Came back from Shanghai almost a month now. First time to China and although, I did have quite a huge culture shock, the FOOD was AMAZING! How come we don't get such good stuff in Singapore? Even if we do, we have to pay big bucks for it. The most memorable meal was the famous Shanghai hairy crab dinner! I know the fun is in the breaking of the shell, peeling of the crabmeat and all but I had as much fun eating crabs that were all peeled without getting my fingers dirty! Besides being absolutely yummy, the food bill came to approx. SGD 300! and that was only for 3 of us. By China standards, I thought that was freaking expensive but according to my Dad, each of us were eating close to 6 crabs each so I guess it doesn't sound as exp as I thought. I need to see a doctor though although I'm afraid I have to put off high cholestrol food. The roe (my favourite part) was so smooth and wonderfully sinful. There were 4 dishes served in total. First was the crab claws, second was the legs fried with asparagus, third was the roe stir fried with crab meat and the last and the deadliest was just roe with fen pi (it's like transparent kway tiao).
There were so many other places that we tried like Mei Long Zhen, an old standing traditional Shanghai restaurant. The food was delicious. Even my mum's sharp tastebuds couldn't tell what they used to cook the pork. You could taste the crab stock in the stewed tofu, the meat from the Shi Zi Tou (Lion's head which is also big meat ball) was crunchy and flavourful, the vegetables were soft yet didn't lose its colour during the cooking process. I give this restaurant 5 stars; 6 even if I had to.
Also went to a modern Shanghai restaurant called Yu Yuan. Ri Bo Lang in Cheng Huang Miao paled in comparison to the 2 and is said to have served famous celebrities. Their Fried Pork Ribs, Xue Cai Nian Gao and Stewed Pork were good though.
Needless to say, I had Xiao Long Bao almost everyday. Interestingly enough, every Xiao Long Bao tasted different. Had the most memorable on at Ding Tai Feng. I tried the Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao and was bowled over by the soup that was inside the dumpling. The dumplings in Din Tai Feng Shanghai are so much better, bigger and tastier than the one in its SG branch. Not to mention, the menu's more extensive too. Went to the famous Xiao Long Bao place called Nan Xiang at Cheng Huang Miao too. There's like 3 floors serving that stuff. Had a Tang Bao for the first time in my life. It's actually like this huge Xiao Long Bao that has only bits of crab meat and roe and lots of soup in it. You have to drink the soup through a straw! Had a sotong ball that was wrapped with soup and crab roe on the inside too. Where in Singapore can you find this??!!
My parents and I were basically stuffing our mouths the whole time. When we saw interesting stuff along the street, we would buy them just to try it out. A big pao is like what 20 cents! How to not buy! My mum went crazy cos she's a big pao fan. Imagine we tried like 4 different types of pao at 8am in the morning. I think we need to learn the word 'moderation'. Would love to go back there again or maybe Beijing. Erm, I need to think about going to those rural parts though cos I need to get over the culture shock but it'd be some time from now anyways.