Brief of West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce
West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce is a traditional Hangzhou dish and should most definitely be on your list of things to try. Like the majority of Hangzhou’s dishes, West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce is favored not only for its palatable taste but also for the story lying behind it.
The story is a famous legend and goes something like this… Near the West Lake lived two Song brothers who made a living by fishing. The elder brother had a beautiful wife, Sister Song, who attracted the likes of a local villain and the only way this villain could get close to Sister Song was by murdering her husband, the elder brother. With no way of getting justice from the local government Sister Song had to hide from the villain and together with the younger brother they planned to leave their hometown.
During the farewell dinner and to remind the younger brother of his elder’s death Sister Song cooked a special fish dish which tasted both sweet and sour. Years later the younger brother came back as a high-ranking official and avenged his brother and found Sister Song then resigned his post to live a simple life by the West Lake with her. Since then, West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce has been handed down, generation to generation.
Following fiction there is fact… once a man, who was so enchanted by the amazing taste of West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce, wrote a poem on the restaurant’s wall to praise it and following that a constant stream of people went to taste it and then the dish gained in popularity.
Where to eat: Lou Wai Lou, Zhi Wei Guan, Kui Yuan Guan and so on