I know this great little place ... Marcel Kofler

MARCEL KOFLER Mandarin Oriental Hotel Guangzhou

Swiss-born Marcel Kofler is executive chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Guangzhou.

See mandarinoriental.com/guangzhou

WHERE'S THE BEST TABLE IN GUANGZHOU?

The low tables and chairs at the Luoxi food street in the Tianhe district close to the sports stadium for scorching hot Szechuanese food from several restaurants: roasted chicken or frogs cooked in heaps of dry-fried chilli served in oversized metal bowls.

THE LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR?

Jiumaojiu for noodles. There are several locations including one at the old horse track on Huangpu Da Dao, serving handmade pastas in various shapes, plus boiled lamb bones with marrow, which guarantees a unique dining experience.

See jiumaojiu.com

WHAT IS GUANGZHOU'S BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET?

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Da Yin Yu Shi is in an old traditional villa, close to the Garden Hotel. This is fine-dining with a residential feel, classic dishes from the emperor's eras.

No. 4, Ai Guo Road, Hua Qiao Xin Cun, Huan Shi Dong Road

WHERE DO YOU GO FOR A BIG NIGHT OUT?

Edge is Western, casual and simple, with live blue mussels flown in from Australia and the braised beef ribs are a treat.

See fgfinefoods.com.cn; mandarinoriental.com/guangzhou/fine-dining/the-loft

WHAT'S HOT IN THE CITY RIGHT NOW?

Chaozhou food. If you're not shy about roughing it a bit, this hidden open-air restaurant is heaven for pork and seafood lovers.

Haizhu district, off Ersha Island behind Guangzhou Da Dao Nan. Phone 8429 8263 for directions.

WHAT SHOULD A VISITOR AVOID, FOOD-WISE?

Don't stop at the flashiest, most prominently located food halls; explore the alleys and venture into the side street of residential areas. Guangzhou is called the capital of Chinese cuisine for a reason.

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