As people love plastic items in general so do they love their plastic straws. Yoghurt at breakfast is sucked through a tiny straw that's poked through the lid, even though it doesn't really work that way and everyone struggles to punch it in. When you order or buy something to drink they proceed to get out a straw and put it in the bottle for you. If you decline people act like you misunderstood something and you have to insist that you ain't gonna need that.
Chinese breakfast seems weird to me, because it's just the same stuff they eat all day. Steamed vegetables, dumplings, cooked meat, rice, fried noodles, the whole ordeal. Sometimes even intestines. I don't think they consider the time of day at all when eating.
Some hotels offer "Western breakfast", that would be additional cold salad and toast. And cereals. In Guiyang I had to eat them out of a cup, because there weren't any bowl shaped containers around and in Xian they only offer hot milk for it. Asked a waitress and she was so nice as to fetch a box of fresh milk and get it out for me every morning when I arrived at the eatery.
After all the only Western food I had in the past three weeks were two bottles of Sprite or whatever it's called here, a cup of Fanta, two Snickers and some Oreos.
I read from a lot of foreigners that they've gotten some crave for non-Chinese food after a week or so and resorted to diners offering such. Get the fuck outta here, this food is way more awesome and diverse than everything you could get on that other hemisphere. It's just not that easy to determine what to order if you can't read the menu. Or you're just too posh to recognize that the best places to eat here are looking exactly like the ones you should avoid at home :D
There's but two things I'd really miss here, though. Real bread, obviously. Like something to chew on. You don't really utilize your teeth for 97% of the food here. And of course beer – Pilsner, please. Shit here is like water, noticed that during the concert in Chengdu. Had three bottles and it didn't do anything to me so I had to resort to longdrinks.
Sadly didn't get around to have me some of the famous hot pot when I was in Sichuan, so I hit the first one I saw on my first evening in Xian. And made a total fool of myself %) All the ones I saw before had you stick your items on some spikes and put them into the boiling oil, pull em out some time later and enjoy them. This was different in that you just loosely threw our stuff in (I ordered lotus root, tofu, yams, mushroom, potato – and beef which they forgot) and fish it out with your chopsticks. Didn't have any problems whatsoever handling the sticks until this meal and haven't had any since, but all the shit I had was cut thin and flat and very much impossible to get out the pot again. Even more so when it was super oily. So after watching me struggle the helpful waiter gave me lots of advice and instructions – fruitless – and in the end really showed the patience to stand by my side and get all the stuff out for me. One by one. I did manage the shrooms by myself, though. And then he even declined a tip …
After the spoiled hot pot experience it was still raining heavily on my first day in Xian, but I didn't want to go to bed, yet so I stopped by in a neat whisky bar. Got myself a double on the rock when one of the guys working there struck a conversation with me. He goes by the name Fox, really nice dude. Told me he worked at a hostel for quite a while and was super suprised when I told him where I was from. "None of the Germans I've met were smiling!" (= After some chatting he asked me if I've been out to see the Mid-Autumn Festival (The one I've heard about earlier) and told me that it's been going on the night before. People take into the streets and dance with large dragon figures and all that good stuff, aah man, I missed it! But also there's the tradition of buying these moon cakes for your family and close friends and eat them together to wish each other luck and such. I've seen a lot of ads of those on the subway, didn't give it any further thought, of course. So he went to the back and brought out a box of these! :D
The cakes are very heavy so it stuffs you up real fast. They're filled with some fruity substance, and they actually taste very good!
These were great, just picked one of the dumpling images from the menu and scored a very good filling. If I had to guess it was small bricks of tofu, minced meat, spinache, onions and chives amongst others. If the waiters are afraid the sauce is too hot for you, because you only dip it in halfway, they often get you another one: 100% garlic – just as good!
This was some weird wrap-thingy with chicken and a witless salad filling topped with regular ketchup. 0/10 would buy again.
Got this bread-like waffle with chives and stuff from the same guy, was way better.
This was a bigger serving than it seems and really delicious. Stirred egg, cold tomatoes and green stuff and super broad noodles. Check out that tiny-ass gone-in-two-gulps plastic cup they gave me for the beer ;D
This was kinda interesting, the left bowl was filled with cold seedlings and morchella, the right one had dry, fried noodles with bacon as crispy as egg shell. Was good, though.
Love me some peanuts in about everything.
I present y'all: My new favourite ice cream! I braced myself for a big disappointment after picking this by the picture on the box, but I couldn't've been more happy to be in the wrong.
What you see here is just the tip of the iceberg. Inside the crispy strawberry-sprinkled white-chocolate coating the inner workings start off with some semi-frozen Nimm2-like substance, later followed by a second stage of coating – chocolate with crunchy crisps – that surround a core of strawberry ice cream.
I often find myself getting carried away thinking of ways I could get a container of this through the customs at Hamburg port and up the Elbe.
Peanuts, hot kung pao, celery, endless stream of white tea, nuff said.
Can't even remember what's in this, but I do remember being fully satisfied and stuffed to the brim after indulging in it.
The hotel in Kunming didn't serve breakfast so I had to go out and see what's on the morning menu in the streets for the first time. Got this and it was really okay, some meaty filling in a yeast-or-whatever dumpling.
Weird image cause it looks kinda flat, but this actually had a huge heap of rice underneath. The joint I got this in was in Xian and you could hear someone singin in a Turkic language in the backroom. Made perfect sense with this dish, the combination and spices weren't like all the other food I had here, almost very familiar.
