“Pack in lots of snacks!”, “You’ll live on rice and noodles!”, “You’ll eat dog and snake!” are among the many lines I’ve heard prior to a trip. The truth is that in the South of China the food is amazing. Each province has its own colourful cuisine, with a variety of spices and flavours that I never could have imagined (mainly the Szechuan food). And the veggies! I happily went vegetarian/pescatarian for two weeks. There is also an abundance of Italian restaurants with real Italian chefs in case you feel the need for something familiar. On one glorious Teppanyaki night i found snake on the menu, but never came across any dog. It’s only served in the Winter months to ward off sickness!
Sichuan (the hottest, spiciest of all)A codfish dish, with sprouts, seeds and pods I’ve never seen before, loads of chilli and lemony spices.The headA salad with more strange veggies and some familiar ones, tossed through with a spicy chilli dressing that was so delicious! The Chinese girls accompanying me saw the red peppers and were very wary, they’ve never seen it before. The best part of this salad was the Black Fungus. It looks like black curly ears, with a crunchy bite. Like cartilage. “Pig’s ears!” I shrieked the first time, but was assured that its a regular fungus with a seaweed-like texture. Now a firm fave.Prawns deep-fried with spices until the shell and tail is crisp, crackly and completely edible. Half the mass on the plate is dried deep-fried chillies and it makes me wonder if it was all fried together to give it this flavour.Tofu in Chilli sauce. Rebecca suspected something ‘not suitable’ in there for me so I left it well alone.
Vietnamese/Fusion/Other: some meals from various placesTeppanyaki! This was amazing! We ordered buffet, which meant a hundred different things, and watched as it was prepared course by course as we enjoyed the one that was just served on our plates. Mushrooms, whole cloves of garlic, seafood broth served in little kettles with cups, fish, and more.Salted Fish. This was at a Vietnamese place called Saigon, a whole fish packed with salt and baked, then the skin and salt is removed on the body and served! I love this.
Edamame, salted fish, crisp spicy cauliflower, chicken in cashews and chillis. Skewered prawns in foil, packed with salt!This is a lotus flower, black beans and what they called ‘bitter vegetable’ (the green). The little white bits were explained to be lotus flower petals, but I’m not 100% sure.I can’t remember what the ingredient was in the top salad, it had a strange name and a strange texture. White, straight and with slits on the end. We thought it was a kind of sea creature and warily we googled it, waiting to be thoroughly disgusted and terrified by the face of the monster we were consuming. But nothing came up. Maybe its worse than we thought? Also pictured here are crab and avo wrapped in rice paper with peanut dipping sauce.My standard room-service fare. Prawn dim sum, veggie spring rolls and a chocolate brownie. So familiar and comforting, and yet so foreign.Brownie with nuts, ice cream and orange sauce, only at the Sheraton :)
I hope you enjoyed this post and much as I enjoyed eating my through it! I’ll post more edible delights and nibbles in a separate post soon.