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Home Hangzhou Travel Cuisines & Restaurants Kui Yuan Guan Restaurant

Hangzhou Kui Yuan Guan Restaurant


 

Kui Yuan Guan is a time-honored restaurant in China. The most tasteful food offered is the unique noodles, which boast the Noodle King of Jiangnan (江南面王). Founded in 1867 in Hangzhou by an unknown businessman from Anhui Province, the Kuiyuan Restaurant's characteristic has been maintained despite it reformed a few times; therefore it has been acclaimed at home and abroad for so long.


The Name Board of Kui Yuan Guan Restaurant in Hangzhou

In 1940's the noodle restaurant had become famous and tourists had the words that "you' ve never visited Hangzhou if you didn' t go dining in Kuiyuan Restaurant there" from mouth to mouth! Many celebrities and artists were the frequent visitors at that time. After the victory of the Anti-Japanese War in 1945, General Cai(蔡廷锴), the Commander of 19th Army of Kuo Min Tang visited Hangzhou with Mr. Li Jishen(李济深), the first Deputy Chairman of PRC' s Government. They ate "Yellow Fish Noodles" in the restaurant together. General Cai cheerfully inscribed "The Unique Taste of the Southeast" for the noodle restaurant while he was serving the dish.

There is another interesting story for the restaurant. In the beginning of its business, it was a small noodle shop located at Guan Xiang Kou Street in downtown Hangzhou with fewer customers. One year when the Provincial Imperial Examination held here, many students from various places flocked to the city to take part. When a poor student entered the shop, the shopkeeper saw him and felt sympathy of him due to his reverence to scholars. He added three chicken eggs in the noodle bowl meant "topping the three exams", which gave a good wish to the student. So luckily actually, the poor student attained third-class Chinshih (a successful candidate in the highest imperial civil service examinations in feudal China). He gratefully repaid the deed of the noodle shopkeeper later by revisiting the shop and inscribed "Kui Yuan Guan" on the stele, which meant the "Hall of the 15th lunar constellation (one of the 28 visible stars in the sky) and student who has attained exam success".

This brand-new name was being widely told by many wealthy people and celebrities; thus making its brand known all over Hangzhou, the restaurant business was growing rapidly and Guan Xiang Kou Street had become crowded. Due to the fortunate omen of the noodle shop, it was a must-go place for imperial examination candidates.

 
Pian' erchuan Noodles   Shrimp and Eel Noodles

After the Liberation in 1949, Kuiyuan Restaurant strived to maintain and develop its long tradition and noodle making technique, which were welcomed much by customers. On the north of the existing one, a large 3-storey restaurant complex with a business area of over 1200 m2 was built in 1959, which could accommodate about 800 customers; and a hall on the 2nd floor especially designed for visiting foreign guests and returned overseas Chinese. By now, Kuiyuan Restaurant has about 150 kinds of noodle recipe, of which the most famous ones are “Pian' erchuan Noodles” and “Shrimp and Eel Noodles”. The restaurant has about 4000 customers from home and abroad daily thus it becomes the largest noodle restaurant in China. In 1996, Jin Yong (金庸), the famous Chinese novelist, wrote his praise to the restaurant: "The noodles in Hangzhou's Kuiyuan Restaurant are the best in the world."

Since the Reform and Opening Policy began about 30 years ago, people's quality of life has been improved. So Kuiyuan Restaurant is looking forward to the great development opportunity in food and beverage industry. In 2002, it introduced the stock-holding system and reformed the existing management mechanism, as well as opened first chain restaurant----The New Kuiyuan Restaurant. The move means to improve its competitiveness, coherence in the staff forces and to develop it into a restaurant chain enterprise.
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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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