Spicy, good and topped off with Snow Beer. The looks you get when you decline a cup …
This was everything all at once. Dragon fruit, mango, several types of melon, lychee, three kinds of syrup on top and I don't know what else. But that wasn't even it. The bowl was first filled with crushed ice so you start out with a fruit salad that slowly turns into a slushy and becomes water-ice in the end. Quite fancy and refreshing.
And I suppose the two spoons were meant as a good intended hint :0
Mmmh, nothing to write home about. Other than people here don't seem to order drinks with their food and Fanta isn't Fanta at all.
Umm, well. It poured outside and my shoes were already dripping so I took my chance with the restaurant at the hotel. They actually had an app on a tablet with images to pick from and while I was waiting for my choice to arrive I noticed there was a wedding party going on in the other room. They had to escort a girl out who couldn't even stand up straight no more and several times men and adolescents roamed the area while chanting and navigating their path around the columns, that was actually fun to witness.
My dish then looked nothing like I remembered the picture. The rice had the firmness of old pudding and was speckled with parts of fried sausage. Tasted like an insult. "Ate" a quarter and left my money on the table.
The other night I ordered a basic rice and greenery dish when another guy sat behind me and we got into a conversation via his WeChat voice-to-text app. He then ordered this good stuff – with too spoons so I could also have some bites of the taste! Next day I went to the kitchen and showed them this image to get that same thing myself :D Thanks buddy!
You already know, it's good, hot, spicy noodles, peanuts, some other stuff and a nice broth to sip on on the side.
Fuck yeah, a potato thing! Didn't even need to think once before I headed over to the stand to grab one of these once I saw 'em.
Ooooh how wicked it felt when I discovered these things. And they had them right around my corner! The single very best breakfast replacement I've had over here! It was kinda like a bread-roll relative soaked in egg, sprinkled with cives.
Not too sure what kind of dough the lady fried there, but she assured me it's very good. Alright then :D It was filled with spinach and green stuff and it actually was good, apart from the heavy oil taste.
Last and least. I think I found that fucking jelly whale-barf shit I had back in Chengdu. So glad I got that experience over with.
Continued my random walk through the surrounding district and came upon this large wet market. Of course they offered a lot more than one could imagine and at the same time it didn't cross me as messy or smelly or anything in that direction at all.
Maybe a good opportunity for a fun fact: There's these huge posters everywhere entitled "Civilized Kunming". Thought that this was their slogan, but now I found out that it's actually about getting rewarded an official seal from the government. There's only three provincial capitals left that can't hold the title of being civilized, Kunming being one of them. From what I've caught on to so far it involves fighting triad crimes – you should see the posters encouraging that one, cleaning up the urban environment, banning fences and street vendors, guiding paths for the blind and apparently also closing down wet markets like this one.
Due to increasing popular demand I'll prepone my food dump. As with all the other pics I posted so far, these are raw preview files directly from the camera. They're not digitally "developed", yet, so the colors and especially the brightness values are a bit off.
So let's do this!
Fried corn pancake. Tasted good but way too large a serving to not get saturated by the oil after eating half of it.
As all things Sichuan the very good kind of very spicy. And curiously I couldn't tell if it's been just the right amount of coriander or it was a large amount but it tastes less annoying here.
Can recommend. Also free refills for the white tea.
This just had to be good. Wasn't. It was some kind of fried dough but tasted like drinking the frying oil while you had to really chew the shit like years old hard toffee. I gave it my best but only got through three of these.
TIL Kung Pao actually means chicken. The owner of the place told (Many use voice-to-text translation) me that my prime minister also just ate chicken 'here'. That's how I found out Angela's been to China again.
Fuck yeah Sichuan pepper, I'm all for it!
Morchella with what might've been rumen, wasn't sure, but it had significant grooves. Also chili that was way more flavory than hot.
Friggin enormous pot of noodle soup. Lots of cabbage, leek, kelp, and so hot and hot (Get your shit together, language!) that I walked out with a fucking blister inside my mouth! Still premium dish, though.
Decided to walk into a cafe to have some non-street-food desert.Turns out it was a very posh restaurant and waiter and waitress got super confused as to how to serve two pieces of cake at once – so extraordinary! Tiramisu didn't even look remotely like we know, tasted like eternal nothingness. Coffee was alright for Chinese standards, I guess. Costing around 10€ this was the most expensive dish I've had so far, by a factor of three.
I have no idea what this was. Got it in the tropical mountain forest where several women offered them for stair-weary folks on their way up to the monastery. It had a white-purplish peel that they nimbly chopped off with a small machete. Tasted really good, remotely like watery peach and had the consistency of, I can't tell, really. Somewhere in between unripe pear and a harder melon.
Just had to get one of these :D
I'm usually not very fond of duck, but alas I'm not nearly being as picky as at home, I gave it a go. LPT: When in Sichuan do as Sichuanese do. If someone offers you a fork or spoon to your dish, take it ;) At first I was like 'Nah thx, I can handle the chopsticks just well enough', but the waitress proceeded to show me how this is done. You use a fork to open up the dumpling-like pockets then fill in the ducky duck – mind the bone splinters – close it and enjoy. No shame in using a spoon for rice either.
First meal in Yunnan first time encountering ground beef. Still a bit hot, though not as spicy. Good stuff. The bowl to the right for once didn't contain tea, but very clear broth instead.
enjoying the blog, but definitely needs more food photos! hälsningar från Astrid också:
长胡子的老虎,茉莉花龙的继承人: Oi sann, hjertelig takk og hilsen tilbake! And I got you covered :D