Dayan – Italian haven in an ancient city

After getting lost for about 2 hours in the old city of Dayan, whoever is up there decided to make our life more challenging by sending down some rain. Groovy. Just what I needed, I thought. But in the end, this unwanted rain (sort-of) magically steered our direction to the less occupied part of the city.

And voila! On one corner we found a very charming Italian restaurant. It had this rustic vibe, complete with the stone and wood furnishings.

Imagine my surprise.

The exterior.

And as far as authenticity goes, this was actually a pretty good Italian restaurant for Chinese standards (dating an Italian chef for 5 years has made a very picky eater out of me when it comes to spaghetti).

By now you already know that I am a sucker for oysters. The same goes for artichoke. I heart artichoke but living in Beijing, I’ve always encountered problems ordering anything with artichoke as they always add only a sliver of it.

But not here!

They are not stingy with their artichoke! I repeat, they are NOT stingy with their artichoke. In fact, a huge part of their salad is made up of artichoke head. Which left me speechless. Because in China, artichoke is considered a luxury item (for my budget anyway).

And check out their pizza.

An abundance of cheese.

Looks yum, no? Don’t be fooled. The pizza was tasteless. I imagine getting good mozzarella in the area must not be an easy feat. So I can’t really blame them.

Verdict: The charming little interior earned 8/10. Artichoke/anchovy salad earned a 6/10 while the deceiving pizza earned a 4/10.

Travelers, this restaurant is adjacent to an equally charming courtyard-boutique hotel. Check it out when you are in Lijiang.

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