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China, a Year of Dining


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#121 scamhi

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 07:09 PM

love the pictures and your descriptions of the food. Please keep posting in this thread.


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#122 Thanks for the Crepes

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:16 PM

Yes, thank you, basquecook!

 

I and many others are enjoying this vicarious culinary tour of China.

 

The odds of me ever traveling to China are extremely slim at this point in my life, so your sharing this is priceless to me.


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I want to move to another planet, with pure spring water.

 

This planet would have a global climate like Hawaii, California, Florida.

 

We'd raise perfect and abundant flora and fauna!

 

Want to come with?

 

 


#123 Kerry Beal

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:32 PM

The corn cake - I want to try the corn cake!


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#124 gfweb

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 09:34 PM

The corn cake - I want to try the corn cake!

 

Funny, of all the great looking stuff, the corn cake was what caught my eye too.


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#125 basquecook

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:13 AM

Lunch yesterday was great.. we went to a local place where they have bowls of food out.. You pick what you want and then they cook it up for you..  

 

Just one more reason why i like coming to China in the colder months. 

 

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beautiful pork dish

 

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greens and sea screw, was the translation.. some time of snail i would guess

 

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octopus in peppers with a spicy brown sauce

 

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this was is a classic homey dish.. julienned peppers cooked until soft with little bits of pork

 

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this is a very special dish we are told.. celery grows only in a few regions of China.. i love celery and love this dish.. celery with bits of tofu

 

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another one of those under flavored or subtly flavored egg and tomato soups. no clams this time 

 

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sausages and preserved salted ducks drying out..  winter good 

 

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#126 liuzhou

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:40 AM

 

sea screw, was the translation.. some time of snail i would guess

 

Yes. Sea snails.

 

One of the more common expressions for snail is 螺蛳. Screw is 螺丝. As you can see the first character is the same, and so, the term is often mistranslated. Snails are a huge specialty here in town - they are everywhere - and yet, half the places selling them get the Chinese wrong. 


Edited by liuzhou, 18 November 2014 - 01:41 AM.

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#127 Thanks for the Crepes

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 01:49 AM

The corn cakes are very intriguing; there's been a lot of interest in them. I posit that it's because they're approachable by Western standards. Looks like they are bound with maybe cornstarch, and very good on their own.

 

I would want to add a smidge of sauteed onion, and red pepper, hot or sweet, depending on your audience's heat index.

 

Again, thanks so much for this intimate glimpse into Chinese food, basquecook,  that so many of us will not be fortunate enough to experience in our lifetimes.


I want to move to another planet, with pure spring water.

 

This planet would have a global climate like Hawaii, California, Florida.

 

We'd raise perfect and abundant flora and fauna!

 

Want to come with?

 

 


#128 basquecook

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:06 AM

inner last night was hot pot. 

 

It was the type of place that serves individual hot pots..  It is nice as you can choose different bases according to your preference.   There was a tomato base, a fish base and i got the spicy base.

 

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Started with fish balls and meatballs..  I actually had my meatball fall off my chopsticks, hit the floor and roll about 20 feet away.  No one noticed, i played it cool but,  started singing "on top of spaghetti" to myself

 

 

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They also ordered these garlic oysters.. Love them.  
 
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the table in full swing. you can see tofu sheets on the bottom right. it was fairly meat centric, with a few vegetables.. but, lamb and pork were the main players. 
 
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This was interesting. crispy rice.  you let is soak and it didn't get overly soggy, well, it did eventually but, if you timed it correctly, it was a little soggy, a little crispy.  There were also these flogging bread balls that got super soggy and became like a noodle as well. 
 
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at the end of the meal, the people eating the tomato base had their soup base almost evaporate.  then the waitresses came over and cracked an egg into the hot pot, added some rice and made this sort of creamy rice mixture.. Really nice.. 
 
you can also see those little bread half balls in this photo. 
 
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For any New Yorker reading this,  i have yet to find a place in China that makes as good a hot pot as Happy Family Little Lamb in Flushing New York..  

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#129 basquecook

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:16 AM

The corn cakes are very intriguing; there's been a lot of interest in them. I posit that it's because they're approachable by Western standards. Looks like they are bound with maybe cornstarch, and very good on their own.

 

I would want to add a smidge of sauteed onion, and red pepper, hot or sweet, depending on your audience's heat index.

 

Again, thanks so much for this intimate glimpse into Chinese food, basquecook,  that so many of us will not be fortunate enough to experience in our lifetimes.

