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Shanghai 2

CHINA | Thursday, 30 October 2008 | Views [771] | Comments [1]

I didn't get to see too much of Shanghai. The weather really did not cooperate. My first full day was grey. I went looking for the old french concession in the morning. Arived at an HSBC building nearbye, and then was pointed in exactly the wrong direction, so lost an hour. Eventually I found the correct neighborhood, and found a great resturant (Zhong Yi, will provide the intersection later). This is a place that would get a 24 or 25 in the Zagats. great presentation. Nice subtle flavour balance. Unfortunetly, everything came with a meat or shellfish garnishment. In China I just live with that and eat around it. Anyway, this was a great place, and I was the omnly westerner in the resturant, I did see many of the different dishes people ordered, and they all looked great. I had a chinese brocoli wraped in a bamboo fungis and a sweet and sour fish. Excellent. Lunch cost almost 70 RMB ($10) but it was worth it. This is the kind of goPrmet place that my chinese friends in LA would always insist its not chinese (well all the clients were chinese, its just gourmet unlike what is in the san gabriel valley). Unfortuently it took a long time, and so I was late to catch the 2 PM boat. I became later when after getting back to the main street I was told the wrong direction (how people do not know which way is the river and which was is the main square, I do not know). To finally get the correct directions I announced Nanjing Lu while kneeling and pointing at and then lightly striking the ground, and then pointing to my heart and standing I said "Huangpu". That got the person to point in the correct direction. I still missed my boat and went to the terrific Shanghai museum instead.

The following two days in rained so I didn't get on the river or up to Suzhou as I planned. I will have to come back. I did eat well. First, unlike the rest of china, the sweets in shanghai are great. Maybe its the french influence. I kept going to bakeries. I also went to another place in the french area called grape which was recomended to me. I had a very good fish dish. The sauce was suprising. It said it was a spicy bean sauce. It was more like a chipolte sauce. I must be in mexico. But it was very good. Not as nice a presentation or as subtle flavour's as Zhong Yi's though. I mostly wonderied around the city in the rain and went back to my hostel in the evening and did a laundry and chatted with one guy Mike from the US who just moved here and is looking for clients to teach english to. He just got a furnished apartment for about $400/month that was in nice shape with some very nice architectural features. He said he looked at 49 dumps before he found this one.

Today started slow. It rained in the morning and I spent the morning on the internet. About lunch time I went for a walk. I crossed the river near my hostel and found a nice huge supermarket. For the first time in china, I found granola bars, so I was excited. I also found great bakery goods (mmm, bananna bread), and this coconut yogurt that I like. As I exited I found this mini hot pot place in the same building (it was sort of a mall built around the supermarket). Here you pick your own ingrediants off a shelf, and they cook it for you in a broth. I took a couple of things, brought it to the register and the girl pointed to a sign which said something, and had a 5 RMB on it. Apparently there was a minimum charge of 5, and I was way under. So I got a few more items and went back, and this time I had exactly 5. It was terrific, and for only 75 cents a steal. I should have discovered these places earlier. I am doing a see no evil hear no evil about whatever was in the broth. While I was eating this extremely beautiful women who was at a nearbye table, got up, made a cell phone call near the front of the small eating area, came back to me, handed me her business card and said "here is my card" and before I knew what happened ran off. Wow, that made up for the con artists on Nanjing lu. Now I like Shanghai. :) Of course, I have no idea what the card says, other than she she works for Mary Kay. Maybe she looked at me and decided that I was badly in need of her cosmetics.

For dinner, I ended up back at Grape with Mike, who had originally told me about it. (He lived in Shanghai 2 years ago also)。During dinner every time I took a sip of tea from my cup, this cute girl would come up, fill up my cup, and smile at me. It was getting comical, since my cup was getting filled every 30 seconds or so. But it was great service (and they had a huge staff)!

Ahh Shanghai. I barely felt I touched this huge and great cosmopolitan city. But I leave tomorrow morning for Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Tags: food




what did the card say?

  Ricardo Nov 2, 2008 3:36 PM

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