It doesn’t matter which taxi you get in Cardiff; if you say “228, City Road”, nearly all the drivers will ask you: “The Chinese restaurant?” And that’s right. Down Cardiff’s City Road you can find a really authentic Chinese cuisine restaurant called ‘Shi Jian’. For many of the Chinese students in Cardiff, this is one of the best.
The Archer visited this restaurant last weekend. When we entered the restaurant, a 30 year-old looking man wearing a casual blue shirt was helping the costumers to order food. He was dressed quite a different from the other waiters and waitresses in other restaurants.
This man is the founder of Shi Jian. He is from Shenyang, the largest city in northeast China and he has been in Cardiff for more than 10 years now. That is the reason why you can find many kinds of northeast Chinese special dishes in this restaurant.
There are two main choices at Shi Jian. The first one is a hotpot buffet, which is very popular in China. It consists of a large pot in the middle of the table, boiling everything you want to eat. The wide range of choice goes from beef, lamb, tofu, crab, prawn, to fish and all kinds of vegetables. It is a slow process so it can be suitable for a group of friends sitting together to chat while eating.
In Shi Jian, you can also eat as much as you can for only 16 pounds if you choose hotpot. Meanwhile we also found out the pleasures of sharing Chinese drinks with a couple of friends. Many costumers order Chinese Tsingtao beer; quite a different flavor and experience than what you normally get in a pub.
Also, if you are searching for a specific meal, you can just tell any server exactly what you want. There’re is plenty of seafood dishes which can get you easily confused. Finally we chose the Hot & Spicy Golden Crab. Although we enjoyed the seafood, we also ordered lamb with garlic and chilli and a very traditional vegetable dish, northeast Chinese salad.
If you are from China, this is a place you can feel like home in Cardiff. If you are not Chinese, this can be the place to enjoy some authentic Chinese cuisine dishes or hotpot.