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Taste the Unique Chinese Food - Luoyang Water Banquet

 2011-10-24    Peggy    Sights    Luoyang    1470  

Peony Yan Cai (Luoyang Yan Cai), a cuisine with local characteristics in western Henan, and has always been listed as the first dish of Luoyang Shui Xi (Water Banquet).


As the most peculiar dish to Luoyang, Luoyang Shui Xi is noted as “Top Banquet under the Heaven” with the origin in Tang Dynasty. Peony Yan Cai just like a well dressed woman in Tang Dynasty, and attract all the eyes of everybody as soon as served on the desk, an eye-catching bright yellow peony floating on top of the soup, brilliant flowers, hot and sour sweet, smooth taste. The banquet is in total of 24 dishes. The first and highly reputed is named Luoyang Yan Cai, made of radish shreds, chicken shreds, minced pork and other vegetables simmered in soup, making it taste like succulent bird's nest soup (Yan Wo). Its appearance seems to be a blooming peony, very beautiful.

If visit Luoyang, you can not miss the Luoyang Shui Xi. It is said that there are two reasons for its name. Firstly, unlike the usual custom in China, the dishes served during this banquet are brought one after another, like flowing water, hence the name “Water Banquet”. The second reason is that almost one third of the dishes are accompanied by different soups. After tasting it myself, and now I know it is really special!!!

It was noon, and I was very hungry. This restaurant is an old one with hundreds of years’ history, built in 1895.


All of us walked into this restaurant and found the people in the restaurant were a little strange?  


The waitress dressed in unusual cloths, different from the normal ones!


Ah…there was still a waiter who was also in strange cloths…


They served us…


The whole design of the hall was also special…


We could not wait to the Luoyang Shui Xi…curious!


The waitress was introducing the cold dishes…


There're totally 24 dishes. First, 8 cold dishes are served as companies for drinks. This was one of the 8 cold dishes.


Hmm…the waitress near us was beautiful than our…


The first dish, Peony Yan Cai, that peony was ate out as soon as served, for all of us were very hungry. Peony Yan Cai is made of radish shreds, chicken shreds, minced pork and other vegetables simmered in soup, making it taste like succulent bird's nest soup (Yan Wo). Its appearance seems to be a blooming peony, very beautiful.


Look, at the mural hanging on the wall. The sentence on the mural was written by Premier Zhou Enlai, who visit Luoyang accompanied by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. He ordered that unique “Luoyang Yan Cai”, seeing the white like jade, eye-catching peony flowers floating on the top of soups, he could not help humorously crying out that words just as the mural on the wall. So people called Yancai as “Peony Yan Cai” from then on.


In fact, I could not remember all the dishes of Luoyang Shui Xi…


But I could shoot them down, ah~


There are vegetables and meat dishes, cold and warm, and all kinds of flavors.


Luoyang is a city surrounded by mountains, and the weather here is cold and dry. In ancient time, people hardly got any fruit to enjoy. To resist the dry and cold climate, thus Luoyang people who are fond of soup invented various soups to make up the need of water.




Luoyang Water Banquet is considered one of the Three Wonders of Luoyang, along with the peony and the Longmen Grottoes.

Soup and drinks can always be found at Luoyang Boiled Food Banquet, with various tastes. But if you don’t used to it, you may find it not so delicious.


There was silver fish in this soup, let me called it silver fish soup~


This is cattle bone soup, light sour taste, and I heard one girl near the table of us said: this soup is great!


When we were eating happily, that waiter coming…


He was reading while holding something, meaning telling us to enjoy the food…his voice was unique and we were all amused to laughter…


After that, he went away~


Wow…there was a cute fish in the soup, let me have a shoot!


Those were boiled meat balls, I was curious abut what they were made of…finally, I was told that they were rice balls!


They were really unique, different from other dishes of Chinese food, and have been developed for thousands of years.


Ah, we were all full…full of soup~



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