Baidu Kaorou is a chain BBQ restaurant that has several locations in Guiyang. For me, it’s the ultimate hangover food – easy to order without talking to anybody, greasy, and delicious. Your food is ordered off of a checklist menu, so if your Chinese isn’t so good you don’t have to worry about flipping pages and pointing. When it arrives, it’s raw. You’ve got to cook it on the little griddle in the middle of the table. Usually the servers will do a lot of the cooking for you, or at the very least will come and turn down the heat if you’re burning everything. Note that there’s a surcharge of 5 RMB per person, which covers dipping sauce, fruit, a box of tissues and some lovely disposable aprons to protect your clothes from grease splatters.
zhūwǔhuā – 猪五花 – Sliced pork bellies
Twisted into little fatty pork circles, the pork bellies are sliced thin and are usually the first thing the server throws on the grill. They come with a side of fresh lettuce, so you can bundle them with some sauce and pop the whole thing in your mouth.
shūcài zǔhé – 蔬菜组合 – Veggie Platter
This is a nice veggie platter, where all the veggies are painstakingly arranged into the shape of a butterfly. Necessary? No. Wonderful? Absolutely. The platter comes with potatoes, zucchini, lotus root, red onions, carrots, enoki mushrooms and shitake mushrooms.
yácài cuìshàofàn – 芽菜脆哨饭 – Fried rice with crispy pork
Well, it’s fried rice with crispy pork pieces, and it’s delicious. It’s got some sliced lajiao in it, but it’s not very spicy.
fēibǐng – 飞饼 – Flatbread with green onion
Called “flying bread” on the menu, the flatbread comes with four pieces of some pretty sad looking dough frozen onto a plate. Do not let this deter you; it’s actually one of my favorite things to grill up. After putting ample oil on the grill, flip these frozen slabs regularly until they puff up into triangles of crispy pastry. They’re perfect at absorbing the dipping sauce, and definitely make your meal complete.
This joint has a great dipping sauce self-serve table. It’s got different sauces, three kinds of chili powder, fresh garlic, green onion and peppers, and a big ol’ bowl of cumin. There’s the usual soy sauce and vinegar, but the star for most laowai visitors is the sesame sauce. My go-to is sesame sauce, lajiao, cumin and green onion, but you can mix whatever looks good to you.
Off the top of my head, I can think of four Baidu Kaorou locations in Guiyang. They all have the same menu, so it doesn’t really matter which one you go to. I went to the location in Huaguoyuan shopping center this time, which has the added benefit of being decorated with awesome Lion King murals. It can be found in the food court in the basement level of the mall. It’s the only big, sit-down restaurant in the food court. Alternatively, you could go to Flora plaza, Estee Mall or Hengfeng (the Burger King mall west of Dashizi).
Taxi: 花果园购物中心 (Huaguoyuan Location)
Though the menu has lots of meat on it, and the name of the restaurant has the word “meat,” I’m tagging this restaurant as a vegetarian option. The oil used for frying is vegetable oil, and all food is cooked on fresh pieces of waxed paper, so cross contamination with meat juices is pretty unlikely even if the staff miss some when they’re cleaning the grill. If you’re looking for veggie options, I’d recommend the bread mentioned above, or any of the options listed under 蔬菜类, the vegetable section of the menu. There is one option that may contain meat (午餐杏鲍菇) on that list, but I’m not certain as I’ve never ordered it. Aside from fresh veggies, you can find tofu, 二块粑 and 黄耙 (two varieties of glutinous rice patties).
Menu photos have a slower load time because the file size required to show clear characters is much larger. Please be patient. Also, Baidu Kaorou updates their menu more than any restaurant I’ve ever been to. Though most things stay the same, the layout changes. If you go and see a different menu, let me know and I’ll update it. The menu here is from April 2017. Dishes we ordered have a red star next to them.