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Zhenjiang Restaurant @ Xijindu Ancient Street 镇江菜馆 (西津渡店)

Zhenjiang_Restaurant_Xijindu_Ancient Street_镇江菜馆_西津渡店

The moment we arrived at Nanjing Airport, we were whisked by chartered bus to Zhenjiang. Our flight departure from Singapore was delayed around 2 hours and immigration & customs clearance at Nanjing took around an hour. 

The ride by bus east to Zhenjiang took almost 2 hours, so it was already dark when we arrived for dinner at Zhenjiang Restaurant 镇江菜馆 in Xijindu Ancient Street. The highway drive from Nanjing to Zhenjiang was very smooth and comfortable. I didn't see any potholes or debris anywhere along the highway. 

(There's a high speed rail connection between Nanjing and Zhenjiang which takes around 15 minutes.) 

Once we arrived at 镇江菜馆, we were quickly ushered to a large table like this which can seat 20 people comfortably.

精美迎宾陆彩碟 small plates of various appetisers were waiting for us, spinning slowly on the lazy Susan as welcome dishes. 

菊花脑明月盅 Chrysanthemum nankingense, an aromatic vegetable soup to whet our appetites. 

豆米煮籽虾 River shrimp in soup with broad beans. The river shrimps were simply blanched in sweet savoury stock. I have a new appreciation for river prawns since tasting them in Jiangsu province. The meaty, sweet river shrimps have thin, soft shells, so I just popped them into my mouth sans the head and tail. No...., I actually often ate the heads as well for extra crunch and umami flavour.

鲜笋年糕红尾 Fresh bamboo shoot, rice cakes with red tail fish.

In Jiangsu, I look forward to the fish dish at every meal because their river fish is always so good! 

The fish is always fresh, with tender flesh, sweet with no earthy taste at all, and done with a sauce that brings out the best of the fish. 

Love it. 

油蒸芋脯 Steamed taro (yam) and dried pork belly. 

Two of my favourite things together. Creamy grainy steamed yam infused and paired with umami savoury flavours from the dried pork belly.

Steamed egg with clams and soy sauce. Homely dish of smooth egg custard with soft chewy clams rich with umami savoury sweet eggy flavours. 

原汤黄牛腱 Beef shin soup. Sweet beefy savoury tender beef shin in an equally tasty soup with mung bean / glass noodles.

The beef shin soup came with baked sesame buns 烧饼 with a sweet savoury paste filling inside. The baked sesame seed crusted bun was super fluffy soft crisp. It was the best such bun I had during this seven day, six city Jiangsu food trip.

鲍鱼红烧肉 Braised abalone with stewed pork belly.

Every region and town in China have their own versions of staple noodle dish. For Zhenjiang, the most famous is 镇江锅盖面 Zhenjiang wok cover noodles. According to urban legend, when Qing dynasty emperor Qianlong (reign 1735 - 96) was visiting Zhenjiang, he stopped at a noodle stall. The hawker was so in awe and frightened by the emperor's presence that she (yes, it was a Mdm Chang according to legend) dropped a small wooden wok cover into the wok of soup and was unaware of it while the soup kept boiling. 

The emperor was served noodles with this soup, and he liked it, hence the name 锅盖面.

This evening's rendition was nice - a good introduction to one of Zhenjiang's iconic dish. 

The broad, thick noodles were tender with a light crunch to the bite. The soup was savoury with a subtle tangy sweet taste. It seemed be chicken / pork stock with soy sauce, vinegar, spices and aromatics. I enjoyed it here.

I tried it at various hotels and other restaurants in Jiangsu during this trip. The dish is also served with a variety of optional toppings / sides like pork kidney, ribs, intestine, shredded pork, beef brisket, eel, prawn, egg, you tiao, etc. 

Zhenjiang_Restaurant_Xijindu_Ancient Street_镇江菜馆_西津渡店

But, the traditional and best side dish for Zhenjiang wok cover noodles is 
镇江肴肉 / 水晶肴肉 crystal pork which is deboned salted pork knuckle terrine.

I still need to try Zhenjiang wok cover noodles at street side stalls.

芦笋滑仙贝 Scallop with asparagus. 

镇江老醋排骨 Tender pork ribs stewed with Zhenjiang vintage vinegar. Zhenjiang is famous for its sweet tangy vinegar which makes everything tastes better. While in Singapore, I was never a fan of vinegar but after tasting Zhenjiang vinegar, I like to have some good quality vinegar with my meals. 

牛腩炖牛筋 Beefy brisket and chewy beef tendon stew.

白果素菜包 Vegetarian steamed bun with gingko nut. So much food, and our hosts still provided us this delicious, filling dish to make sure we were really very full before setting off for our next event 😅

First meal in Jiangsu for this food trip. Feels good to be reacquainted with Huaiyang / Jiangsu cuisine. We enjoyed the food at Zhenjiang Restaurant.

We were totally full and satisfied, well rested and re-energised to carry on to the next event which was to tour the old Zhenjiang jetty area Xijindu Ancient Street 西津渡 which is now beautifully repurposed into a thriving, modern F & B, entertainment and shopping hub.

Restaurant name: Zhenjiang Restaurant 镇江菜馆  (西津渡店)

Address: 金山街道长江路215号(西津渡入口处) 215 Changjiang Rd, Runzhou District, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China, 212032

Tel: (0511)85288777

Hours: Lunch 11:00 - 13:30 | Dinner 17:00 - 20:30

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Written by Tony Boey on 2 Jun 2024

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