 

you know, i don't know your situation but, I think you should come to China.. My flight was like 1,000 dollars.. But, after you pay for the flight, which i have gotten as low as 800 dollars in recent years, it's not that expensive.. I am currently staying at a nice hotel in the center of Yangzhou for 28 dollars a night..   There are tons of tours and if you are willing to play charades and get lost a little bit, or not feel completely in control, you will turn out just fine..  

 

The world is getting much smaller these days.  I recently took a family vacation this summer to Tybee Island in Georgia and me and my family of three drove there from Brooklyn and I want to say, that vacation was more expensive than one i could spend in China or perhaps comparable.  

 

I have seen tour groups with retirees, i have seen young groups of travelers, i have met people traveling alone like myself.  People are so friendly here.  As someone who speaks very little chinese, who reads none, i get along very well when i am not with my hosts.  Sure there are some lonely moments but, in the end, i have had some pretty incredible experiences..  

 

If anything , i hope this motivates more people to come and visit China, or whatever foreign place that excites them.   


Edited by basquecook, 18 November 2014 - 02:27 AM.

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#130 basquecook

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 09:03 AM

lunch. 

 

clam soup with greens and wood ear mushrooms.. slight ginger back note.  but, the greens and the clams played well together.. a very clean soup.  

 

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large clams: this was just a piece of the clam

 

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some greens

 

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1000 year old quail eggs with pickled peppers.. i think this may be the hardest things to pick up with chopsticks..  the pickled peppers are the same that you would find in the red and green fish head stew

 

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these were sweet potatoes with a sugary crispy crust.. they were soft and on the inside. 

 

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fish: dark sauce with soy beans 

 

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a rare beef dish.. the beef, i couldn't place the part.. it was really chewy.. you chewed it up and the swallowed it.. it didn't break apart.. the soup was slightly spicy. there were clear bean thread noodles and cabbage.. the cabbage was my favorite part of the dish 

 

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lion head meatballs.. famous in yangzhou.. these are really delicate.. 

 

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not photographed but, we ended the meal with noodles in a garlic sauce..  really nice wheaty noodles..   i managed to not over eat..   really nice lunch.. i also didn't drink any beer.. a small caloric victory 


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#131 basquecook

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 09:04 AM

Dinner tonight.. we hit up a BBQ place that is known for their chicken wings.. 

 

the place is really tiny.. Zhangjiagang recently has experienced a crack down on outside restaurants.. it's too cold now anyway but, in the summer, the streets are lined with BBQ Places.. It's going to be strange coming back this summer to see what happens.  Lots of these really good BBQ Places had to close shop.. This place is really tiny.. where most of the seating was outside.. we walked in and found our way up these stairs to this little loft.. it was perhaps 5"5 inches to the ceiling.. so we crouched down and found a table.. i was really nervous i was going to bang my head on the concrete celling.  

 

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  we started with a lamb soup..  Really strong lamb flavor.. I added some chile paste, some msg and a little salt. little bits of scallion and cilantro added a nice green flavor. 

 

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They gave you this sesame bread that you added to the soup.. as if it wasn't hardy enough. 

 

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this was another version of the garlic oyster.. this was super buttery with tons of garlic and some red oil.. i don't think it was butter they used though, it tasted like it.. the red i don't think we chili but, maybe tomato..  it came to the table boiling and spitting.. so good.. 

 

 
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this lady was killing it on the grill
 
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these sweet grilled breads came out.. it was cool idea as, all of the meats and vegetables rested on the bread that you ate last.. the bread tasted like it was made with condensed milk.. also grilled.. so damn good.. 
 
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we had grilled seaweed, grilled lamb skin, lamb bone, chicken wings, potatoes and tofu.  the wings were ordered extra spicy.. the lamb had lots of cumin.  
 
lamb skin
 
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chicken 
 
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wings.. so well done. the fact that you eat the wings with chopsticks may have prevented me from eating a few dozen. 
 
 
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Edited by basquecook, 18 November 2014 - 09:06 AM.

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#132 basquecook

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:22 AM

Healthy lunch.. Lots of soups

 

Fish Ball and Mushrooms soup with some lamb parts and bok choy. 

 

 

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Tofu with pork soup

 

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Broccoli and garlic

 

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Eggs and Tomato

 

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Fish in a light sweet soy

 

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Chicken soup.. very basic with celery

 

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Melon and Radish.. Yes, that huge pink thing is Radish.  It was ok, the melon was just about perfect. 

 

 

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#133 liuzhou

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 04:49 AM

 

Melon and Radish.. Yes, that huge pink thing is Radish.  It was ok, the melon was just about perfect. 

 

 

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I have one of those radishes in my fridge. Bought it this morning.

