Before I went on my latest trip to Xiamen, I had forgotten why I did not like Chinese food before I came to China – the fact that many overseas immigrants working in Chinese restaurants come from Fujian province. Xiamen is one of the largest cities in Fujian.
I admit there is one good thing I enjoyed before I came to China: Peanut Soup. Back in the day I would buy it from an Asian supermarket in cans. In Xiamen, there is a famous restaurant that serves it: 黃則和花生湯店. They also serve a soup called 沙茶湯. I ordered it, thinking the characters meant the soup had tea grown in some sandy place, but 沙茶 actually means ‘satay’ (an Asian peanut sauce). Not sure where the word ‘satay’ actually originates from, but it makes sense the soup would have peanuts in it, given the mission of the restaurant.
The food itself wasn’t bad, but the restaurant is hampered by a communist-era ordering system. You have to by pieces of paper worth certain amounts of money, then use them at the station serving the type of food you want to get. You can only use those pieces of paper on the day you buy it, so I ended up having eight bowls of peanut soup at the restaurant.
Besides the peanut soup and the awesome Seventh-Day Adventist retreat food on Gulangyu, I can’t say I had any good Chinese food in Xiamen. The vegetarian restaurant within Nanputuo Temple disappointed. Another vegetarian restaurant opposite Nanputuo Temple was supposed to have vegetarian versions of Northeastern food, like dumplings, but they did not. They only had items I could have cooked faster than them myself, and to a higher level of quality.
Thankfully, there are two excellent Indian restaurants in Xiamen. The website would be here, but right now it is under construction (or possibly permanently abandoned?). There is some information that seems to be a mixture of the original location’s pictures and the newer location’s contact info on Amoymagic.
Junk food is also a possibility. The curry crab crisps in the picture were OK, but not as good as the Curry flavour of pringles sold in Japan about five years ago. The dark chocolate Kit Kat tasted plain, but I still liked it better than the ordinary varieties.