We went to have "Gan Guo Ju" ( means Stir-fried Wok Chicken) again in the store on Huaihai road last night. The wok chicken is Guizhou (one of the provinces in the southwest of China) style dish. The main features for wok chicken are spicy, salty, hot and sour!
We love it and have been there for a few times - it is such an ideal winter meal because it is just so hot - the wok is on the stove all the time, eating and cooking at the same time. It is the same theory as hot pot which is another popular winter food, but it is dry.
The chicken used is spring chicken and they are cooked with bones still on. The choices for other main ingredients are: some nuts, wild mushrooms, bamboo roots etc.
When we arrived there 7:45pm last night, the waiting queue was as long as usual - at least 40 people sitting there waiting for their table. Normally the queue starts from 6pm. Unless you book in advance, you'd better get there either before 6pm or after 8pm to secure a table.
We decided to have a walk and came back later. After a nice walk on the "ever-bright" Huaihai Middle road, we returned to the restaurant at 8:20pm. That was good timing because we were taken in straight away and was sit at a table next to the window overlooking Huaihai Road.
This store on Huaihai road is opposite Huaihai Park and accommodates about 100 tables (varied from 4 to 10 seats). Most of the people are young people in groups - it is obviously a great place to gather with friends on a winter day. Several people normally have one big wok chicken (1200 gram chicken with other ingredients according to the choices) and some other speciality side dishes plus beer of course.
The small wok is designed for two people and the big wok designed for 3 or more people. The prices range from RMB49 to RMB89 based on the size of the wok and different ingredients.
Brad and I normally just order one small wok and a couple beer - that always feeds us well. Sometimes we had to take away the leftover because the volume is really quite big!
The store address is No. 158 Huaihai Middle Road and phone number is 6386 1531. The reservation won't be kept later than 6pm though. To void waiting, you can do what we do - arrive after 8pm.
For people who don't smoke, you might find the environment a bit annoying because it is a very smoky place. We have to wash all the clothes and hang the big coats out as soon as we arrive home.