I’m in Shanghai on a special assignment for a month, and today is the first day of my Shanghai adventures. I arrive at the gorgeous serviced apartment which happens to overlook very glamorous but busy Haui Hai Road , reminiscent of Knightsbridge in london. The view from my window is Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Cartier – Diva likes being surrounded by designer fabulosity!
I discover that neither facebook or twitter can be accessed from my computer, apparently the Chinese government dislikes them even more than they dislike google (which is accessible) In an effort to defeat jet lag, I go for a stroll down Haui Hai Road. Shanghai appears to be a bustling metropolis with multicultural flair, I see locals and tourists in almost equal numbers here. The youth of Shanghai are beautiful, fashionable, social and super trendy. They also appear to have lots of disposable income, many are carrying shopping bags from Gucci, Coach and Ermenegildo Zegna.
The city is an interesting mix of both quaintness and modernization with its sky scrapers and tea rooms, designer stores and small local stalls, people – old and traditional as well as young and affluent, you cant help but be reminded of China’s history and its emerging power and wealth.
The smell of fried rice wafts through the air and as usual, the foodie in me is in search of authentic local cuisine. I find a restaurant called Fu Lin Xaun which is occupied primarily with locals, which i take to be a sign of the quality and authenticity of the food. Navigating the menu was an interesting experience. Ok maybe it was a little too authentic for me, the scary dishes included,
- Roast chicken served with its head ( I cant look the animal I will eat in the eye!)
- Ox intestines with ginger and scallions (YUKKKKKK, even ginger and spring onions cant disguise how bad this sounds)
- Chopped fish head with black bean sauce (really?)
- Goose head with Ox tripe in herbal sauce and many more equally stomach churning dishes (combining two gross things together in herbal sauce doesn’t make them better!)
- Ambiguous dishes that claimed to be beef (I wasn’t taking the risk!)
I’m usually very adventurous with food but tonight, intimidated by the menu, I decide to keep it simple and go for dim sum and noodles. Plain noodles with beansprouts and onions, perfectly stir fried and seasoned, steamed shrimp dumplings with delicious minced shrimp bbq pork in sweet puff pastry that smells like desert and melts in your mouth – All were super yumm! Sometimes simplicity is best especially after 13 hour flight and no sleep for 2 days.
Looking forward to tomorrow when I go to work in our office and start learning first hand about the genomics landscape here in China.