nanjing impressions is a chain restaurant supplying authentic nanjing food. from the red lanterns hung high and large wooden doors opened wide, it seems determined to leave visitors a great first impression. inside, the seating is comfortable, with benches at well-spaced tables and willow baskets conveniently tucked underneath to keep your belongings while you enjoy your delicacies. a clever seating system arrangement works so well that a long queue is nothing to worry about. however, with no reservations, it’s best to go before 7pm or many dishes will sell out.
the waiters here are also impressive. wearing traditional chinese costume, they politely ask the number of guests, in order to arrange the seats properly, then lead the way to the table.
we are dazed by the dishes on display. the mouthwatering aroma in the air seems to hurry us into ordering.
it’s said that when may-ling occasionally lost her appetite, she asked her cook to make porridge with soybean milk, glutinous rice, chinese yam. the porridge is believed to be very delicious and helpful to health.
it’s delicious and sweet. i can still taste of soya milk.
we also try jiuniang chidou yuanxiao（酒酿赤豆元宵）, a sweet fermented rice bean soup，and sweet taro cooked in the traditional way，called gufa tangyumiao(古法糖芋苗).
jiuniang chidou yuanxiao tastes sweet, which accords with the artistic conception of jiangnan water features.
it is said that the qianlong emperor encountered this snack at the market when he passed through suzhou on his trip in jiangnan. fascinated by the lovely appearance the qianlong emperor tasted the snack and then couldn’t help to praise it. he gave it the name plum blossom cake .later it spread to nanjing and gradually became a very popular specialty. together with gufa tangyumiao, honey sauce lotus and jiuniang chidou yuanxiao, plum blossom cake is praised as four classic street food in nanjing.the freshly baked plum blossom cake is very hot, coupled with its soft and sweet taste, giving a surprising feeling.
there is a record of "building to raise ducks", which is traced back to the spring and autumn period and warring states period, in nanjing. according to the book record of wu area, "prince of wu ordered people to build cities and towns so as to raise ducks. the boundary is up to hundreds of miles long." nanjing is a city abundant in ducks and people in nanjing are fond of eating duck. they always have numerous ways to make ducks rare delicacies, among which salted duck is the most famous. salted duck owns white skin, tender meat and nice flavour. it is fat but not greasy. salted duck has the characteristics of being fragrant, crisp and tender.
unlike the spiciness in sichuang cuisine, the food in jiangsu province tend to be sweet. sweet is tenderness. in nanjing impressions, a delicately decorated restaurant which is noisy but orderly, there are waiters in ancient dress, old elegant tune, and most importantly, the best authentic nanjing food.