Chapter 56: Missing Hangzhou flavor in Shanghai | Speaking of China

8 Responses

  1. Melissa
    Melissa April 15, 2010 at 7:11 am | | Reply

    This makes me laugh because it reminds me of the best food I had in Guatemala. Oddly enough it was a Chinese restaurant. Of course, it was American style Chinese and it was soooooo good. We were on a tight budget traveling through the country for three weeks, so we hadn’t really been able to do much eating out. At the same time, Guatemala isn’t exactly known for their gourmet dining. Their mainstays are corn tortillas and black beans. Anyway, my husband and I always laugh because we remember that Chinese meal being the best of three weeks. I told my hubby that when we go back I want my first stop to be that same restaurant. I wonder… are there Mexican food restaurants in China and are the owners really from Mexico? Do they speak Chinese? I’m not sure why it was so hard for me to comprehend that in Guatemala. People really from China, making Chinese food “our way” and speaking Spanish. I guess it’s all part of reminding myself that there is more to the world than the US.

  2. Jessica
    Jessica April 15, 2010 at 8:19 am | | Reply

    Melissa — there are practically no Mexican restaurants in China, and when there are (we have a few, 2 I think, in Beijing anyhow, and I imagine probably Shanghai) they are really only very very pale imitations of the real thing and worse, they’re wickedly expensive. As someone who spent 7 years of my life in Texas, I lament the lack of Mexican food in China on a weekly basis at least.

    Jocelyn when we moved to Beijing we really missed Kunming food, which is pretty distinctive with its own flavors and special dishes. Then we moved to the neighborhood where we live now and found not one but 2 Yunnanese places on our street! Still though there are some dishes that even the Yunnanese places here don’t have, and the ones that they do have just aren’t the same. When we went back to Kunming for a visit we loaded up on our favorites. Another thing I miss about Kunming is the dialect. After so many years there I was really used to hearing Yunnanese and I swear when I first got to Beijing, where the putonghua is technically supposed to be better, I felt like a beginner all over again because I found the Beijing accent so hard to understand. Folks in Beijing felt the same way about my own Southwestern-influenced putonghua and would often ask me to repeat myself, something which never ever happened in Kunming! When we went back home to visit hearing that rough around the edges Kunming-hua again for the first time (which was, afterall, the namesake of my blog!) was like music to my ears. 😀
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Mao Zedong and Hu Jintao =-.

  3. globalgal
    globalgal April 19, 2010 at 12:54 am | | Reply

    Our first year in China we lived at the Shijiazhuang airport, 40km from the city, literally surrounded by cornfields. Our dining options were soooo limited. We lived in a hotel, with no kitchen facilities and so we ate out practically all our meals, except breakfast. There was one really sketchy little food joint next to the airport terminal that offered food and a small assortment of groceries, we called it the “Kwik-E-Mart.” The cleanliness and hygiene left much to be desired, but man did we love this place. They had three small private rooms, but we always sat outside at plastic tables (in the Winter months we’d crowd inside one of the small rooms.) My husband and I ate at least one meal here everyday for a year! The food was very basic and not even all the great, but we loved it, and it was better than our school’s canteen. Our students loved to tell us the Kwik-E-Mart was too dirty for us to eat there, but after a while we started seeing them eating there, too. (It remains the only restaurant that I’ve eaten at repeatedly where I never got ill, not once.)

    Our Mandarin at the time was pretty lousy, so in the beginning we ate a lot of fish-fragrant pork (our fave dish at the time), but over the weeks the cook decided to just make whatever he thought we’d like, mostly pork & veggie dishes. Then one day he brought out a plate of deep-fried mushrooms. Lightly breaded, they were incredibly flavorful and we began asking for them everyday. To this day I think about those mushrooms with longing. After moving to Shandong Province, we’ve never been able to recreate the deep-fried mushroom experience. We can get lots of delicious deep-fried squid, and lots of delicious stir-fried mushroom dishes, but not deep-fried mushrooms. I miss them!
    .-= globalgal´s last blog ..Weekly Round-Up =-.

  4. joey
    joey May 21, 2010 at 2:03 am | | Reply

    ,im a hangzhou college shtdent,hangzhou welcome u,enjoy ur life here

  5. Alyson
    Alyson July 7, 2011 at 12:19 am | | Reply

    Can I ask what the restaurant is called in Chinese? I’m living in Hangzhou right now and would love to go. 🙂

Leave a Reply