regional chinese haute cuisine


Regional Chinese cuisine


At the dinner table with the traditional dishes of “badacaixi”, China’s 8 gastronomic regions

Reflecting the heterogeneous culture of the country, Chinese cooking cannot be reduced to a few single specialities. Indeed, today the country excels for the incredible variety of dishes that each of its regions can offer.

Bon Wei is the ideal place in which to sample them in all their refined authenticity.


Also known as Hui or Wan cuisine, this is amongst the least known. It is an example of mountain cuisine, in this case specifically that of Huangshan Mountains (the famous Yellow Mountains), in eastern China. Its dishes are characterised by low-flame cooking (mostly stews), where sensitive use of the flame is fundamentally important for the success of the recipes. It is a healthy, fragrant cuisine, with copious amounts of bamboo shoots, mushrooms, berries and fresh herbs.

Fried calamari morsels

The three kingdom duck, by Cao Cao strategos

Xiangla soup, hot and fragrant


Also known as the Min School, this ancient cuisine – dating back more than 5000 years – is light but full of flavour, making the most of the ingredients without having much recourse to seasoning. It uses ingredients both from the coast (fish, shellfish) and from the inland areas (mushrooms and bamboo shoots). There is a focus on broths and soups, and to “drunken” dishes, marinated in Chinese wine and beer.

Stir-fried flat green beans with lily petals

Chestnut duck

Clam and ginger soup


From the heart of Guangdong province comes the Yue or Cantonese School, the most widely exported and well-known of the traditional Chinese cuisines. Its dishes, always seasonal, are enriched with international ingredients imported via the ports of Canton, Macao and Hong Kong. The culture of tea is important – indeed, here, drinking a cup of tea is equivalent to eating an entire meal.

Steamed pork ribs with black soy and chili

Chicken stewed in broth, served cold with ginger and spring onion sauce

Sea scallop and prawn balls


A geographical and gastronomic crossroads, the Hunan region is located at the intersection of the “savoury” to the north, the “sweet” from Canton and Fujian to the south, and the “spicy” from Szechuan to the west. Also known as Xiang cuisine, it is characterised by a mix of tastes in which chilli pepper predominates, albeit subtly. This was the native land of Mao Tse Tung, who was born here in the city of Shaoshan.

Seabass fillet with green beans and chili

Mao shi hong shao rou, Mao red pork

General Zuo Zongtang chicken


Su cuisine comes from a region that plays host to more than 1000 km of Yellow Sea coastline, famed for its lush vegetation and for the verdant gardens of Suzhou. The freshness of the ingredients – left in their natural state as far as possible, with little in the way of seasoning, salt or sugar – is a key element. A great deal of attention is paid to the harmony of the colours on the plate, and to the execution of particular shapes, alongside the refinement of the chopping techniques.

“Lion’s head” meatballs

The favourite girl’s chicken

Beef fillet salad with hot and sour dressing


Known as the Lu School, this is the real Imperial Chinese cuisine. Its dishes are the fruit of the elaborate culinary inventions that were offered to the emperor. The cuisine’s provenance is in the Shandong peninsula, the homeland of Confucius. It is characterised by rapid frying in the wok, retaining all the fragrance of the ingredients, but also by stews, slow-cooked on a low flame.

Guoba, crispy pork “stuck to the wok”

Lamian, Shandong hand – made noodles

Xiaolongbao with pork and ginger


Chuan cuisine has a long history and is marked out by its decisive flavours: garlic, chilli and Szechuan pepper, alongside peanuts, sesame paste and ginger, which are mixed in myriad combinations to give rise to more than 6000 dishes, in which colour, fragrance and taste are all considered very important. The typical piquancy is the result of two native spices: chilli pepper and Szechuan pepper, which together can produce a rather unpleasant effect.

Shui Zhu Beef hot pot

Cold chicken in hot sauce: “The chicken that makes your mouth water”

Flat rice noodle salad Sichuan style


A typical coastal region facing out over the East China Sea, it takes its name from the old moniker for the River Qiantang, which passes through the city of Hangzhou. Its Zhe cuisine features velvety, enveloping flavours, and is based on sea fish, freshwater prawns and delicate meats such as chicken, enriched with bamboo shoots as an additional “soft element”. The chefs from this region – including Bon Wei’s own Zhang Guoqing – are famed for their technical cooking abilities.

Jiaohuaji – Beggar’s chicken

Salted crème caramel with clams

Fried tofu with crab meat