The wealth of food available in Wuhan reflects the city's location between Shanghai and Chongqing. Most of the places around here serve a good mixture of eastern Sichuan cuisine and more oily braised dishes. Beware however, as the emphasis in terms of spice and chili tends to be more, as opposed to less, and Wuhan cuisine can be very hot.
Wuhan style cuisine focuses on preparation, cooking time and the appearance of dishes. Fish and shellfish are especially good. Snacks such as buns and omelets are also popular here. For cheap food, search around the little back streets near the university. The floating restaurants on Bayi Lu also serve reasonable food and you can pick your fish fresh from the boat.
Wuhan is modernizing and hoping to attract western visitors, with this drive, the inevitable influx of McDonalds and KFC has occurred and there are an increasing amount of more upmarket places serving western food shooting up across the city. In Hankou, the American Cowboy Restaurant nearby the Shangri La Hotel serve a buffet between 2pm and 11pm everyday for RMB30. The food is good and this place attracts a largely middle class Chinese clientele. Also in Hankou, near the Galaxy Plaza is the Yes Bar, a lively place serving basic western food. Finally, there is a great little western style bakery in the Holiday Inn Hotel.
Steamed Wuchang FishSteamed Wuchang Fish is one of the most famous dishes in Wuhan. This fresh water fish, when prepared correctly is soft and rich. The best way to prepare the fish is to steam it together with Chinese ham, mushroom, bamboo shoot, and chicken soup.
Fried Bean Curd SheetsFried Bean Curd Sheets stuffed with three delicacies are a classic Wuhan breakfast. To make this dish, bean curd (or tofu) is stuffed with pork meat, egg and shrimp. Good sheets are fairly thin and made with pure water at a low temperature. Sheets fried according to such requirements are crispy on the outside and soft inside.
The best place to sample this specialty is Laotongcheng Restaurant, which has added new ingredients to the stuffing including mushrooms, magnolia petals and bacon.
Hot-dry NoodlesHot-dry noodles are an essential part of the Wuhan diet, eaten by almost everyone daily at breakfast time.
Hot-dry noodle are made by cooking the fresh noodles mixed with sesame oil in boiling water,when the noodle has cooked and cooled, it becomes pliable. The noodles are then placed in boiling water again to be reheated and the process is repeated. After seasoning has been added, including spring onion and sauce, the hot-dry noodle is ready to be served.
A bowl of these delicious noodles can cost as little as RMB1. The best place to sample this is in the Cailingji Noodle Store.