The Chinese name is 心里美萝卜 or Beautiful Heart Radish, but the locals here are more prosaic and simply call it 青萝卜 or Green Radish. In English they are often referred to as Watermelon Radishes, for obvious reasons.

Coincidentally, I blogged about radishes in China quite recently.


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#134 CeeCee

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 05:04 AM

Wow basquecook, good to see you're back to posting your adventures here! Thank you for sharing :smile:


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#135 rotuts

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 05:47 AM

Wow

 

that  Eggs and Tomato looks soooo good !

 

everything else does of course !

 

thanks continue your way !


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#136 basquecook

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 07:51 AM

Thanks.. yeh, the eggs and tomatoes were really nice.. 

 

 


Dinner tonight was pretty good..  These seafood places that are all over Guangzhou and Qingdao and other places are few and far between over in Zhangjiagang.  This was a rare treat for the husband of my host.   After talking about seafood with him yesterday, he was excited to go here.. Well, this place is in the middle of nowhere, down a long stretch of unlit streets and dirt roads.. It looked like a good setting for a horror movie.. 

 

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The restaurant was set up very strangely.  It was like railroad apartment with lots of little rooms that could have been separate stalls that were all one restaurant.   

 

This was one room where the tanks were.. There was not a huge variety.. lots of different types of clams and conch and crabs, with a few live fish and many more on ice.  

 

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Here is a plate of conch with peppers and onions

 

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squid with peppers and onions.. they had dipping bowls with tons of garlic floating in chinese black vinegar. 

 

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A plate of thin crepes with scallions

 

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Razor clams with garlic, hot peppers and ginger

 

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greens with garlic

 

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scallops with garlic and clear noodles.. tons of garlic..  

 

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split and fried shrimp with, you guessed it, tons of garlic and ginger. shrimp were fried and crispy... one could easily eat the shrimp and shell and all.. i ate some without removing the shell.. good stuff..

 

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mantis shrimp. 

 

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Noodle soup with snails

 

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Whole fish with black beans and soy

 

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it's really good beer food.. They were super happy with the food.. i felt it was ok.. You know, whenever you eat foods from a different area, it's always going to lose something along the way..  it was more of a rare treat for my hosts. i would prefer yangzhou good but, with beer and fresh seafood, how bad is it going to be.  A lot of garlic..  I am safe from vampires tonight for sure.  Second to last night, so that is good news for me as well.  

 

 

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Edited by basquecook, 19 November 2014 - 08:05 AM.

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#137 Darienne

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:30 PM

Mantis shrimp?  They're enormous.  How do you eat them?

 

Just Wikipedia'd them:  "  In captivity, some larger species are capable of breaking through aquarium glass with a single strike."


Edited by Darienne, 19 November 2014 - 01:32 PM.

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Darienne


learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#138 basquecook

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 05:07 PM

take a look at the creepy photo from my May China trip http://forums.egulle...trip/?p=1970387

 

They are a lot of work and do not yield a lot of meat.. It's more like chewing on the shell, dipping them into the vinegar, or whatever sauce they are served with.  I personally would rather eat a shrimp but, that is what was ordered..   They are not bad and a fun deviation for the travel but, it's not like you are going to make a mantis shrimp roll or mantis cocktail.  there is a lot of shell and it fun to suck on but, more of a novelty for me than something i am going to seek out.. i know my hosts loved them.. if you look at the far right seat against the wall, you will see a pile of shells where my host was eating them. 


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#139 Okanagancook

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 06:52 PM

Fascinating food and experiences. Much appreciated!
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#140 basquecook

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 01:52 AM

Thanks so much for the kind words.  The pleasure is all mine, i appreciate sharing my trip.. i hope to look back one day and appreciate it as well! 

 

 

Last full day at the turkey factory.. Tomorrow, i leave out of Nanjing, fly up to Beijing then over to EWR.. I am guessing it's a quick 28 hours door to door..  

 

Started with a soup.  A little lamb a little vegetable i have never heard of before.. Kind of like a cucumber, kind of like a cacooza but, it was not.. I asked what the vegetable was and was told, lettuces, then she said, asparagus lettuces.. it was neither.  But, very good, all the same. 

 

 

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Next up another soup.  Bits of pork, mushrooms, bamboo and the famous Yangzhou Shredded Tofu.. Something about the tofu here, it's so fresh and soft.  I think, better than noodles.. While my hotel offers them in the breakfast buffet, they are hard and dry and nothing like the nice ones found at restaurants around town.. I tracked these down in the plastic bags in NYC Chinatown but, they are not the same. 

