Monday, June 28, 2010

First Food in Shanghai

Arrived at the Holiday Inn Shanghai West at 6pm and the first thing I needed was to get my grub on. Unfortunately the hotel was an hour away from the center of the city so the food options were limited - things you need to worry about when booking a tour. Don’t worry my dudes and dudettes, we stayed in the center of the city later on in the tour so I definitely will turn in my full debriefing of true Shanghai food. Any who, we ended up hitting this neighborhood Hunan joint where there were loads of business people eating and getting completely hammered playing drinking games. The food I found was good, but oddly enough things you can find back in the States. Hunan food is slightly spicy, but with some sweetness – think Kung Pao chicken but with way more flavor. One thing you’ll notice is everyone smokes in China even in restaurants so it’s a pretty big pain in the ars. Still a fun way to start our eating journey - familiar but still better than the stuff back home.

Our Menu
Kung Shing Tsai *
Basically, sautéed water spinach (?) in garlic and loads of oil. Pretty good, but the ones in our fave Jersey City Vietnamese place Nha Trang are much tastier.

Spicy Beef in Hot Pot with Szechuan Peppers (no idea what this was called) *
The first thing you notice about Szechuan Peppers is how much more floral they are compared to bell peppers and even the peppers from Mexico. It has this nice combo of floral flavors, subtle sweetness, then mild heat. Pretty fun stuff, but the beef with odd bits was a wee bit too tough.

Pee Dan **
Basically marinated egg (thousand year old) with some thin, but sweet soy sauce. They use the same Szechuan style bell peppers which brings out this floral, sweet, plus heat thing. Really fun with white rice.

Rating System

--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

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