The place is crowded so if you aren't a fan of crowds (May I remind you we're in China?) you'll either have to stomach it or stay away. I do not recommend the latter.
I was too busy chatting to my friends to stop and take pictures (yes, I know, shocking) so here are a few pictures curtesy of Google image search. I do not claim ownership, nor did I take the photos:
I can assure you that Nanluoguxiang is NOT that empty, there are moments where you can breathe but usually it's packed. The place is filled with small shops, little eateries, snack food, sweet food, coffee shops taken straight out of a Taiwanese movie and plenty of other goodies and surprises. It's a place to get lost in so bring some time.
We decided to start our day with some 烧烤 (grilled food), my friend personally picked the place and the boy did good. If my friend's and my recommendation isn't enough to convince you, you know it's good when people are already queuing half an hour before the restaurant opens. 烧烤 is fairly common here in Wuhan, especially in the summer...though it beats me way. I'm not so sure about Beijing.
Sadly I don't have the exact directions of the place so you'll just have to invite me up to Beijing and I'll take you there.
Here's a photo of their menu, which is entirely handwritten, drawn and decorated:
And here's the food, well some of it...we ate it faste than I managed to photograph. That's not ice cream in the bowl but mashed potatoes, quite possibly the most delicious mashed potatoes I've ever had the pleasure of eating.
Stuffed full with 烧烤 we aimlessly strolled around the place while trying to digest the food, then got distracted by a bunch of kittens in what appears to quite possibly have been a place to purchase kittens. We weren't sure but the little balls of fur were absolutely awesome. I almost went home with one.
Our digestive stroll didn't last very long, we, well okay I admit *I* got distracted by Taiwanese shaved ice (刨冰) and the portion of mango flavoured shaved ice and fresh watermelon pieces absolutely did not survive long enough for me to snap a photo with my phone. Neither did my friend's strawberry flavoured shaved ice with fresh cherries. Sorry! Do take my word for it though, it was freaking delicious and that's how I felt after I finished it.
We kind of got distracted by a long confusing walk around the Hutongs and made my feet ache badly and then got distracted by ducks because I mean who doesn't get distracted by ducks with babies and two adult ducks out on a romantic date!
What with all the excitement we fled the hot temperatures and cooled down with some mango juice:
Yes, I randomly smooched 王力宏 Wang Leehom's photo on a water bottle much to the amusement of my friends.
Because of my very important engagement with an extremely handsome Mr Wang we had an early dinner in a small restaurant nearby. I wanted to have noodles so my friend went out of his way to find a good place. He grabbed his phone, checked an app and five minutes later we were on our way. Yay to technology.
At the restaurant this happened:
|"MY WAY... To say the things he truly feels And not the words of one who kneels The record shows I took the blows And did it my way" Frank Sinatra - I love this song for more reasons than I care to mention here.|
But I know you, the only thing you care about is this: Old Beijing Noodles With Fried Bean Sauce 老北京炸酱面. There's also pork in the dish and the colour combination is somewhat perfect.
As if all that wasn't enough, the noodle shop has a cosy coffee shop upstairs famous for it's cheesecake which isn't necessarily something you associate with China.
My birthday cake and coffee:
And all I have to say to that is...
...a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
It was a fabulous day spend on the company of some fabulous people doing fabulous things. The evening was then spend in the fabulous company of one fabulous Mr Wang Leehom. Excuse me while I swoon on Cloud No Nine for a little while, you just go back to looking at the photos. Have fun!