Archive for the ‘restaurant’ Category

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Tailor Made, Part Two

June 7, 2015

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

man in black linen Chinese tunic

We went back to the South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market to pick up DaddyBird’s new shirts. He looks very dapper in the black linen traditional Chinese tunic.

entrance to the mall

Across the street from the South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market is the Shanghai Zhongfu Soft-Spinning Material Mall. I was curious to see how they compare. So, in we went.

hallway lined with clothing shops but no customers

Compared to the hustle and bustle of the South Bund market, this was the opposite end of the spectrum. Very few customers. Much more pleasant to walk down the aisles without having your personal space violated constantly. The clothes of the first floor were quite formal – tuxes, gowns, suits, traditional Chinese dresses (qipao).

Chinese restaurant

Next, it was time to eat, so we just dropped in here.

menu showing "slobber beef"

The menu English translations were quite entertaining. So, we ordered some “slobber beef.” The Chinese characters are “mouth water beef meat.” We suspect that it was tongue or maybe it is just mouth wateringly good beef. (Also pictured – jellyfish in vinegar, fried jellyfish, a chicken goose, local guild roast duck, wine ??? little yellow croaker)

"cuts the mutton in vain"

“Cuts the mutton in vain”

"the palace explodes the shrimp ball"

“The palace explodes the shrimp ball”

"grandmother red-roasted pork"

“Grandmother red-roasted pork”

"the salty egg yolk stir fries before stewing the taro"

“The salty egg yolk stir fries before stewing the taro”

set of dishes wrapped in plastic

When we approached the restaurant I noticed that there were plastic crates of dirty dishes on the sidewalk. The dish sets come like this on the table. I assume this means that instead of washing the dishes in house, they use a service that picks up the dirty dishes and delivers clean sets all wrapped up in plastic and ready to go. We have seen this at other restaurants as well.

landscape painting of autumn forest and river

Over our table was a painting with “happy trees.”

dishes, two beer large bottles

A couple of tall beers and we are ready for the slobber beef.

plate of buns and mixed meat and vegetables

First to arrive was the “pork burgers.”

bun turned over showing the hollow underside

We are not certain how to eat this, but we decided the most likely plan of action was to fill the hollow underside of the bun with the meat and veggies. The buns are different colors due to slightly different ingredients, but the taste was not significantly different.

two dishes, one of salted egg taro and the other of beef

Then came the slobber beef and the salted egg taro. The slobber beef turned out to be wickedly spicy, so I used the rather bland taro to put out the fire on my tongue.

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All About the Eats

December 7, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

It has been a long time since I posted. I looked back through my pictures to see what have we done that I can post. Not much. We have not been to any touristy sights lately. There is always food, however. We, like you, eat multiple times a day and have been exploring the marvelous foods of Shanghai. So, here are a few highlights.

dinner plate with meat and potatoes

So, let us begin with the beef tongue served at Flamenhot, a brew pub with “eclectic” decor. This was amazingly delicious.

plates of sliced raw meat

On another evening, we wandered into a Korean BBQ restaurant. The round slices are beef tongue (again).

coals and grill

This could have been a delicious meal, but the waitress decided that we were not capable of cooking our own meal and stood there the whole time cooking it for us, one ingredient at a time. She saved the onion until last. Next, time we will say “NO thank you” when a waitress butts in to show us foreigners how it is done. It was anything but relaxing.

meatloaf, potatoes, spinach

DaddyBird has a favorite brew pub, Boxing Cat. So, he tells me that Monday is cheap beer night, then when we get there he orders the seasonal beer, which is not at happy hour price. I see how this works! Despite that, I had a lovely meatloaf with great spinach …

onion rings

… and onion rings.

bowl of udon noodles, beef, and broth

Just down the street from my school is a little noodle shop that is always busy. I walk by there every afternoon on my way home and there are always customers enjoying their themselves. So, one evening between work and an evening music recital, we decided to have our dinner at this noodle shop. Luckily, another customer was bilingual and offered to help us order, because there was no English on the menu and no pictures to point at. We got beef with noodles and mushroom with noodles. VERY GOOD. This is why the shop is always busy. Now, we just need to learn how to order beef noodles for ourselves.

salad made of apples, grapes, walnuts

Then came Thanksgiving. We had dinner at Peter’s Texmex Grill which was offering a set menu special meal. It began with Waldorf salad.

bowls of pumpkin soup and mugs of apple juice

Then came pumpkin soup and (lukewarm) apple “cider” (really just apple juice).

