Connect me to:
JYLCG Mushroom Hot Pot Restaurant (Kunming, China)
||2 Fufa Road on the way to Kunming Airport,|
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2012 Issue: 19(1) page: 26 and 27
JYLCG is one of several Mushroom Hot Pot Restaurants; it is very specifically Yunnanese. JYLCC stands for its complete name Jun Yuan Lao Chiu Gou which hardly anyone uses. We went to one of them at the end of our stay in the capital city of this province. It is on the way to the airport, probably less than two miles from it, and if one loves fungi, and we do, this eatery is not to be missed.
We stop here before catching our flight to Hangzhou, some three air hours away. The pictures on the outside window of this restaurant certainly do tempt. Enthusiasm increases walking in seeing the mycological marvels here. We count some thirty different ones, most never even seen a pictures of before. We are told most are wild, all are visible in a refrigerator case awaiting selection. One can eat them here or take them home.
The mushrooms come here to this restaurant's owner, Liu Ziwen, from known collectors who arrive daily trekking in from nearby mountains. Mr. Liu has written a book about mushrooms, it is in Chinese. The pictures of them and the dishes they are used in certainly do whet our appetites. This book is edited by Li Mengze and does haves great color photographs. We now have a copy, thanks to him, and will get many translated so that we can prepare them and puiblish some of them in future issues.
The restaurant we eat at is one of several Liu owns in Kunming, the first of them opened in 2004. Liu also owns several mushroom export businesses; most selling to places in China and elsewhere in Asia. His lovely wife comes by to offer greetings before we rush off to catch our plane; wish we had more time with her and more time to eat more of his mushrooms.
Yunnan, called mushroom heaven, is the capital of the world's mushroom-collecting region. Eating then here that day meant eating some cold, some grilled, some steamed, and many in the huge hot pot at our table. It is twice as large as any we had ever seen before, the ring around its neck holding many cups of mushroom broth made mostly with herbs and dried specimens. This stock has more flavor because of the dried specimens, and we are fortunate to have half a dozen cooked in its soup. Fresh ones are added before we indulge and are able to enjoy this treat. Beside ones that came raw on ice, or cooked and spiced, we are treated to others grilled on what is called the hot pot hat. It sits on top of the hot pot flu and waitresses turn them as needed. Sometimes the teapot sits there when none are grilling. From it, the lovely lady waitresses pour tea, the best ever. it is simply known as wild mountain tea.
For the record, two of the many mushrooms we have on ice are chicken and pine forest varieties. Several of the grilled ones include coral, cow liver, green-head, bearded, and beauty mushrooms. Enjoy the pictures of some of them, the hot pot, too. When you get to Yunnan, seek this restaurant out and partake of a mushroom hot pot.