Shanghai is to noodles as well Shanghai is to noodles (still trying no comparisons which is far more difficult than I thought-already making comparisons when I am trying to be aware of not doing that!)
Crab dumplings-little pockets of dough stuffed with hairy crab meat and a broth. How the broth gets injected, I don’t know. I was taught to eat it by a friend. Pierce the dough with your teeth and suck out the super hot broth while it is still super hot without burning your mouth. There’s a learning process here about the burning part that I didn’t get a hang of. Thoroughly drained, dump the dumpling in soy and enjoy.
Noodle soup with mushrooms in the Yufo Temple- see despite my rant, I did buy something there. Freshly made slender noodles (almost all noodles in Shanghai are made fresh) are placed in a bowl, broth is added and in my case a pile of cooked very earthy and thick mushrooms in their own sauce topped it off. Add chili sauce and slurp.
Gungbao chicken with noodles. I never asked but it appears the meal is pronounced in Chinese gungbao chikkin. Maybe I imagined that. Hot spicy peppery with peanuts over freshly noodles. With a side of greens that looked like steamed cilantro. My friend told me that Shanghai noodles are ever so slightly sweet. They are ever so good.
Shrimp wrapped in a crispy noodle wrapped in a wide steamed noodle. The best of both worlds, crispy and warm and chewy. This was in the way fashionable Xintiandi, an old village turned into, yes a quaint shopping paradise, with fusion style restaurants.
Shrimp and green onion in a flat crispy noodle in the same place. The middle plate was deep fried turnip. Did I mention the restaurant’s name was Zen?
Another noodle soup with fish and boiled red radishes (can you really do that) and daikon. Pick through the bones carefully and enjoy the combination of sweet, spicy, tart and fishy.
My last meal was rice with chicken covered with a ketchup sauce. Lesson learned, don’t stray from noodles in Shanghai and never order without a picture.
Okay, Shanghai has great croissants! I love French colonial legacies.
Last but not least, I spent almost two hours with a friend in his favorite tea shop sipping tea. It was a small shop with shelves of tea and one table for sampling. He goes there once a week to drink free tea and chat. The tea is made in small pots and each round is served in tiny bowls enough for a few sips. Water is added to the tea in the pot over and over, up to nine times. Each serving is subtly different in taste, intensity and smell. A special narrow cup is used at times to pour the tea so that you can smell the fragrance better.
This was a no comparison experience even though it would seem natural to do so. With each sip and tasting, what now?