Really? Tell us the story anyway!
As we were going down the pier, there was a fishing boat with some caught fresh fish - Li River Carp. Hugh bought some and asked the cooks on the tour boat if they would cook them for us. They did -- steamed with tomatoes, scallions and ginger. Couldn't be more fresh! There was another group on the boat and they were annoyed that we had the fish. (long story there)
My wife and I joined a packaged tour visiting Guilin. We did the Li River cruise like everybody else. But the meals were pre-packaged. Just common stuff... stir-fries... little bit of meat, lots of vegetable kind of dishes. It is typical of those tour packages run by Hong Kong companies. I am trying to have one of those tours in the future where we can take advantage of the low transportation and hotel rates (collective bargaining), but we will get our meals on our own. I wonder if that would be possible...
Well -- it's not that long of a story. There was another tour group that we kept bumping into on that trip. They were a group of professionals and their wives from Texas. They were getting tired of the food, and when they saw us getting a special dish, they said that they missed having steak and potatoes. In Yangshuo, their guide asked the Banyan Tree Hotel if they would prepare steak and potatoes for them, and the hotel cooks kindly agreed. Wellllll -- they got this large slab of beef that I guess was not aged. It was grilled and I understand, pretty tough. Their potatoes were boiled and placed in a large bowl. These were large potatoes and when you boil a large potato, by the time the center is cooked, the outside is falling apart! I don't think this is what that group expected! Lesson -- When in Rome-----------!
The dishes we had on that trip were: (aside from our steamed carp) White cooked chicken with soy dipping sauce / Braised green Chinese cabbage / Sliced roast pork with peanuts / Stif/fried cuttlefish with bean sprouts / Bean thread soup / Deep fried fish in crispy batter.
On another trip we had deep/fried whole shrimp with salt-pepper dip, which is one of the boat specialties. Among other things I have a note about leafy greens with what I detected was a butter sauce? Also deep fried breaded taro slices which I also noted as being 'hot and good!'.
I don't know if each boat has their own specialties, but on my 3 different trips, the food was all different. Some pretty mundane (scrambled eggs with tomatoes) but on the whole, I was quite surprised at what they could turn out from that small stern galley!