Belonged to Jiangsu cuisine (also known as Su cuisine), one of the Eight Chinese Culinary Traditions, Suzhou is definitely a heaven for food connoisseurs. Suzhou foods tend to be sweet and the ingredients are carefully chosen according to the season. Taihu Lake supplies an abundant amount of fresh aquatic products to Suzhou. Fish is a common dish that you can find in every restaurant here. Suzhou cuisine is praised for its careful preparation, striking aroma, stunning color, and fresh taste.

Squirrel-shape Mandarin fish (song shu gui yu)

Squirrel-shape Mandarin fish is the local specialty of the scenic Suzhou. This dish is highly praised by domestic and foreign travelers for its beautiful color and fresh taste.

There are four things to notice when cooking Squirrel-shape Mandarin fish. Firstly, the fish has to be carefully chosen to ensure that the dish can retain its tender. Secondly, the cutting technique needs to be excellent so that the fish’s shape resembles to a squirrel. Thirdly, the fish is deep-fried so that its skin is crispy whilst the meat inside is soft and juicy. Fourthly, the amount of vinegar and sugar should be carefully mixed to make a delicious sweet-and-sour sauce.

Steamed White Fish

There’s nothing more intriguing than enjoying seafood on a cruise along a water town. Steamed White Fish is the signature Taihu Lake’s fish dish. White fish is carefully chosen and seasoned with ginger and pepper. Steaming retain the fish’s fresh flavor and aromatic smell.

Aozao Noodles

There are two kinds of Aozao Noodles in Suzhou: White Soup Noodles and Red Soup Noodles. The noodles are usually eaten with pork, duck, fish, eel or shrimps. The broth is made from meaty bones and many seasonings, which creates a beautiful color for the dish.

Whitebait Soup

White fish, white shrimps and whitebait are three treasures of Taihu Lake. Whitebait is the most delicious when enjoying in autumn. This soup contains rich broth and is eaten with ham, bamboo slices, some kinds of vegetables and whitebait’s liver.

Fried Shrimps with Biluo Tea

The fresh shrimps from Taihu Lake are seasoned with Biluo tea to create a unique taste and sophisticated fragrance. This food is decorated with some green tea leaves when being served to add elegance to the white shrimps.

Most famous restaurants in Suzhou

  • Song He Lou (Pine and Crane Restaurant): No. 72, Taijian Nong, Pingjiang District
  • De Yue Lou (Deyue Restaurant): There are two De Yue Lou restaurants on Taijian Nong. One is at No.43 and the other one is at No.8.
  • Xie He Cai Guan (Xiehe Restaurant):  No.15, Fenghuang Jie, Canglang District
  • Shijia:18, Zhongshi Street, Mudu Town
  • Wumen Renjia:31, Panru Xiang, Pingjiang District
  • Xiang Xue Hai (Donghuan Branch): No.930, Donghuan Lu, Suzhou Industrial Park
  • Tongdexing Noodles Restaurant: 624, Shiquan Street, Canglang District
  • Guanyu Chi: 133, Shizi Street, Canglang District
  • Goodman Folk Snacks: 81, Bifeng Lane, Guanqian Street, Pingjiang District
  • Haidilao Hot Pot: 7th Floor, Xinsutiandi Shopping Center, 219, Guangji South Road, Jinchang District