Jin Sha at Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou (杭州西子湖四季酒店 金沙厅) is
one of my favorite restaurant s in Hangzhou. Housed in the prettiest hotel in Hangzhou, which was like a traditional Chinese garden by the famous West Lake. Jin Sha was awarded “Best 50 Restaurants in China” by Food & Wine Magazine.
Last Visit: May.6th.2015 (Lunch)
Came back for: Stuffed lotus root, Boiled sea whelk
The restaurant’s focus is on private dining, with 11 stand-alone private dining rooms surrounding a garden lagoon, each seating from 6 to 14 guests. Elegant and exciting, Jin Sha is destined to be among Hangzhou’s hottest dining venues.
Jin Sha featured both out-door seating and in-door seating. The out door area is side by a beautiful traditional garden: a small pound with goose and duck, waterfall, pavilion, rockwork and trees. The interior decor is in a traditional style, modest and elegant.
The menu specializing in fine Shanghainese, Cantonese and classical local cuisines. Compare to another fine Chinese restaurant in Hangzhou, 28 Hubin Road, i much prefer Jin Sha as the variety dishes on the menu. And according to my previous visits, even the non-signature dishes were pretty good. I am sure there is something sounds nice for you.
The pre-meal snack changes daily, we had the cold noodle with Tom Yum soup.
Kalimeris, a wild vegetable that only naturally grows in Spring. In China, parents always tell the kids to eat more Kalimeris as it is good for eyesight. Kalimeris is usually prepared with bean curd, both minced and mix with sesame oil into a cold appetizer. The roll version at Jin Sha was pretty refreshing, the second helper, the yellow croaker well enhanced the flavor.
I prefer to have lunch at Jin Sha as assorted of dim sum were served only during lunch time. The steamed vegetable dumpling with black truffle is one of my favorite. The skin was very thin, inside was large portion of fresh seasonal vegetables. The hint of black truffle brought a lovely fragrance.
Steamed pork dumpling (xiaolongbao) with hairy crab meat is actually a Shanghainese dim sum. The traditional skin of xiaolongbao is not that thin as Ding Tai Fung’s, but a bit thick. Some local eats made really thick skin, but the one at Jin Sha was pretty good. The minced pork was lean, mixed with umami hairy crab meat. It was so soulful to see the oozing soup from the dumpling.
A must-order dish, the traditional Hangzhounese slow-cooked lotus root filled with glutinous rice. Different from 28 Hubin Road‘s, the glutinous rice was mixed with red beans, and the sauce is lighter. The lotus was warm and perfectly cooked, not too hard nor too soft. But for this dish, i prefer 28 Hubin Roads, as it is more traditional, and the fragrance of Osmanthus is stronger.
The pork is perfectly braised, succulent and high in flavor. While the fat part is bit oily. The abalone on the side was bouncy and flavorful.
The deep-fried prawns and wasabi mayonnaise dressing is another item i have had a lot at Jin Sha. The prawn was large in size, bouncy and very flavorful. The fruit on the bottom nicely balanced out the mayo dressing. It would be perfect if the prawn is more tender.
Boiled sea whelk in rice wine sauce is no doubt the highlight of the menu, it is my favorite dish at Jin Sha. The rump part of the sea whelk was removed, no worries lazy folks! It was well boiled and steamed with Chinese wine from ‘shao xing’, which was naturally sweet and fragrant. Each sea whelk was bouncy and tender, lovely!
This pretty piece of tofu is one of my favorite tofu dishes. The tofu was topped with spinach and deep-fried first, then braised in golden broth. The broth tastes like in-between creamy chicken and abalone sauce, very delicious.The tofu itself was pretty flavorful, the skin was crispy while the center was silky.
Similar to all other Chinese restaurants, you can choose any vegatable you like cooked in your preferred way. We picked the poached Gai Lan (芥蓝) with soy. Simple but comfort.
There are several type of traditional Hangzhounese soup noodle, such as with braised fish soup (黄鱼煨面), Yang chun noodle (阳春面), and ‘Pian er chuan'(片儿川). 片儿川 was cooked with sliced pork, bamboo shoots and preserved vegetables. The soup base was made of braised pork. The noodle was served in a cute bamboo shoot, very delicious and soulful.
The walnut puff was made into a lovely walnut shape. It was warm and has a walnut fragrant. It was surprisingly good, very flaky outerlayer with generous portion of baked walnut in the center.
We also tried chef’s recommended dessert, the red bean cheesecake served with coconut ice cream and peanut toffee sauce. The red bean cheese cake tastes good but a bit hard for my liking. The coconut ice cream was more like sorbet, very refreshing.
Jin Sha is one of the finest Chinese restaurant in Hangzhou, the food here are not only traditional local dishes here, but also some Cantonese and Shanghainese dishes. The ambiance is no doubt good, service could be slow during peak hours.
Compare to the award-wining 28 Hubin Road:
Food: 28 served mostly traditional dishes, thus the menu doesn’t offers such variety dishes as JS’s. What i love about 28 is only their signature traditonal dishes such as Braised pork (金牌扣肉), Lotus root (糖藕), fish soup (宋嫂鱼羹), etc. While the non-signature dishes could be disasters. The traditional dishes at JS is not that perfect as 28’s, but at least at the second position in town. While all the other dishes were pretty delicious as well, no worries even you are not very good at ordering the right dish. Thus, if you want only traditional dishes, 28 wins; otherwise, JS wins.
Ambiance: JS wins
Service: both depends on what kind of person you looks like; whether it is peak hours; if you are polite, certainly they are more polite to you
Price: In general, almost the same but 28 is a bit more expensive than JS. The braised pork (金牌扣肉) at is priced at CNY 348 at 28, CNY 228 at JS. Fish soup is CNY 78 at 28 and CNY68 at JS. You can see my lastest review at 28, the total bill was CNY 1400+, but today at JS, we ordered more dishes, and the bill came CNY 1000+.
Jin Sha 金沙厅
Address: Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou, 5 Lingyin Road, Hangzhou
Hours: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm