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“One-of-those-must-eat-then-regret restaurant”

Lou WaiLou (GuShan Road)
Ranked #18 of 2,836 Restaurants in Hangzhou
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children, Scenic view, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Level Contributor
89 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“One-of-those-must-eat-then-regret restaurant”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

This restaurant is one of the most famous in China, cooking up dishes for the rich and famous, and since everyone wants to be rich and famous, the whole world is in there!

ok, they are famed for their braised pork, lake prawn and fish etc.... but the crowd is just maddening! You will first be greeted by a long and large crowd at the entrance, then the "captain" will start shouting at you to ask you number of seats and issue you a number... she will then proceed to shout out other numbers when the tables are ready. You will then be ushered to your table, rushed through the ordering and then you eat. The food is average, no ambience and there is this spitting habit of theirs that drives you crazy.

And yes, it is indeed one-of-those-must-eat-then-regret restaurant, so take your number and join the queue.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank milokitts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
67 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Average taste and pricey”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

We went for lunch as per their good fame. But we ordered Vinegar Fnish which was common and below our expection. As we got there after 1:30pm some dishes were sold up. Our table towarded to the door with cold breezee. We asked the waitress to change our table but they told me this table was same with the one we want. Finally we got the table as we insisted it. The waitress looked tired maybe from 2:30pm they would be off-duty for midday break.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank gaganini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I like the fish there, and it tasted well”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

The dishes there are famous but is a little expensive. For the person who visits Hangzhou for the first time, it is good to visit.

Thank Zhou X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good view marred by horrible service”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We decided to drop by for a late lunch due to the good, unobstructed view of the West Lake as well as the long history of the restaurant. Food was good though pricey but we felt it was worth it.

However, the overall experience was marred by horrible service encounters:
i) Request to change seats to an empty table near the window was denied. Reason was given that the order has went through and it was "impossible" to change the table no.

We insisted and we got the waitress to change after much reluctance.

ii) We had a late lunch and was told that the lunch service closed at 3 pm. While sipping our Longjing Tea (which was pretty good given the cold weather), we were atonished at the waiters switching off the main lights except for those at the table. 2 waiters were standing besides us and exclaiming loudly at how "inconsiderate" we were. It was 230 pm, and nowhere close to 3 pm.

They were shocked when they found out that we understand chinese and overheard everything they said.

Visited December 2012
Thank briX84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“A sad tourist trap”
Reviewed November 28, 2012

We are serious foodies who spend a considerable time on the internet researching what we hope will be the very best restaurants to sample the regional cuisines where we travel in Asia. Thus we had very high expectations for Louwailou which was touted to be Hangzhou's most famous restaurant. We planned our walk along the causeway across the ' Melting Snow Hanging Over the Broken Bridge' to Gu Shan Island ( the location of Louwailou) to arrive at the restaurant by 5:30 to be assured of a seat since they refused to take a reservation. The restaurant itself is housed in an attractive old building with some apparent history. We were promptly seated upon arrival and placed our order. While waiting we had a chance to look around and saw a rather shabby interior with a few chicken bones and other debris on the floor which is often par for the course in pedestrian Chinese restaurants.In effect, the place had little ambiance. We ordered a few starter dishes and then the classic beggars chicken along with a vegetable dish. To prepare an authentic beggars chicken, a chicken is first rinsed with rice wine and then stuffed with onions, ginger, Chinese black mushrooms, pickled cabbage and other preserved vegetables, covered with lotus leaves and clay and then baked until tender. When done right, this preparation produces the most flavorful and tender chicken imaginable when the baked clay cover is broken with a hammer. The dish presented to us at the Louwailou was a sorry imitation of the original. What was served was a chicken that had clearly been boiled to make it somewhat edible and then placed in a plastic wrap surrounded by some sort of leaves. It did appear to have some pickled vegetables placed on top in a vain effort to make it more flavorful. The vegetable dish was pedestrian as were the two other side dishes which also were unmemorable, so much so that I am not terribly clear now what they were. If you are really interested in experiencing the real beggars chicken dish, head to 28 Hubin located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the north east part of the lake near the city. You may have to pay a bit more but you will have a meal that you will not soon forget. The only other diners in the restaurant while we were there appeared to be other unsuspecting tourists. I can't imagine a local eating at Louwilou, since Chinese people clearly place great importance on good food and will go to great lengths to seek out the best local eateries. If you want a great Hangzhou meal head to the Green Tea Restaurant a bit outside of town or the above mentioned 28 Hubin. You would undoubtedly do better even in your hotel restaurant that at Louwilou. Bon appetit.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kalevipoeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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