Amanfayun (安縵法云), Amanresorts’ second in China – the most mysterious and one of the most luxurious hotel brand in the world. The setting of the resort is very unique, which is in the spirit of a traditional Chinese village behind the famous Lingying Temple (靈隱寺). Amanfayun is a place to explore – a place of stone pathways leading to shaded courtyards, quaint restaurants and peaceful abodes.
Visited: June.2015 (Lunch)
Address: 22 Fayun Lane, West Lake Street, West Lake Scenic Area, Hangzhou, PRC 310013
Tel: (86) 571 8732 9999
Situated on 14 hectares to the west of West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Hangzhou, the resort is comprised of 47 dwellings surrounded by tea fields, natural forests and lush groves of bamboo. Just a 20-minute drive from the city centre, Amanfayun is the ideal location from which to explore the region’s ancient Buddhist temples, botanical gardens, vast wetland areas, countless pagodas and Hangzhou’s famous silk and shopping streets. The luxury Hangzhou resort features the original village layout, with a 600-metre main thoroughfare, the Fayun Pathway.
It is not easy to reach here by public transportation such as buses, taxi is really depends because most of the drivers don’t even know this hotel. The best way to get here is drive, but i highly recommend you to ask the taxi driver to drop you off either at Fanyun Temple (法雲寺) or Ling Ying Temple (靈隱寺) and take a walk across the mountains and village. In the meanwhile, get off at the Buddism School (佛學院) which is much easier to find, and its just opposite to the resort.
There are 3 restaurants in the resort, the more famous one, Lan Xuan (蘭軒) is a tenant at the hotel, which offers awesome Chinese food. While the other two are owned by the resort itself – a Western restaurant (西餐廳) & bar, and a Chinese restaurant specialized in making steamed dishes (蒸菜館).
I haven’t been to the Chinese restaurant but Lan Xuan is quite lovely, the provides set menu only. And this time, i decided to try the Western restaurant as i am really curious about the dining experience at a western restaurant located in such a Chinese ‘zen’ ambiance.
You can never imagine this is a Western restaurant & bar – bamboo tables and armchairs, traditional handwritings on the wall, vintage slate tiles on the floor… The peaceful ambiance offers the perfect escape.
The breads were quite normal, not sourdough. It was neither freshly baked/toasted, in general too dry for my liking. The butter wasn’t in room temperature thus quite hard to spread over.
I was not very hungry so i picked the more healthier starter, the classic caesar salad. Although the price was quite risky for a plate of romaine lettuce, the quality wasn’t disappointed at all. The romaine lettuce was very fresh, mixed with some anchovies , garlic, bacon, parmesan and croutons to enhance the texture and flavor. Unlike other salads i had in Hangzhou, the paired Caesar dressing was in-house made, not very heavy, but has a very real mushroom twist.
Another recommended appetizer on the menu was tuna tartar with avocado. The chopped tuna was fresh and rich in oil contents, paired well with the creamy avocado. The rocket salad with olive and lemon dressingon the top was refreshing balanced very well. On the other hand, the chopped tuna and avocado were quite large compare to other restaurants’, the dish was pleasant but lack of surprises.
The seabass was well-grilled, it has a crispy skin and moist flesh underneath. The wok-fried spinach nicely brought a freshness to the dish.
The part i expected the most – dessert. The highlight on the dessert menu was no doubt the chocolate fondant, which is the best i had in Hangzhou so far (Even better than the one from Jean Georges Shanghai). The outer layer was hot and moist, inside the melting chocolate perfectly oozed out. The flavor was quite rich but the ice cream and fruits on the side balanced well. My only complain to it was the quality of chocolate could be more premium.
Tiramisu is always one of my favorite dessert, and this one was also the best in Hangzhou in my opinion. The marscarphone cheese was smooth, the ladyfingers was in-house made and was on the moist side, with a very lovely rum flavor. The coffee flavor perfectly works with the entire piece.
I cannot put the Western restaurant at Amanfayun on the same scale with those Michelin and award-wining western restaurants i have been to, nor even compare to Shanghai, because western cuisine industry in Hangzhou is still developing. Hangzhou is a more traditonal city and the F&B market is better with Hangzhounese and Chinese food. The quality and flavor of food at Amanfayun was quite satisfying among all the western restaurants in Hangzhou, plus its unique ambiance, i don’t mind to come back next time.