Lǎo Chángshā Lóngxiāguǎn

Hunan in Chángshā

This cavernous and raucous warehouse-like dining hall is the most enjoyable place to sample one of Chángshā's signature dishes: spicy crayfish (龙虾; lóngxiā). You may need to wait for a table, so grab a number, and a cold beer, and wait on a stool outside, before plunging into the chilli-laced action.

The crayfish options – printed along the top of the tick-list menu – are as follows: ordinary (长沙口味虾; Chángshā kǒuwèi xiā), steamed (长沙蒸虾; Chángshā zhēngxiā) and deep fried (长沙油爆虾; Chángshā yóubào xiā). All are huge ¥98-portions, enough for three or four people to share. Alternatively, try the slightly smaller barbecued crayfish-tail skewers (烤虾尾; kǎo xiāwěi; ¥58), about right for two to share.

The rest of the menu is split into four columns: a ¥10-column, a ¥20-column, a ¥30-column and a drinks column. Dishes for ¥10 include kōngxīncài (空心菜; water spinach), lǎo Chángshā chòudòufu (老长沙臭豆腐; traditional Chángshā stinky tofu), which isn't all that stinky here, and kǒuwèi dòusǔn (口味豆笋; bamboo shoots); ¥20 dishes include lǎo Chángshā suōluó (老长沙唆螺; traditional Chángshā spicy snails).

Note there are many other restaurants dotted around town with the same name, so make sure you get the right one.