Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shanghai Tea House & Food

I'm posting a few more photos of our trip, if you don't mind.

The top one is of the Huxingting Tea House, where we spent a pleasant hour sipping Chinese tea and eating traditional snacks. The tea house is situated in the heart of Old Town, on an island in the middle of an ornamental lake. From the bridge that leads to the tea house, we watched big bright orange carp swimming in the lake.

The second photo shows the tea I drank — the traditional green variety, with very large leaves. It was a mouthful! It took practice, but I eventually learned how to drink loose tea without swallowing all of the leaves. By the end of the trip, I was quite accomplished.

The snacks that accompanied our tea are in the third photo, and included thousand-year eggs, salted almonds and gummy fruit candies possibly made from lichees.

We were lucky to eat many delicious meals in Shanghai, and began every day by eating breakfast at our hotel, where we could choose from Chinese or Western style dishes. I often ate duck, congee, thousand-year eggs, coconut in coconut milk and — best of all— Shanghai steamed buns, filled with all sorts of good things: barbecued pork, shrimp or red beans. Very tasty!

There were a few items on restaurant menus that I wish I had been brave enough to try, but will have to save for my next trip to China. They included: bullfrog, duck's lips, pig intestines and many other such delicacies. I know that my brother, who could best Anthony Bourdain in an eating contest, would gladly have sampled everything. He will be deeply disappointed in me, I'm sure. Next time!

And there will be a next time. I hope to return to China in the not-too-distant future and see Bejing and Xian, and other cities that have a long, distinguished history. Shanghai is like modern cities in Canada that are only a few hundred years old, while Bejing is more like historic cities in Europe, with their far-reaching past. 

I am very grateful to have had my first glimpse of China.

1 comment:

Tan said...

Wow... the pictures are amazing. And I think you were brave just to try the eggs! (Um... they're not really 1000 years old, right?)