The Guilin Good Luck Restaurant has a great name and location, but really little else in my opinion. It looks like quite the hangout for local young people, but I think they like it because it’s spacious enough for big tables of friends and you can smoke.

While many businesses and patrons in China have come a long way from the days when restaurants were hazy, smoke-filled tobacco dens, it still happens, and it really turns my appetite right off.

Unfortunately, we got stuck next to a table of eating smokers/smoking eaters for half of our meal which does colour my impression of our visit.

Guilin Good Luck Restaurant, Guilin, China

The restaurant entices people on the pedestrian street by displaying its many bubbling hot pots on a table outside. It smells great.

So we ordered a spicy duck and snail hot pot. What we got was a bunch of duck bones with no meat and mostly empty snail shells!

The salt and pepper spareribs were 90 per cent fat and 10 per cent batter, and the shredded horse meat mifun (rice noodles) had very little meat and even less flavour.

Dinner for four was 105 yuan ($19 CAD).

Entertainment was free in the form of China’s least hardest working girl band (singer, percussion, cymbals, and various Chinese strings) who would get up and play one song every half an hour or so.

Guilin Good Luck Restaurant, 10 Zhengyang Road, Guilin, Guangxi, China. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.