Thursday, 25 June 2009

Shanghai - dumplings for breakfast

Shanghai, after arriving here on Tuesday late afternoon and the worst cab ride in the world, today is the first real chance we are able to look at what this city has to offer in the way of food. We are up early after shaking off the jet lag and ready for breakfast, we are met by our tour guide and translator Min Min.

We head off downtown looking for the famous Jia Jia Tang Bao to try their xiaolongbao [ soup dumplings]. The store opens at 6am ready for the morning rush for this traditional Shanghai speciality. Most would argue that these are the best soup dumplings that you can get, so we decide to try the menu, but not before Chung Yin joins the kitchen to make our dumplings, which seems to go down well, although I'm not sure if he would get the job.
The speed in which they turn out these small parcels is incredible, the dough is made just from flour and water the days batch is made at 5am every day, which i am told they will have sold out by mid afternoon.

After 5 minutes we are ushered to sit at one of the tables where are order is being laid out, we have a total of 5 types of dumpling which include pork, pork and salty duck egg and pork with river crab.
So time to tuck in, we start with the pork dumpling that is dipped into a light vinegar, as you bite into the dumpling you have to be careful not to get covered in hot soup, the flavour is good. It is when you try the pork and crab that you really know what these little parcels are all about. this is all washed down with a soup of chicken and ducks blood.

After our fill of these wonderful dumplings we decide to cross the road to try Yangs fried dumpling shop, another speciality within Shanghai, we take a few photos and purchase some of these larger style dumpling for our journey across town to Tesco, my first store visit in Asia.

We arrive at the Changning store one of the medium size operations within the city, as you enter it is much like any other in the empire, but on closer inspection it is a totally different. Catering very much to the Asian market, from wide selection of tofu fresh and ambient, Asian pickles, ducks tongue, & chicken feet to name a few, walking along the fresh counters you will find steamed dumplings, noodle/ salad bar & a fish counter that includes live fish, eels and Frogs.

As we progress around the grocery Asles we manage to find some good examples of noodle ready meals, sauces and marinades, stir fry additions, cake and desserts.

Only one problem with shopping here the trolley is to small, most Shanghainese shop daily so the trolley has been down sized.

Next up will be lunch at Baulou in the french concession Quarter

On the menu

Braised shredded eel
stir fry shrimp and ginger
Crab with tofu Noodles
Salted chicken

Hot and sour soup

We finish off our day with Dinner joined By April and Dan at another french concession restaurant the Victorian Home ,a traditional Shanghai Restaurant

Next up on schedule is Hangzhou and West Lake.

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