 

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This pork was so great.. The sauce was ridiculously good.  So rich.. it was a five spice flavoring but, all the spices were present and separate, almost like deconstructed.  The cinnamon so fresh.  This sauce was really tremendous.  I found myself pouring the sauce over the crispy rice bowl, as well as pouring it over the rice that came at the end of the meal. 

 

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Plate of greens.. I take these for granted in China yet, i won't get a plate of greens this good until I return.  

 

 

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These were reminiscent of of shisito peppers as, some of them were super hot, while others were mild.. I felt that they packed more of a bunch than shisitos.  In addition, they were served with beef and this rice dome.  The rice dome is super crunchy rice.. when it comes into contact with liquid, it doesn't dissolve, it soaks up the liquid and still remains crunchy.. 

 

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Celery and tofu w/ little bits of pork.. deep rich sauce.. celery is one of my favorites and it must be celery season around here because, i've had so much celery on this trip

 

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One of the rare meals where rice was served.. Hosts poured the "lettuces" soup over the rice.. while, i poured the brown 5 spice sauce over top.  

 

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#141 gfweb

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 05:48 AM

Great stuff BC!


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#142 rotuts

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 06:23 AM

Again, many thanks !

 

loved every dish ( mostly  :huh: )


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#143 basquecook

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:09 AM

Last dinner of the night.. We worked from like 8 to 830 tonight and then grabbed a quick dinner.. Not much in terms of ceremony on the last night.. we work all day and then grab and average meal.. i have been to this restaurant a few times and it's all just ok.  Had a really nice fish head though, the same soup i had last time.. a foul tasting fish soup, an average roasted chicken, some decent peashoots and some salted pork.   Oh well, a good  trip, I'm ready to head home and this makes it easier, I guess.   Nothing left to do but, pick up a few Chinese Zpacks and sit around for the next 30 hours or so.  

 

Not terrible, not exciting.. 

 

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Scallions and salted pork.. A much better version had at the Sichuan place in Zhangjiagang.

 

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Pea shoots.

 

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Shrimp.. Fried and topped with things.

 

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Funky soup:

 

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Fish head: This was a good version.. a really meaty fish.

 

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Wonderful meat.  

 

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A successful trip business wise.. I wish it was easier to post things. 

 

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Edited by basquecook, 20 November 2014 - 08:16 AM.

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#144 Shelby

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 09:52 AM

I wish you a fast and safe journey home (as I sit here wiping my drool off).



#145 rotuts

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:29 AM

Soooooo BC

 

your'e going back soon, correct ?

 

:biggrin:

 

your China Eating Tours are among the very best at the eG !

 

thanks you again.



#146 IowaDee

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:34 AM

Like so many others, I want to thank you for taking the time and effort to share your amazing meals. This is the type of

thing that brought me here!



#147 basquecook

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:40 AM

thanks so much, all.. Yeh, i left this morning at 7 am, or 8 pm Thursday NY, NY time.. My last flight lands in NYC at 5:50 pm Friday Night... I should be home by 830 or so..(i tell myself this as, i consider customs, and traffic and whatever else happen.. The last time i flew home our huge packed plane from China showed up at customes right after a plane from Jamaica landed.. There is a huge difference between Business travelers and families of vacationers that just got back from a week on an island, not to mention customs checking for drugs and whatever.. We all stood there bleary eyed and disgruntled as children ran around and families arrived at the security check with their arrival cards not filled out, having to fill them out at the desk)   So that makes, a 24 1/2 hour flight..  Sitting here in the airport lounge drinking cold beer for the first time in a little bit, eating some bad Chinese Food, I am ready to come home.. 

 

The Misses is giving birth in a little less than 4 weeks so, that is exciting.  I would have taken the weekend to hit up South Korea had   it not have been so close to show time.  

 

I flew from Nanjing this morning over to Beijing.. I thought i would share my horoscope that i read in today's english newspaper. 

 

 

this is a rather interesting.. this was my horoscope in the english newspaper on the airplane this morning..

 

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Looks like I will see you all in the dinner threads! 

 

Thanks again. 


Edited by basquecook, 21 November 2014 - 12:43 AM.

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#148 Anna N

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:26 AM

Congratulations on a successful business trip and on the impending arrival of a new baby. Count me as one of those who follow your food adventures with great enthusiasm and truly appreciate your efforts to post.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#149 Wayne

Wayne
  • participating member
  • 87 posts
  • Location:Niagara Peninsula

Posted 21 November 2014 - 05:23 AM

Let me add my thanks to others for posting this. It's highly unlikely I will ever get to travel in China so it's nice to do so vicariously.

Great photography.


I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?