plate of turkey, mash potatoes, stuffing

This was the main entree. It was all delicious, but small portions with no seconds. I get more mash potatoes from the school lunch lady than that.

slice of pumpkin pie

Finished with pumpkin pie and a tiny bit of whip cream. The filling was good, but the crust left a lot to be desired. On the whole, the dinner was good, but nowhere near a Thanksgiving celebration of home cooked turkey with all the fixin’s with second and third helpings.

purple milk shake

On a Saturday, we arrived at Bastiaan’s too late for breakfast, so no omelette or bacon. I ordered the berry milkshake. They know how to make milkshakes in this country – thick and rich, not thin and runny.

thin crust pizza

I tried their thin crust pizza and it is definitely the thinnest crust I have ever had. The toppings are prosciutto, spinach, and goat cheese.

a coconut with a straw sticking out

A new Thai restaurant has opened up across from Peter’s TexMex, so we decided to try it out. I ordered coconut juice, expecting a glass of juice that possibly came from a bottle or can, but was pleasantly surprised to be served a coconut. This was fun because after I drained the juice, I pried it open and scooped out the coconut meat. Yummy.

three dishes of meat entrees

On the left is chicken, middle is shrimp and cashews, and on the right is pork neck (which along with ox tail and beef tongue is one of my favorites – amazing how delicious the meats that Westerners throw away or grind up for dog meat are.)

beef in a lettuce leaf

The beef was marvelous. If memory serves, this was sirloin cubes.

plate of cooked spinach topped with scrambled egg

This brings us up to yesterday when we ate at Coco Curry House – a Japanese comfort food restaurant. We ordered spinach with scrambled eggs.

breaded pork cutlet with rice and gravy

Pork cutlet, rice and gravy – the gravy is called “curry,” but it is just brown gravy. The menu has a spicy graph so you can point to the level of spiciness you desire.  I love this because I got the mild which has zero chilies. It is not very pretty, but it is comfort food.

glass of purple drink

I also got a very pretty blueberry shake. Not as thick as Bastiaan’s, but still good.

bowl of yogurt with strawberry syrup and strawberries on top

On our way to the Metro station we passed a yogurt stand. I noticed that it was Yak Yogurt, so we decided we had to give it a try. It was very good yogurt, although next time I will skip the strawberry. The menu listed “flavored yogurt” which DaddyBird ordered. This turned out to be plain yogurt served with a pitcher of honey on the side, so flavored is really plain yogurt. I expected my strawberry to be mixed in, but it was plain yogurt with an overwhelmingly sweet strawberry syrup on top. Not too bad when I mixed it in, but will go with just plain next time.

So, there you have it, the variety of foods we’ve been eating. To see all November photos, click here.

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Life is a Cabaret

October 19, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

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Saturday evening we attended a production of Cabaret at a charming little theatre called The Pearl by the East West Theatre company.

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It was way past my bedtime, but I enjoyed it anyway.

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Sunday, under amazing blue sky, we went to breakfast at our favorite American style breakfast restaurant, Bastiaan’s.

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Then we traveled downtown to find a board games store. We were successful and bought a couple of games, because you can never have too many board games. (Asmodee at the Hongkong Metropolis No. 489 South Henan Road)

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Lovely blue skies today. Some days it is smoggy, some days it is not. It all depends on the wind.

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Bellagio

September 20, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

dragon painted on a restaurant ceiling

Located half way between our apartment and my work is a Bellagio Restaurant. The food is Taiwanese and AMAZING. We have already eaten there twice in one week. It is difficult not to just stop in on my way home from work.

See all the pictures – click here.

a bowl of mango pudding, chunks, and ice cream

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Cantonese, If You Please

August 30, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

a plate of fried rice

We followed the suggestion of a coworker and had an early dinner at Bi Feng Tang, a Cantonese restaurant a short distance from my work. I like Cantonese food because there is less use of chili peppers.

cooked lettuce in a sauce

This is cooked lettuce. For those of you Americans who are now saying “cooked lettuce?!?” with a turned up nose, you should try it. Lettuce isn’t just for putting on burgers or in salad. You should cook lettuce more often. It is good in fricassee and it was good in this sauce.

drink glass served with carmel popcorn on top

Our drinks came with caramel popcorn. The container had two parts – the bottom contained the drink and then on top was a separate cup with the popcorn.

steamed pork buns

Steamed pork buns.

steamed buns made to look like pigs

The red bean buns were made to look like little piggies, but contained no pork.

pork buns

Pork buns with squid roe on a bed of onions.

dumplings

Pork dumplings. This filling feast cost us 208 yuan ($34.00 USD, 124 AED). I think it bears repeating.

