This was a delicious and generous dinner in Shanghai given by 7th Uncle, my MIL's younger brother. It was a cold cold night and I don't even know exactly which part of the city the restaurant was.
Sween yu, a very Shanghainese dish that my MIL cooks every CNY, is usually served cold as an appetizer. It's sweet and fragrant with star anise and cinnamon.
Char siew as appetizer. Not as good as the char siew in HK.
Again, not as good as the roasted ducks in HK.
Crystal prawns is another very Shanghainese dish. The prawns are freshwater, small and have a bouncy, springy bite. My FIL misses this dish and complains that ocean prawns are too big and coarse.
My daughter's fave dish that night was very fresh, sweet and crunchy baby squids the size of a pip of garlic, in spicy bean sauce.
A westernised tomato lamb soup.
Tender beef slices with bean sprouts.
A claypot of mushrooms and seafood.
Cantonese gu lao ro.
A greasy but delicious brinjals dish.
These are 'wok buns', with a hollow inside to hold the spicy brinjals.
Shengjian baos, an item you'll find at small restaurants especially in the morning, are baos that are fried and 'steamed' at the same time to give a toasty, crispy base.
I realized this trip that I prefer shengjian baos to xiao long baos, that other quintessential Shanghai snack. Shengjian baos are eaten with some black vinegar.
All that, and a dish of braised kofu or wheat gluten (lower left in the photo above), for 7 adults and one 6 year old.
It was a cold night but after dinner, my girl and I went shopping. Hub and our relatives went home. The one great thing about many cities in Asia, especially China and Hong Kong, that I love is the late night shopping. Shops and streets are busy and merry until the wee hours. I felt much safer walking at night in China than in KL or many parts of Europe. One reason is the tight control on immigration and the other is that capital punishment is the penalty for serious crimes. For a country with a population of over 1.3 billion, I think China's low crime rate is truly remarkable.