…continued from Eating in Shanghai 1.
We went with a large group of colleagues to a pretty good dumpling place. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name. It was in yet another large mall but this time in the financial district.
A highlight for me throughout the trip are steamed buns. It’s a genius concept: instead of sticking bread in an oven, steam it in a little basket! Delicious.
One interesting cultural difference is that on this side of the world, we remove the face of the things we eat. No such thing in China.
Hot Pot. Kind of like Chinese fondue. I am not a fan of fondue but mostly because I don’t want to dip my food where others dip their food. Fortunately, we each got a personal hot pot so I got to awkwardly fish pieces of food out with my poor chopsticks skills for minutes without bothering anyone else. You order a bunch of food (lamb was a favorite of mine) which they bring raw. You dip, wait, take the food out, wait for it to cool down to a reasonable temperature, eat. Impatience is not your friend. I know because I got to chew a lot of half-cooked stuff and burned the roof of my mouth. The genius of the whole concept is that if you don’t like the food, you only have to blame yourself (the cook) for it!
Here’s something I didn’t eat: Turtle soup. I was told that if you feel sick, you should eat it. I think what they meant was: if you eat it, you will feel sick.
Another pretty good drink I had: Black rice drink.
There was a little wooden duck in Ilan’s toy box for years. I finally learned what it was: a chic chopstick holder. Ironically, it eventually got decapitated and was thrown away. I say ironic because at this particular restaurant the duck is served with its head firmly in place.
Last, shoutout to my uncle Isi and cousin Rafa who heard I was going to be in China and flew halfway around the world to buy me dinner. Happy birthday Isi!
In the time I spent in Shanghai there was a lot of eating. My colleagues at work did an amazing job taking us out to eat. Below I share a few notes from the extensive eating we did.
Only one subway stop away from the hotel was Chamtime Plaza – one of seemingly thousands of restaurant-filled shopping centers around the city. This is a big, fancy place and we probably ate at ten restaurants there. There was one that specialized in Beijing Duck, and while I’ve had that dish before in the US, it definitely doesn’t compare. I think this is the only place we went to twice, on my first and last day.
In China they use ingredients that aren’t common in western cuisine. This can be a little challenging to a visitor. Things are made worse when said visitor limits himself to ingredients that aren’t intrinsically treif. Helpfully, most menus are fully illustrated and some are even translated.
Here’s a dish that ingredient-wise I could have technically tried but I decided against:
The hotel had a wonderful breakfast buffet with local food but also your typically Western breakfast. So you could get seaweed salad, made-to-order Ramen, with some corn flakes; all at the same place.
Our hosts took us to a lot of great restaurants. When trying things on our own, we didn’t fare so well. One place that was a total success was Lost Heaven in the Bund, a Yunnan-Style restaurant in… wait for it… the Bund.
One thing I saw in lots of convenience stores was these white glass bottles that people drank out of using a straw. I couldn’t help but be curious. It turned out to be: yogurt. Good tasting for sure, maybe not the most refreshing thing after an arduous workout.
The biggest challenge for me was that I suck at using chopsticks. Everyone else in the country seems not to suck at it. I could have starved, had others not felt pity for me and chopstick-fed me.
Honorable mention: tea. Especially milk tea. Especially matcha milk tea.
This post is getting too long for the limited attention span of my readers, so it will have to be continued…
I headed out on my first trip to China for work. This was my first flight on a 787 Dreamliner (very nice!) and my first trip to China (very far!) and the longest I have been away from my dear beautiful family (very hard!).
My first impressions of the city are great. Very modern, clean, traffic is not insane. Great roads, unbelievable skyline. Excellent subway.
We stayed at the very nice Onehome Art Hotel which had everything from fake clouds, elevator music in every hallway, lots of art, a glorious Chinese breakfast buffet…
More of Shanghai in upcoming posts.
Nature’s idea of a sick joke is giving you a hot mom but making you look just like your dad. It happened to my first kid, and it happened again to my second kid:
Third time’s the charm?
Back in December the Austin Kirsch family headed to San Antonio to meet the Mexico City Kirsch family. San Antonio is pretty close, so obviously I never think of going.
Conspicuously missing: Six Flags (closed), Sea World (closed), The Alamo, Riverwalk. Gotta leave something for next time.
Jorge Valdano wisely said: “El fútbol es lo más importante entre las cosas menos importantes” (“Soccer is the most important thing among the least important things”).
He is right. This is my addendum: “Star Wars is the second most important thing amongst the least important things”.
As in soccer, you can get into fist fights about Star Wars. But unlike soccer, Star Wars-related fist fights are quick and unfair because you’re fighting trekkies.
I liked the movie, and it wasn’t a redo of an old one. Go see it.
Two weeks ago we headed to Barton Hills Farms at the suggestion and accompanied by the Aguilars. I was skeptical: what the hell do you do in a farm in the middle of nowhere?
Turns out there’s much to do. Besides photo ops with pumpkins, which people seem to really like, they have lots of games and activities including Ilan’s favorite: little trains you can ride.
The ever growing and ever good looking staff of The MKX® wishes all our numerous readers around the globe a sweet and happy and prosperous new year.