More land in the Chinese countryside is being developed for residential or commercial purposes as the real estate boom in the Pearl River Delta region continues.
As a result, it is harder to find a real farm-style restaurant nowadays.
In the old days, some people living in the countryside would lease out idle fish ponds or farmland at very low cost to operators of restaurants serving country food.
In doing so, the owners not only increased their income but also brought prosperity to their village as people were attracted there by the food.
Restaurant operators rarely worried about survival since the rents were cheap and most of the employees were family members.
Customers would show up at farm restaurants that served good food.
While the number of restaurants of this kind has been dwindling, there is one that I think is worth recommending－Fancy Carp farm restaurant.
Fancy Carp, located in Sha Ping village in Zhongshan, Guangdong province, is known for its healthy country dishes with agar, a dark aromatic resin produced by agarwood, or “cham heong”.
If you do not like the taste of agar, that is fine because the restaurant offers may dishes with their own characteristics.
Take fish for example. There are black carps, big grass carps, tilapias, among others, and these are all offered at cheap prices.
Its cold squab is highly recommended but I especially think highly of the roast goose with crispy skin and tender meat, thanks to a certain way of roasting using litchi wood.
Each roast goose is sold for 148 yuan, about one-fourth the price in Hong Kong.
Also, there is a wide selection for those who prefer specific parts of a goose — liver, kidney, palm or intestines.
A dish of goose intestines costs a little more than 40 yuan, a bargain one can hardly find elsewhere.
The roast chicken, which costs 45 yuan each, is palatable. Using both hands to eat it is recommended.
The meal I had at Fancy Carp was so good I wound up overeating. I could not help but order a boiled chicken with vinegar sauce and a salt-baked chicken to go.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 31.
Translation by Taka Liu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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