Oct 14, 2016
As a British expat there are a few things that I cannot live without; the Premier League for football, a decent curry and a good source of pasta. Now we have Ann’s English food for that missing British food and we have a host of mid-level ‘foreign foods’, but I do need a good source of pasta and pizza.
When I arrived in Suzhou, remember this was way back in 2003 when there was not even one Starbucks in Suzhou (wow – just writing that sentence makes me feel old), the only genuine place to get good foreign food was Sicily In the town centre. Sicily is still there and doing a good trade, with the same friendly owners and decent foods at reasonable prices. As Suzhou has developed the sheer number of options for foreign foods has grown exponentially.
My own favourite Italian, after Buffon of course, is The Terrace at Sam’s club (Linrai Guangchang) just off Jinji Lake Dadao. Even with the horrendously confusing underground parking where you have to remember an animal, two numbers and a colour just to find your car, it pips the other Italian restaurants for location as it is close to the shopping area but also has a nice outside where you can watch the evening go past.
The first couple of years I lived in China in the North-East and I tried any food that was put in front of me. After regular trips to the lavatory I am a safe eater, i.e. nothing goes into my mouth without me knowing exactly what it is and how it was cooked or why it is not cooked, but I am partial to the fresh meats and salmon on offer at this restaurant. The salmon pizza, yes I had uncooked seafood on my pizza, was quite surprisingly delicious (although to be honest it was the wife who ordered it) and the salmon salad has a rather generous portion.
They have all the normal pasta options, a small range of salads and a traditional wood oven that cooks the pizzas just right. I think this last fact makes this restaurant my favourite as it is on display and the make of the pizzas on full view. The kids can go and watch the staff prepare the food and are transfixed by the art of cooking. The kids both love the deserts which are not cheap or particularly large, but I think the style and friendliness of the restaurant more than makes up for this.
As with all restaurants it is well worth checking out the online offers before you arrive. The Terrace offer a good lunch menu, have a happy hour that lasts two hours (?) and regularly has offers on ChuanGou (the Chinese GroupOn).
So, while I love to re-visit Sicily in the down town area every once in a while after going to Mark’s and Spencer’s or U-Town, the best Italian place currently in Suzhou is probably The Terrace at Sam’s Club.
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