800 Man 八百万堂·Design

Article By Callum Newell

Room 2201, 22F, Unit2, Block 9, Zi Wei Yong He Fang, Cui Hua South Road, Yanta District
( 雁塔区翠华南路 紫薇·永和坊(西一门)9号楼2单元22楼2201 )
029-8966 2200     153-3908-8998
12:00am – 9:00pm (Monday Off)

Standing in front of a seemingly random door, in a random apartment block in Yanta, we could have been forgiven for not being optimistic about what could lie behind. But, with a little trepidation, we knocked. We were greeted by the owners Lalla (the cook) and Shu Dong (front of house) like old friends. We knew we had arrived. As we were shown to our table, we felt like we had arrived for dinner at a friends’ house.

01-1For those who are unfamiliar with 800 Man, what makes this place unique is that it is an apartment turned restaurant (the owners do actually live there) which offers fresh Japanese-style home cooking, with Chinese and Western influences, in a comfortable home-style atmosphere – cats and all!

The owners previously ran 800 Man in an apartment in Gaoxin, but because of the success of their venture, they decided to contract out the running of their old location, and move to a bigger and better location in Qujiang.

With the new location come new changes. In Gaoxin, they operated a menu-less establishment, where they chose what you ate based on what they thought you would like. Now they have introduced a menu (in Chinese, but with pictures) featuring their most popular dishes, and new inclusions such as ramen bowls, homemade cookies and drinks. Customers can choose either option: to let the owner decide what to cook for you, or to choose from the menu yourself.

Here is a run-down of the dishes we were served:

• Okonomiyaki -the closest Japanese food comes to a pizza. Basically a savoury pancake filled with seafood and vegetables, topped with a sweet sauce, mayonnaise and tuna flakes.

• Beef with enoki mushrooms – a more Chinese-style offering. Thinly sliced tender beef and enoki mushrooms cooked with spicy birds-eye chillies, served alongside fresh greens to refresh your palate.

• Japanese hotpot – a million miles away from the fiery Sichuan version – this is light and fresh. Beautifully presented vegetables, thin strips of meat, tofu and fish balls cooked in a mild broth.

• Spring onion oil noodles with pieces of caramelised spring onion – a delicious alternative to rice as a side dish.

• Prawns in black pepper sauce – this is undoubtedly their star dish! Huge prawns draped with a thick, rich, smoky-hot black pepper sauce. This is the sort of dish that you would come back for again and again – instantly addictive!

• Oven-baked crab with cheese – sweet crab meat and cheese stuffed into their shells and oven-baked, served with coconut flakes to sprinkle on. A wonderful combination of flavours, and one I had not tried before, but it worked amazingly well. A must try!

• Tiramisu – to end the meal we were served this. It tasted homemade, and clearly used real cream and other proper ingredients. This was maybe the best tiramisu I have had in China!

01-2One thing I felt from being at 800 Man was that they had put incredible care and thought into every aspect of the dining experience they offer. Guests are made to feel very welcome and at home. You can also feel Lalla’s passion about the food she produces – the food is delicious, with fresh ingredients, and always beautifully presented.

If you want fantastic home-cooking in a warm, comfortable and friendly environment, I urge you to look no further!