Notes from Changsha, Hunan province

Changsha is the ugliest and most ungainly Chinese city I have seen, which is saying something. Nonetheless for a food pilgrimage it is a serious rival for #1 spot in the world, perhaps surpassing Chengdu for the quality and novelty of its dishes. Very little effort is required to do well, and some of my best courses I had at the Hunan restaurant in the Sheraton [Feast Hunan Flavours], also the only time I saw an English-language menu.

Even at major hotels, hardly anyone speaks passable English, much less good English. But you can find many hanging portraits of Chairman Mao, who converted to communism in this city.

Carry an iPad, so you can look up and communicate the Chinese characters for “eggplant with orange chilies on top.”

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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