A Spanish restaurant in Suzhou
Last Sunday I went to have lunch with two friends, one Chinese and one Taiwanese. They were quite indecisive about what they wanted to eat so I searched for some new restaurants we had not tried. One of the options was a Spanish restaurant in the new and fancy Suzhou Center mall, and the Taiwanese girl immediately said she wanted to try it because she attended our wedding in Spain last year and enjoyed Spanish food. So we went to that Spanish restaurant. Or maybe I should say “Spanish” restaurant, as check the picture they had in the menu for Valencian paella!
The fact that the name of the restaurant is Crazyones also gives some hints as to the authenticity of the place. It’s definitely not a name that immediately brings Spain to mind, I think. Fortunately, I’m not a picky person, and I expected that the taste would definitely not be the same as back home, so I enjoyed the food anyway, and my friends did too.
We ordered potato omelette, croquettes, ham pinchos and fried shrimps as starters. Chinese people are used to strong flavours and many find Spanish food too bland, so the potato omelette had a dollop of spicy sauce on top. The croquettes had truffle and were quite fluffy. The ham pincho came with figs, that was interesting. The shrimp were a bit oily but the taste was good.
My friends ordered gazpacho (cold tomato soup) but I passed because I’m not a big fan of it. I tried theirs and the flavour was quite soft (my mum puts way too much cucumber when she makes it). The dish was decorated in a very colourful way that I have never seen back home.
For the main course I had to choose one of the paellas and all looked quite inauthentic, so I went for the weirdest one: a vegetarian “paella” with pine nuts, spinach and pumpkin, among other things. I doubt there is a dish like this in Spain, but I liked it, haha. I basically like everything…
Veredict: the food is not really authentic, but it’s not bad at all. The prices were quite decent, considering it’s in the fanciest mall in Suzhou. Business seemed good and the restaurant was packed for lunch since 11.30 am (all the patrons except me were Chinese). I’ll probably be back with C. and I will try a different “paella”.
Our girl’s Sunday continued with a stroll along the Jinji lake (it was sunny and there were many families and people with dogs in the grass), some drinks in a terrace and then back to the mall for a movie: Ready Player One. After the movie, we also caught the musical fountain show!