Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shanghai - Day 1

I'm back!

A week away in Shanghai - oohhh...so lovely! Lovely weather, lovely food! It's spring now in Shanghai with temperatures ranging from 10-20 deg.C - really pleasant. Just don a light jacket and it's so comfortable, without the heat and humidity we experience here!

My flight was at 0140 from KLIA and arrived right on time at 7.00am in Shanghai Pudong Airport. This is the international airport - they have an older airport in Hongchiao which caters mainly to domestic flights. Immigration clearance took almost 40 minutes as there were long queues. After freshening up at my friend's apartment, we headed straight for... Xiao Loong Pau!
The Nanxiang Steamed Buns Restaurant is just about the most famous place in Shanghai serving Xiao Loong Pau (XLB) - it's featured in almost every food program and books/magazines! It's located at the Yu Gardens, south of Fuyou Lu.


This is a 3-storey restaurant and the price of the XLBs goes up and the wait goes down as you ascend the restaurant!
The queue on the ground floor was unbelievably long!

See the hordes of people queuing up on the Ground Floor??!
Here the people buy the XLB after waiting for interminable minutes and they have to eat them standing around outside the restaurant!
We decided not to wait - so we made our way up to the topmost floor... and entered this very nice section of the restaurant...

There were so many types of XLBs on their menu! Over here, we get those mostly with minced pork fillings... over there, you can have crabmeat, shrimp, sharksfin, mushroom etc - lots of choices!
Besides XLBs, the restaurant also served lots of other pastries, hot and cold dishes...
We got the ginger strips ready... soaked in vinegar...waiting eagerly for the XLBs...
We had about 3 baskets of XLBs with different fillings... and they disappeared real quickly!
These were really great XLBs - with lots of hot tasty soup inside the dumplings and the delicious fillings were all fresh and had us wanting more!
Their vegetables paus were good - with crunchy refreshing chopped vegetables inside...
Their endamame were very different from those we usually eat in Japanese restaurants. Instead of just being boiled plainly, their endamame had been soaked in chinese wine and they were soooo delicious!
A very popular cold dish in Shanghai - cold chicken in wine...really good!
We tried a few other types of their pastries - the fluffed fried balls on the left had savoury pork fillings inside while the black sesame round pastry on the right had some sweet+savoury stuff inside - pork & turnips, I think!
Ahhh... we could not resist their Giant XLBs... just look at the size! We had to be very careful in sucking the hot soup from the straw. The whole dumpling consists mainly of soup only...
...with some bits of meat and crab roe inside... we didn't eat the dumpling skin - it was just steamed flour dough - we wanted to save our stomach space for other things, haha!
The chefs were very busy making the XLBs ... orders were pouring in!

After we had our fill of XLBs, we took a walk around the area outside. There were crowds everywhere...There were many vendors outside selling the giant XLBs...
...and Beef Balls...

and chinese candies on sticks...
Dragonhair candies were also a hit there...

It being a Sunday, there were lots of tourists in the area, both local and foreign tourists...
Look out for the bicycles and motorbikes! They have a habit of appearing out of nowhere!
When night came, it was time to look for more Shanghainese food...
Dinner was at this quaint little restaurant downtown...(can't remember the road's name!). This was actually the rear entrance...The front looked like this...
The interior of the restaurant was really quaint... dim lightings, oriental decor, old-fashioned chinese wooden furniture and tasteful table napkins like this...
The cuisine in China serves Cold Dishes as well as Hot Dishes and it is not unusual to order 5-6 different types from each group...

This was a Cold Dish - wood fungus with shrimps and chicken fillet...really tasty!

Another Cold Dish - slices of Pork Belly in some spicy & sour gravy...and a layer of chilli oil! Despite the "fatty" look, the pork slices were surprisingly refreshing and not at all "jelak"!
Guess what this green dish is?! It's actually Cold Taufoo with Shrimps - they must have added some kinda vegetable juice to the beancurd. Needless to say, this was very light and whetted our appetitite...
Duck is vastly popular in Shanghai - they serve it in every which way and all parts of the duck are used! We had this Braised Duck - the gravy were slightly spicy and sourish - full of flavours!
This Boneless Pomfret was fried - crispy skin and soft juicy fillet inside. It was very fresh and was a firm favourite among us.
The Braised Lamb came in a hot claypot... perfect for the chilly night. The lean cuts with soft chewy skin had been braised to yummy tenderness in some chinese spices and herbs - these would have gone well with white rice. However, I noticed most people in the restaurants there don't eat white rice with the dishes. White rice is only served upon request.You must be wondering what this super-green glob of stuff is?? Haha... it was our dessert! It's actually mashed green beans cooked in syrup. It was a tad too sweet - we couldn't finish this as we were already fully loaded with all the cold and hot dishes ordered!
Day 1 of my trip in Shanghai really ended on a sweet note, yeah! We went back to my friend, CH's lovely apartment, fully satiated for the day. We were looking forward to the following day - a daytrip to Hangzhou. Stay tuned for my next post!

13 comments:

J2Kfm said...

WOW .... so much food, and only the 1st day?!! that's great!

cant wait for the remaining 6 days!

SimpleGirl said...

literately drinking soup from the bao...i want to try that

PureGlutton said...

J2Kfm: Yeah, it was feasting time for me in Shanghai, LOL!

PureGlutton said...

SimpleGirl: Yeah, there was lots of hot soup in the bao - have to sip very slowly!

thenomadGourmand said...

nx post nx post! quick!! such and interestin trip!!

PureGlutton said...

Hi Nomad! *grin* 2nd post is up for your viewing pleasure! :-))

gill gill said...

wahhh....wonderful shanghai food. once you've been shanghai and i believe, malaysia dragon-i cant bit the local china cuisine. (no place to stand)lol

terri@adailyobsession said...

so much food n u must hav enjoyed the trip. mustn't let my hub see this--he'd fly to shanghai. did u witness any quarrels there?? we did everyday while we were there, every trip lol

550ml jar of faith said...

This is so awesome! I'm literally drinking in your Shanghai post... I almost moved there for work last year, but didn't and now I am just realizing what I'm missing out on!! Gahhhh!!

PureGlutton said...

gill gill: yes you are right - shanghai is XLB country, LOL! and the cuisine there is so very different from what we get here!

PureGlutton said...

terri: yeah, most of the people there talk very loudly but they're not actually quarrelling - they are JUST LOUD!

PureGlutton said...

550ml: Hehe...shanghai would have been a good exposure, if not in terms of work, then certainly in terms of FOOD, haha!

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