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Food & Drink

No matter what you’re in the mood for, Hunan’s cuisine is here to satisfy. Sit down for some authentic Hunan cuisine, celebrate a special occasion at an exclusive restaurant, relax with Hunan-style barbecue, or try some local homemade dishes. Regardless of the occasion, Hunanese  cuisine has the perfect choice for you.


Hunanese cuisine is less of an assault on the senses and more of an enlightening of them. In Eastern Cuisine, there exists a term, “umami,” this being the only thing closest to a translation, which describes a savory taste found in many Hunanese dishes. Hunan-style cooked chicken, a common dish, is served with garlic cloves, thick slices of ginger and mountains of peppers. Your nose will run, your eyes will water, but the taste of the dish is something ineffable, something that can only be experienced and understood in Hunan. And this taste alone is well worth the trip.

Hunanese cuisine is often marketed as one of the, if not the, spiciest cuisine in China. However, spice is anything but an afterthought in Hunanese cooking. Rather than piling on capsicum peppers for the heck of it, spice is integrated in a subtler manner in Hunanese cuisine, making up one of the many layers of flavor going into a dish.

Hunanese cuisine is all about knowing how to pair different ingredients. Pickled vegetables add a crunchy tang to the delicate flavor of freshwater fish, smoked meats lend a richness to simple fresh and dried vegetables, and fermented black beans provide a depth to dishes that, contrary to popular belief, aren't all fiendishly hot.

Often equated with the cuisine of neighboring Sichuan, Hunan's cooking packs its own kind of heat. It isn't all about “mala,” the stinging and numbing sensation provided by Sichuan peppercorns. In fact, Hunanese cooks rarely even use this spice, but when they do, it's subtly integrated along with other  seasonings, adding a distinguished nuance unique to Hunanese cuisine.