Family-style eating is great.

It is like a “Build Your Own Buffet” adventure.

Here is a breakdown, dish by dish, of a typical lunch order at a small roadside restaurant.

Me, Michael, Tasia, and Jenny eating lunch at a small restaurant in Leshan, Sichuan Province, China.

Family-style Eating

Instead of each person ordering entrees, there are many smaller bowls and dishes which are to be shared at the table.

It looks like this:

Assorted dishes, which I’ll explain below, served at a small, local restaurant shop in Leshan.

Here’s how the meal progressed.

Starter: Seaweed soup

Served in a clear broth. Likely lacking taste and in a hot water broth because one of the people in our party eats gluten-free.

Served on a tray, in white bowls.

Not my favorite soup but great as a base layer.

It doesn’t look too tasty, and it didn’t taste good, either. But I think it was healthy! Better thought of as a base layer.

Rice

Bowls of plain white steamed rice were brought next, one for each person.

One bowl of steamed rice per person.

Cabbage and Pork

My favorite dish!

I love the salty pork flavor mixed with the cabbage stirred with some sort of oil. There is a little bit of spice.

We ordered two or three plates of this cabbage and pork mix.

Closeup. I could eat a few of these all by myself!

Eggs and Tomatoes

I didn’t try this, but it looked nice.

Yummy looking egg and tomato dish.

 Green Vegetables

One of my favorite vegetables that we regularly ate in China. I think it is pronounced con-sin-sai.

Served to the table, sautéed and mixed with garlic.

Leafy green vegetable and the stalks, which are hollow inside.

Other Items

Cabbage, fermented spicy cabbage, and a spicy sauce for dipping were also part of the lunchtime spread.

These additional items were also brought to our table.

Owners

This is our group.

Our group L to R: Me, Michael, the owners of the restaurant, Tasia, and Jenny.

We added some text on the picture for an added bonus that they can use on their website:

We added text to the photo so they could use it.

 Menus

We also drew our own menus:

Tasia working on our version of the menu.

The photo we made for the owners.

See more from my 2017 trip to China:

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