For additional photos from this week – click here.

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Zotter Chocolate Theatre

August 23, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

uncrowded metro train

We left the apartment at about 11 am on Saturday to travel by metro and foot to the Zotter Chocolate Factory. This is the best time to travel by metro. Not crowded at all.

building with scooters parked in front and laundry hanging from the awnings

From the metro stop we walked through an industrial/residential neighborhood. We saw lots and lots of laundry hanging everywhere. Some was on the sidewalks and looked more like it was for sale, except that is was usually one pair of panties, a bra, one shirt, and one pair of pants as if someone had just washed what they wore yesterday and hung it out to dry.

tall building labeled Shanghai Fashion Centre

We passed the Shanghai Fashion Centre not realizing that this is where we needed to enter. The chocolate factory is at the back of this complex, near the river.

unpaved street

We reached this street and Google maps was telling us that the factory was down this street. DaddyBird double checked and we headed back to the proper entrance.

Roasted Cocoa Beans

We found the factory and paid our entrance fee (180 yuan, $30 USD, 107 AED) each. The young woman at the counter was caucasian and spoke English. Later we found that she is the daughter of the factory owners. The tour starts with a short film about how the company started, and where they get their organic, free trade cocoa beans. Then it is on to tasting. The above picture is the roasted cocoa beans. Not bad even though they are bitter and have not been sweetened. Unfortunately, they did not sell bags of these in the store.

There were many forms of chocolate to taste. They give you a little ceramic spoon to do the tasting with and you can keep it as a souvenir. Our tour group consisted of our guide and just one other couple, so we got the real personal touch. A bigger group, consisting of several families caught up to us by the end and spoiled the relaxing atmosphere we had enjoyed for most of the tour.

We purchased a LOT of chocolate bars. Apparently, when you purchase over 1000 yuan of chocolate, you get a free insulated bag and two ice packs. Real customer service.

With our bag of chocolate in hand, we were off to find some very late lunch. We had passed a restaurant just around the corner that looked very good, but when we got there, it was clearly shut down for the afternoon. It was 3 pm, after all. We kept walking toward the nearest metro station until we found a restaurant that seemed to be open and serving. It was a hot pot restaurant. However, the menu was all in Chinese, there were no pictures to point to, and the waitress didn’t speak English any more than we speak Chinese.

a menu all in Chinese with no pictures

DaddyBird attempted to use a translation app on his phone, but some of the translations were amusing and irrelevant. We figured out what to mark for a not spicy broth. We marked the items that said “garlic” and “chicken.” We marked three other items, one of which was something about “without stems” which we deduced was probably mushrooms. AND we took our chances. DaddyBird asked for shui (shway) meaning drinking water, but what she brought was a carafe of hot water, so he ordered two beers so that we would have something we could drink.

ceramic bowl of meat and potato stew

We ended up with two pots of food. The first was apparently what had been labeled “garlic” on the menu. It had meat, potatoes, garlic, and onions. Very tasty. The second pot contained chicken and, on closer examination, bullfrog. Yes, we ate the bullfrog. Not bad. Tender meat with light flavor. We also received mushrooms, an egg, and noodles. It was an interesting adventure and very tasty.

We paid 110 yuan ($18 USD, 66 AED) including the two large beers. DaddyBird tried to tip, but she insisted that we take that back.

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Second Week and a Little Bit Over

August 22, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Much happened in our second week. Oliver and Bert came home from quarantine a day early. This is because Oliver had gone on a hunger strike and they were concerned about him. The cats have settled in very quickly, are eating fine, and are doing well.

white cat laying down

We’ve been exploring the neighborhood and eating a variety of food. My favorite, so far, is the hot pot restaurant under the Carrefour Supermarket. There is a marvelous “food court” that doesn’t really deserve to be called a food court because it is definitely a cut above that. There are a variety of restaurants serving freshly made food. At the hot pot restaurant, each person has their own pot and you can order any ingredients off the menu.

ceramic bowl containing broth

I can have the non-spicy broth and DaddyBird can have the one with all the chilies in it.

basket holding a variety of mushrooms

A basket of mushrooms.

thinly sliced meat, sliced lotus root

Sliced lotus root, sliced meat – toss it in the boiling pot to cook.

carafe of limeade

A carafe of limeade, and you’ve got it made. The two of us ate for 128 yuan ($20.00, 76 AED). Very healthy and very tasty.

To see all the pictures from the second week (and a half), click here.