Food in China Pt 2 - China

I've a bit of a dodgy stomach today...suspect I ate something dodgy yesterday and I'm paying the price now. Naturally, the best cure for food poisoning is to look at photos of delicious food and post them on my blog. My logic may be flawed and I may live to regret this, but I'll chance it anyway.

In case you missed it, here's some of the food I had while in Hong Kong. There're plenty of pretty pictures for you to look at. Go on, you know you want to...

Here's my culinary China adventure:

While going through my photos, I've come to realise that (strangely) I didn't take as many photos of the food I had on the Mainland as I thought I did. One could almost say I was on a a diet while travelling on the Mainland which I strongly veto. I did anything but diet while visiting Hangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. One could even go as far as say that I ate enough food to keep me happy for two weeks while in Shanghai - I seriously thought I'd burst and I blame the hubby (the fish) for not stopping me but in fact encouraging me in a way...

Anyway, less talk, more photos.

Not food but it was seriously hot in China. I was permanently carrying at least one water bottle around with me. This photo was taken in Beihai Park, Beijing, by the way, and I love this place.

Beijing breakfast. Kiwi juice, hot tea, fruits, steamed food, noodles and rice. Out of all the hotels I stayed in the breakfast in Beijing was probably the best in terms of taste and variety. Then again I'm not really sure whether eating four bowls of watermelons qualifies as having sampled the breakfast at a Hong Kong hotel.

Lemon tea at the only Western place I visited while in China. Costa at Beijing airport. I chilled there for a while before going through security and to delay having to go through immigration...I just didn't feel like saying goodbye to China.

I had to console myself with a muffin to convince myself I had the strength to leave my fish in China. I'm surprised I didn't burst into tears at immigration...should've begged them to let me stay and return to Shanghai for another couple of weeks. The tourist visa does allow me to stay for up to three months...

Less than two days after leaving Hong Kong I got a serious craving for Cantonese food. After an hour long search for the a suitable restaurant I ended up somewhere near the the Botanical Gardens in Hangzhou. My tour guide assured me that the restaurant served Cantonese style food, so I ordered away. The Chinglish in the menu was incomprehensible so I based my order on pretty pictures and stuck to dishes which included familiar Chinese characters. Apart from the rice the food that ended up on my table wasn't at all what I'd ordered and the dishes also lacked their distinct Cantonese style flavour. Disappointing.

Yum! Despite asking my first Chinese teacher's hubby for the name of the dish, I can't recall it now. Still, couldn't get enough of it.

Before coming to China, I had no idea that simple cucumbers could taste so good. This dish was served cold and it was seriously delicious and refreshing.

The menu informed us that tea's English name is "mum" tea. Both my big brother and I were baffled but my big brother (my first Chinese's teacher's hubby) recognised the type of tea after sampling it. The tea happened to be simple chrysanthemum tea (Chinese: 菊花茶; Pinyin: júhuā chá).

Okay, so this isn't food but seriously people, there is nothing better than a bottle of fresh water after climbing the Great Wall of China.

Welcome to Hangzhou, this is what my hotel welcomed me with.  I must admit that I stuck to the free tea and water...the instant noodles, Hangzhou tea, Evian water and various other goodies were all decidedly overpriced.

Sometimes a gal just needs something simple such as lightly fried rice with veggies and egg. Dinner for one in Hangzhou accompanied by a random Jay Chou movie I found on the TV.

Birthday lunch in Shanghai. Loads of dumplings, Hot & Sour soup and some plain orange juice. As you can see, I look pretty happy. My fish impressed me when he remembered that I love Hot & Sour soup (I'd only mentioned it once!).

"Will you stop looking at the camera and make your birthday wish!" - My fish tried so hard to snap a decent photo but I had the giggles so it took him about five attempts plus to get a good shot. Hey, what can I say! I didn't want to take my eyes of my handsome man.

More birthday dumplings!

Starter. Breaded, fried fish with a delicious sweet and sour sauce. I almost gorged on this and was slightly disappointed when my fish told me he had ordered a bunch of other dishes. I'd would have been content with say six or eight portions of the above!

Happy 25th Birthday! Up-close photo of the birthday cake, a delightful light cake with loads of fruit and grated coconut. According to the sign in the shop the cake's name is "White Love". Aww, how sweet.

A feast! My last dinner in Beijing before leaving. I went out with my second mum and my big brother. There was Peking Duck!

Beijing style steamed 锅贴 (guōtiē), the restaurant we went to is famous for them. Sadly I have no idea where the restaurant is or what it's name is. Fail. Yes, I know.

Peking duck style wraps, only these came with egg, fish and salad. Yum!

Lightly cooked cabbage in a salty/sour soy based sauce. Couldn't get enough of it. My second mama had to distract me with Peking duck wraps!

You can't go to Beijing and not eat Peking Duck, it's just wrong. This was a treat, truly delicious. Also, the kitchen were they made the Peking duck was right next to our table. My second mama and I went to watch and the chefs put on a bit of a show for the pretty laowai girl (or so one of them said).

Wraps and filling for the Peking Duck. Yum!

This came as a starter of sorts. Some sort of mysterious fruit, covered in yummy, fruity sauce. I don't recommend the white sauce, it taste kind off odd.

Soup. No idea what my big brother ordered there but it was kinda good. I presume the brown bits in there were fish but I couldn't be sure.

We had several trays with 锅贴 on the table, all with different fillings. When I asked what filling these had, I got told off by my big brother. He politely reminded me that he knew that I knew the characters. I do know the characters. Put my foot right in, I tell you.

More  chrysanthemum tea, perfect after a large dinner. The tea made sure my stomach was a happy camper.

A refreshing fruit concoction with ice and loads of lime. Perfect drink to sip while strolling around Beijing. Made the heat bearable.  

Sesame bread. Yes, I totally made that name up. I asked my big brother what these things are called but I forgot - bad me.

More cucumber. Cold. Delicious. Yum.

Let's have some more tea, shall we?

Strictly speaking this isn't food. This is Traditional Chinese Medicine, but some of this is used to make herbal tea so I'm adding this to my food post.