DiningGuangzhou: the home of Cantonese cooking

Here’s where to experience the city’s best restaurants

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From mouth-watering Sichuan to seafood-focused Shandong, China’s regional cuisines have inspired menus across the globe for decades. Cantonese, however, is China’s most accessible cuisine, tracing its origins back to the city of Guangzhou, formerly Canton.

A port city, Guangzhou has long been a gateway to China. At the end of the 19th century, New World ingredients and influences flowed in via the Pearl River. A mild, subtropical climate, a large network of farmlands and an abundance of fish also helped to forge this culinary phenomenon.

In the early 20th century, immigrants departed from Guangzhou port, taking their Cantonese recipes and knowledge with them to the UK, USA and beyond – one of the many reasons why Cantonese cooking remains the most globally loved Chinese cuisine.

Underpinned by subtle, uncomplicated flavours, Cantonese cooking is balanced and fresh, and unlike chili-laden Sichuanese, spices and herbs are used sparingly.

On Cantonese menus, mild aromatics such as ginger, oyster and spring onion mingle with tenderly cooked meats and gently fried vegetables. Highlights include the much-loved dim sum dumplings, little bite-sized parcels of meat and vegetables, lovingly steamed or fried.

View of the flower pagoda in Guangzhou

 

When visiting Jumeirah Living Guangzhou, enjoy an authentic taste of the region by seeking out these tasty Cantonese dishes:

White cut chicken

Refreshingly simple; chicken is carefully boiled before peanut oil, ginger and spring onions are added to enhance its flavour.

 

Eight treasure Chinese winter melon soup

If you’re visiting Guangzhou in the summer, this is the perfect cooler. Containing turkey, crab, oyster prawns, goji berries and lotus seeds, the soup is super-healthy as well.

 

Dim sum

Steamed beef buns, crispy turnip cakes, tender prawn dumplings - there’s no end to the delicious variations of dim sum in Guangzhou.

 

Egg custard tarts

Originally a Portuguese delicacy, egg custard tarts popped up in Canton in the 1920s, and have been a signature dish of the city ever since. 

 

In China’s top foodie city, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants. Here are our recommendations for an authentic Cantonese experience.

Guangzhou restaurant

The straightforward name of this restaurant in the Tianhe District belies the quality of the Cantonese cooking on offer here. One of the city’s oldest restaurants, its endless dim sum varieties and wendang chicken make it an essential stop for foodies.   

 

Bingsheng Pinwei

Traditional in every sense of the word, this restaurant, also in the Tianhe District, is a local favourite. Come for the char siu barbecued meats and silky tofu, rather than the no-frills service.   

 

Panxi

For classic, banquet-style dining next to the scenic Liwan Lake, this is the quintessential Cantonese experience. Order a selection of cheung fun pancakes and har gau prawn dumplings.   

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