Friday, 26 June 2009
We start our tour on Henfeng street where our first stop is with one of the many candy makers, watching this small store produce a hand beaten Peanut candy & Dragons Beard which can only be described as a hard chewy candyfloss. This delicate product is hand pulled and formed with each sweet that is created is exactly the same.
After purchasing some of each we tuck in, the peanut candy is perfect, good crunchy texture and just the right amount of sugar, The dragons beard on the other hand is a acquired taste, very sweet.
Moving on we come across what can only be described as a deli for dried and cured meats, on entering the store the aroma was not for the faint hearted, Legs of dried pork, hanging and thrown into a display in the window, none of which looked like it had moved for months., whole and portioned duck and other meats is all that it could be described as, moving along the counter and after seeing the preparation area decided to move swiftly along.
We then head of round to Baochu road where we find a small shop selling some small bread type products, we decide to try, first up was a what can only be described as bread omelet with ham. We decide this is not enough and without wasting any more time Chung Yin is in the kitchen asking to make some of the other products.
Happily they agree to have a new member of staff and he gets to work, he starts with the Shou Zhua Bing, which translates to use your hands, this starts off as a dough ball and is rolled out and filled with potato, easier than it looks as chung Yin finds out, difficulty being that the dough is very thin. After a couple of attempts they are happy to put his effort on the griddle. We then decide to try the Yong Kang Mai Bing, this is very similar to an Indian Paratha bread but has vegetables running through the base dough. Easier to make ,this is on the griddle in a few moments with both Chung Yin and the girl looking very happy with themselves, she comments that she is pleased he is a fast learner. We wait a few moments before both items are ready, time for the tasting, the Shou Zhua Bing, is fantastic, crispy outside and soft cooked string potato is a great combination. The Yong Kang again would make a great accompaniment to any Chinese dish as does the naan bread to a curry.
All washed down with a sweet canned herbal tea.
We move on further down this street that is a mass of restaurants and streetfood vendors, which having just finished the snacks and lunch decide to visit West lake to walk of some of the few pounds consumed. Dinner at some of the West lake restaurants are supposed to be some of the best in the area, with some regional specialities, which we decide to go for.
Restaurant - Zhiew Guan Wei Zhuang
Jin Jiang Xaio Jin Gua - small cucumber with sweet bean sauce
Zhen Jiang Xaio ron -spiced pork terrine
Xi Liu Nui ron geng -west lake beef soup
Xi Lu Cu Yu - west lake vinegar fish
Huo Mi xuan Ya-smoked duck with glutenous rice
San Xian mao Er duo- Cat ear shaped pasta boiled with three delicacies
Li Li Cheng Xiang Xiao Jing Long- large river prawns with specific sauce- chillies, peppers, spring onions, sesame seeds, minced pork & soy
Each dish was the best food we have had since we have been here but the highlights for both of us were the river prawns especially the sauce, and the west lake vinegar fish.
After a day which started out with a candy and finished with River Prawns it was time to catch the train back to Shanghai. Hangzhou is a place that offers some of the tastiest cuisine to date on this trip and a must see for any visitor to Shanghai