Friday, May 30, 2008

Snacking in Shanghai II

My last day in Shanghai, I was determined to try as much food as possible in three hours before leaving for the airport.

The first place I stopped was named Wu Da Niang, a place that was popular for buns. These are the famous white flour buns stuffed with either something savoury or sweet. I noticed that people were queueing up. I went to look and there was a young girl asking the customers which bun they wanted. They had about 5 different types. I, of course, had no clue what was inside them since everything was written in Chinese. I just guessed and used the power of finger pointing again. Luckily, I have been eating these kind of buns for long time and have a good feeling what the buns are stuffed with. If the top of the bun looks wrinkled, then it has something savoury. If the top of the bun is smooth, then normally it has something sweet. So, I pointed at a wrinkled bun and I was right, it was stuffed with steamed minced pork. Yummy.

The second place was a 'cool' place. Since, most of the people queue were young teens. Since, I am young at heart, I needed to try this snack. You choose your topping, from red beans, mung beans, or sago. You get a big green cup full of ice and coconut milk, then the young girl scoops up your choice of topping and puts it/ them on top of the ice.

I chose the sweet mung beans only. I mixed all the ingredients together and waited a bit for the ice to melt. It was a refreshing and cool snack. Actually, the cup was huge, I barely could finish the entire snack. However, I hate things to go to waste.

The third place was a very unique and lovely place. On the side of the street, I saw a woman open a bamboo lid and from the huge vapours of steam appeared the most lovely set of dumplings. What was unique about these dumplings were that they were stuffed with sticky rice and pork. Not only did they look heavenly, they tasted wonderful. The texture was not what you are used when you eat dumplings. The sticky rice adds texture and a different senstation when eating them.

The fourth place was a sight to behold. There were so many people surrounding the place, I was wondering what was going on. To my amazment, it was a snack place, set up like you were buying a train ticket. A kiosk like place, with huge glass windows and little holes in the windows where you shout your oder and where you pick up your order. The women taking your order were all in white and wearing masks for hygene. I could not believe the choices of foods. Was I in heaven? It was a mix of savoury and sweet snacks. I wanted something sweet, so I pointed to a green looking blob. Imagine those blob toys, that you throw on the wall or floor and they come back to form. This green snack was like that toy. The texture was like eating a sticky jelly. It was stuffed with sweet red bean. I am sure it is still sitting in my stomach.

The fifth & final place was something you see a lot in Shanghai. I needed to wash down all the things I have been eating. So, I stopped at a tea shop. But this is no ordinary tea shop. They are like Starbucks, but only serve hundred type of teas, cold or hot. The Chinese love their tea and this place specialised in tea with milk. The strange name for this tea booth was Brick.

You can see in the photo on the right, the menu went on and on and on. It took a while for people to decided (myself included) what they wanted. You could choose, I ended up choosing a cold ginger tea with milk. The tea is made then put into a plastic cup which is then put into a maching that laminates the top. Then you stick your straw through the lamination. It was very tastful and what I needed to wash down everything I ate so far. Time was running out and I was getting hungry for lunch. My nexty post will be the place I found for my last lunch in Shanghai.

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