s Hokkien food”. Well, these did look like what one would expect to see on one’s dinner table in Heilongjiang. :joy::joy::joy:

This is what I’d expected food in Xiamen to look like:

or this:

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Thanks for the links. I’ll show my eating manager and see if her research has found anything similar.

Plan for tonight is seafood.


Or this if you are on desktop:

Lots of problem with browsers with the dianping protocol.

We enjoyed a vegetarian lunch at a temple today. Contrary to my mis-preconceptions, we were not crowded shoulder-shoulder at communal tables on rock hard backless benches, ala SF hipster style. :slight_smile:

Comfortable air conditioned room with friendly efficient servers who actually changed the pink tablecloths between covers. Per usual, servers were taken aback when we had to verbally place and pay for our order. EVERY other patron ordered and paid by their mobile phones by scanning the QR code.


We came for the experience, but almost surprisingly totally enjoyed the food. Dishes were simply presented, but well cheffed with quality ingredients. Each dish with its own unique flavor profile.

Mushroom dish had Lotus Seeds, Lotus Flowers, Veggies, Hair Moss, sprinkling of Faux Meat plus some other goodies.

Bamboo Fungus was delicious. Fast becoming a favorite ingredient.

Fried Tofu in a Sauce closely like Sweet and Sour, with a touch of Faux Meat.

Stir Fried Rice Noodles were as good as I’ve had in recent memory.


Easily the best “vegetarian” meal I’ve ever had. Will gladly try more.


I still remembered when Wagamama in London pioneered this seating style back in 1993/94. It was the height of cool then.


Seafood at XiaoYan Jing, Little Glasses Dai Pai Dong. Originally a humble street food stall, now a mini chain of 3 large seafood emporiums.

Tanks of live seafood and chilled cases of veggies greet you upon entry. Prices for each item clearly marked for each species, which is refreshing. Pick your seafood, the server whisks your catch to the chefs to prepare per your instructions.

We had Squid.

Razor Clams.

Stir Fried Rice Vermicelli.

A medium sized fish, simply steamed Cantonese style.

Chinese Luffa.

Always fun to have a live seafood meal. The QPR was off the chart @ 199¥, less than usd$30. Not including 2 beer and a small Baijiu.

Fresh seafood needs minimal embellishments, simple is our preference. However, our meal lacked that certain finesse and execution was just a tad off. Perhaps our expectations were skewed (screwed?) by the pristine seafood and excellent prep in Busan.

Fortunately, there’s plenty o’ fish in the sea, so to speak. I know we can/will do better in the upcoming days.


Nice pics. This is a dumb question but do they take the eyeballs out of the fish, or did you already eat them? It appears they are gone.

I have a feeling that the fish wasn’t “very cooked” so the eye became cloudy only, I might be wrong.

Or maybe @Google_Gourmet is a serial eyeball eater! :laughing:


GOOD EYE!!! Does appear that the one fisheye is missing?!?!

To paraphrase my grandma: “When the fish eyes start to bulge, fish is done”. This fish was probably over cooked and the eyes went MIA.

Wife and I went crazy when we spied these beauties at a market in Japan some time ago.


Mid-90’s today in Xiamen. We took the ferry to an adjacent island at high noon and walked the beat (great street food!!) for about 3 hours. Back in the comfort of our air conditioned hotel, choosing our hotel’s 4th floor restaurant for dinner was a no brainer.

Started with two glasses of red wine “on the house” for being loyal platinum members. :slight_smile:

The Price Fixed menu for two worked for us.

To start: house fried Shrimp Chips, Peanuts in Vinegar and Marinated Fish Skin.

Soups: Black Garlic w/Sparerib. Conpoy (Dried Scallops) w/Pork.

Vegetable: Napa Cabbage with Pei Dan (1000 yr egg), Salted Duck Egg, Goji Berries in Chicken Stock.

Mains: Pork Neck Fried w/Veggies.

Steamed Yellow Croaker. Perfectly steamed. Moist/flaky/sweet. Eyes missing?!?!?


Fresh fruit. Coconut pudding w/Tapioca Pebbles.


Lunch at Crystal Jade, Xiamen. Clean airy space, very attentive and polite service.

Fresh made/steamed XLB (soup Dumplings) to start.

Gai Lan. Very tender, peeled stems with a light seafood scented soy sauce.

Pork Won Ton Vegetable Soup.

Drunken Chicken. Dan Dan La Mian (Noodle with
Peanut Sauce w/Chili Oil).


This is a Singapore chain which made it good in China. :joy:

Crystal Jade had spent many millions usd to open shop in San Francisco. Never gained traction and shuttered w/i a couple of years. If prices in SF were even close to menu here in Xiamen, the queue would’ve been 2 hours long. All day. Every day.

I’d checked the menus at a couple in Hong Kong, and the prices turned me off.

Here in Xiamen, even my wife agreed the prices are very good.

Btw, are you aware of the Grandma’s Home chain? Ate there tonight. Super reasonable prices and some good stuff on the menu.

Gyoza w/egg on a hot plate?

Pork Brain Tofu!

Yellow Croaker Meatball Soup.

Nice rendition of Vinegar Stir Fry Potato.

Needed the plain Boiled Chicken and Tripe/Tendon. Yes. We can handle spicy!!!


Unusual interesting street food item. Best described as a Stuffed Poached Egg.

Mushroom, meat and egg yolk mixture gingerly “stuffed” into a raw egg. Then poached in a broth with traces if seaweed.


I thought the food was actually pretty good at the SF one just I needed a business account… lol.

I’m trying to remember the bits I read about Xiamen, but are there dishes that would seem familiar with those in Taiwan due to Fujianese influence?

Did you try the worm jelly thing?

I don’t see the worm jelly at quick glance.

I thought the food was well prepared. The XLB better than at the few DTF’s I’ve been to. My dining partner disagrees, but she’s Originally from Taiwan from Shanghainese root stock.

Prices are almost ridiculously cheap for a restaurant of this reputation and caliber. Although 2~3x ¥ what you pay out on the street.

Crystal Jade Xiamen menu for your review and amusement.


I recall reading something like this and going … … interesting… lol. Was hoping someone would describe it.

Wow 4 bucks for a small plate of XLB?! Nice! From a random menu from an HK branch of Crystal Jade was around 39 HKD (5ish). And looking at the old SF Crystal Jade’s menu … of 8 dollars … :sob:

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