Yunnan Cuisine, though not yet well known in the West, is one of the best regional eating experiences in China. Many dishes borrow hot, spicy flavours from neighbouring Sichuan. Others, influenced by periodic migrations provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong, reflect the subtle, rounded taste of eastern and southeast Chinese cuisine. The year round availability and variety of vegetables provides a seemingly limitless menu. The Dali fields are very fertile yielding two crops a year, the principal crops being rice, wheat, beans, rape, maize and tobacco.
In spring, the tender, emerald-green horse beans, seemingly grown in every available plot of land come to harvest. In summer, eels, caught in the wet rice fields, are a great delicacy. Mushrooms appear in great profusion when the rains let up in August. Some of the most highly prized of the dozens of varieties are “chicken-tasty mushroom” (jizong), morel mushrooms, (yangduzi) translated from Chinese as “Sheep-stomach mushroom.” For vegetable lovers, Yunnan is a joy, lotus root, bamboo shoots, tender young pea-sprouts, Chinese broccoli, beans of many types, and green garlic shoots are bountiful year round.
Although one of our primary goals at the Linden Centre is to inform and educate our guests about the culture of China and Yunnan, our bar balances the flow of cultural exchange from the other direction. Despite being located in a small village in rural Yunnan, the Linden Centre has amassed an impressive collection of domestic and imported wine and liquor to compliment our local menu and the varied tastes of our guests. We encourage you to try local Yunnan wine or enjoy your favorite brand of gin. Ask about our Welcome Drink upon your arrival!
A favorite meal among locals and visitors is Across the Bridge Rice Noodles (Guo qiao mi xian), known from the following story: A scholar, preparing for the imperial examinations isolated himself on an island in a lake. His devoted wife was dismayed that the meals she carried to him across a long, wooden bridge always arrived cold. By luck she discovered that by adding a thin layer of vegetable oil on top, the soup and noodles were sufficiently insulated. Her lunches arrived boiling hot and her husband of course, passed the exams.
At the Linden Centre, we are proud of our local kitchen staff and the flavor they bring to our guests. Our ingredients come fresh from Xizhou’s morning market each day, and our menu and specials turn with the seasons. Only during breakfast do we provide Western options (with the exception of our homemade desserts), our lunch and dinner dishes are a delicious combination of regional flavors with a professional level of quality without additives, too much oil, or MSG.
We hope to change the way you see Chinese food. Enjoy!