Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One More Shanghai Lunch.

I met a young architect recently who works in Shanghai and his advice to my daughter is "Go north, to Shanghai! SH is at the forefront of the economic boom in China and since she's lucky enough to be in a profession that takes her places, SH is the place!  The city's energy, the thousands of young professionals from all over the world, the upbeat lifestyle, the opportunities...I missed SH in its glory days in the 30s and I'm lucky to be there in its second boom. Tell her not to miss it!"

While I'm not sure about the working life in SH, I'm very sure that there's no shortage of excellent food in that city. Everywhere you turn are bustling restaurants offering hundreds of dishes, making ordering an agonizing decision. In China, forget about Chinese chain restaurants unless you want crappy food. Ditto too, with the little holes-in-the-walls restaurants. Head for air-conditioned modern restaurants where you can eat like a king without risking your mortgage instalments. The quality and variety are reasons why Chinese food is one of the top three cuisines of the world (my  two oldest kids rate it The Best). Look at this lunch in a restaurant on the Pudong side of Wai Tan (The Bund):

First the cold dishes:

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A combination plate of cold cut--pork tongue, pork shoulder--in chili oil and garlic.

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A spiced aspic of pork.

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Another unbelievably delicious dish of tender beef cubes.

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Smoked pork slices. Chinese are serious pork lovers.

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A tower of vegan imitation duck.

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Korfu is Shanghainese style wheat gluten balls. The spongy dough balls were braised in a delicious sauce of soy sauce, wine and spices and each mouthful burst with flavor, taste and bite.

If you aren't still convinced about the food, watch out. The hot dishes:

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Mouth-watering mini pork chops, crispy-tender to the bite.

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Sandwiched between pillow-soft mini buns.

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Another yummy dish of Chinese salted seasoned pork, prawns, duck...It was like a mini poon choi.

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A large pot of goodies, like a soupy poon choi, in a delicious soup. Not as luxurious as the Prime Minister's Pot, which is a soup of a whole chicken, a whole fresh pork knuckle and a whole knuckle of ham, but wonderfully delicious (I'm running out of adjectives).

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After all the meat, a veg dish is a good change and instead of a boring plate of fried greens, this was a dish of fresh straw mushrooms (one of my fave mushrooms, available in summer in China and HK) and a Shanghai veg, cooked in 'superior' broth.

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Stir-fired pea sprouts with some mysterious meat.

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Peking duck, delicious beyond words.

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I've met many Caucasians who've never eaten duck before and it was love at first bite for them. But there's a bird that tastes even better than duck. It's goose. And for that nobody does it better than the cooks in Hong Kong. I haven't eaten roasted goose in southern China but since roasted goose is a Cantonese dish, they should do it just as good there too. Don't die until you have eaten roasted goose.

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Pumpkin puffs.

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View from the restaurant of the 'western' side of Wai Tan.

6 comments:

laubao said...

Shanghai looks really interesting!
..maybe one day I'll be able to visit your side of the world!!! :-)
Hope you're fine!
Ciao!
Laura

katCL said...

Terri, everything looks mouthwateringly fantastic! Just to get a sense of pricing, how much would this meal cost? And this would feed how many people?

terri@adailyobsession said...

laubao: you must vist one day and i'll be your host:)

hope you are good too!

katcl: there were 10 at the table but i'm not sure how much the meal cost. i think, if i didn't overhear wrong, tt the meal on my previous post (nanling restaurant) was about 1500 yuan. i hope it's not RM, i'm very forgetful!

Anonymous said...

is that right with the white balance setup of your camera while taking the WaiTan ?
the dishes are definitely yummy, just look like the ones i used to have in taiwan in the early years.

the lunch guy said...

the presentations are so minimal which i like. leaves the food as center stage as it should be.

thanks for the pics. i hope to have the time to get there one day. i'll use your blog as a guide.

terri@adailyobsession said...

anon: yes yes the white balance's wrong. too lazy to amend it.

lunchguy: yes, the presentation's unusually minimal. i like it tt way too.

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