What better way to spend the Chinese New Year… than in the heart of China! A couple of weeks ago I set off to join in the Chinese festivities as they celebrated the New Year in Shanghai. Whilst enjoying a long weekend of delicious local food and drink (and plenty of shopping), I can safely say it was a weekend I won’t forget!
Being a true foodie I love Chinese food, so I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to try some local dishes. On our first night we came across Man Yuan He Restaurant. Full of locals, we made the bold move to give it a go and where better to get into the spirit of the festivities! As we waited for a table in what appeared to be a giant aquarium of fish tanks, we watched as hectic chefs ran back and forth from the kitchen, diving in and out to catch what would be the next meal. Customers could literally see each and every process of their meal (needless to say I didn’t order any fish after this experience)!
Renowned for selling a ‘strange’ selection of local delicacies, such as boiled eggs soaked in tea (pretty pungent) to the more extreme offerings of household pets such as cat and dog, it soon became evident that ordering any dish in China is always a risk – but one worth taking (if you get it right!).
My advice to anyone who is thinking of experiencing the orient is that they would be well advised to visit a restaurant where the menu has pictures (as childish as it sounds, it may save you from being served fried turtle)!
I can however definitely recommend the Dim Sum (you will regret it if you don’t try it) and don’t overlook the vegetable dishes; they might be regarded as the less experimental of menu choices, but they are absolutely delicious!
On every trip I go on, I seem to learn a valuable lesson. This trip has taught me that cuisines can vary widely around the world and that a picture can speak a thousand words (which you will understand should you visit)! I enjoyed every minute exploring Shanghai, and I can highly recommend a trip to what is a fabulous city, brimming with beautiful culture and exotic (if not sometimes a little odd) dishes!
Next stop… Mexico!
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