China Trip 2016: Part 1 of 3: The Food

What would a trip be without an absurd amount of food? If you don’t experience at least one food coma every three days then you are doing it wrong.

In the span of 21 food filled days, I have had the pleasure…and displeasure…of trying over 1,000 different treats. That number is correct. If proof is needed then I am more than willing to post a picture of everything I crammed in my face hole or even a picture of my newly acquired muffin top! I’m sure you wouldn’t care to see such horrors so let’s just touch on the really good, the really bad and the really…really random.

There are some items that I don’t have a name for so…I gave them nicknames. Here…We…GO!

The Good (In order from favorite to least favorite):

“Bowl of Respect”: This is the best thing I have had the privilege to eat in years! Three quick things about me 1) I don’t like soup,  2) I don’t like noodles, and 3) I REALLY don’t like noodle soup.

So what is it about this bowl that makes it so special? The salted pork? The pickled green beans? The broth?…I didn’t know so I did what any foodie with a blog would have done…I asked.

I can’t remember exactly what the chef responded with but it was something along the lines of “I am not going to give my secrets to you, but you are more than welcome to eat here and find out.” Ok, challenge accepted. In the weeks to come, I visited this place six more times to learn the techniques they used and found more than that. I found respect for her. The way she plucked each green bean by hand, how she hammered away at the pork and most impressively…how she elegantly pulled every strand of noodle. All that for a bowl that she charges 5 Yuan for (That’s 75 cents!). How can I not respect her hustle?

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Guīlínggāo: Herbal Jelly with medicinal benefits. I had mine with ginger syrup and sweetened condensed milk which is the equivalent of that time you justified eating an extra cheesy meat lovers pizza because of your ten minute jog. No? Just me?

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Grilled Pork Neck: This cut is like the filet mignon of pork! But what about bacon? Oh man, you have NO IDEA! I can’t find this in the states but as soon as I can…you’ll know. Trust me…

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Durian Mille Crêpe Cake: A cake made of whipped cream and Durian meat. Did I lose you at durian? This is like Justin Bieber…you either hate it or happily squeal at the sight.

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Shark and Bitter Melon: Made by my Grandpa…this came with major nostalgia! This dish was bitter but in a very satisfying way…it’s hard to explain.

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Ice cream cones from McDonald’s (Melon on left, Mocha on right): My all time favorite food is soft serve ice cream…that is why I am double fisting cones at 3AM in the streets of Guangzhou.

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Goose: This plate used the whole goose! I don’t mean, the breast and thigh and leg…no…no…no. I mean, the brain, liver, heart, head…well you get the idea. This plate celebrated the goose in four ways and quite frankly…got out shined by the chili tofu in the middle. Yes, the tofu was the star and not the $76 goose that surrounds it.

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The Thai Mango Orgy: I’m not sure what else this can be called. It’s diced mango, in mango juice with whipped cream, shaved mango and mango slices. Perfect medium for a “Foodgasm”.

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The Fruit: Well, more so the experience of eating fruit. It’s was an amazing experience to eat fruit from a tree as opposed to the supermarket. I felt one with nature…at least…I did until I pulled out my phone to snap pictures.

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Durian Swan Puffs: Can we just admire the skill set required to make beauties?

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The Bad (In order from disgusting to disappointing):

Wonton Noodle Soup: The “Bowl of Respect” gave me a reason to try soups again but this here was…how can I possibly describe this?

Imagine showing up for a date that you had such high hopes for only to find that they looked nothing like the picture but that’s OK because you have an open mind so you continue. Then imagine your date jamming the salt shaker down your throat but is then considerate enough to take out a bar of soap to wash away the salty taste in your mouth along with your new found love of soups. In short, this tasted like dish soap and salt. Although this dish left a bitter taste in my mouth, I am not deterred. I will figure out a way to make a noodle soup that I’m proud of (#Lifegoals).

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Thai Yellow Curry: I’m not a star chef but I’m pretty sure the milk shouldn’t be curdled…*taste*…yup, that’s gross.

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Matcha Shaved Ice: This was like meeting a celebrity you always dreamed of meeting only to find out that they are not as pleasant as they seem. Bland and bitter. I went to Hong Kong with this dessert in mind and was pretty disappointed. I hope Bruno Mars isn’t the same…but that’s a different story.

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Banh Mi: I don’t want to relive the moment I got this…such a nightmare.

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Raspberry Cake and Crisp Chocolate Mousse Cake: If I was a poet I’d describe it like this.

“One of these treats,

tasted superb,

while the other,

tasted like turd”.

Can you guess which is which?

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Sushi #1: Apparently sushi wrapped in crepes topped with globs of mayo is a thing in China. Really hit or miss with this one (taste was OK but texture was…odd).

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Macarons: These French treats are known to be delicate but these were solid. I mean Captain America can use it as a shield. For the ladies that didn’t get that, it’s as hard as the rock you wear, or want to wear, on your left ring finger.

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Sushi #5: (2-4 was good): So many questions. For a shop with an ocean view…why is nothing fresh? Can one die by eating too much mayo? Did I just eat a slice of American Cheese Product?

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Mousse Cakes (Mango, Grape and Walnut): I’m giving you a winning lottery ticket for reading this much into my post! The ticket awards you $1. Yeah, I was feeling what you’re feeling now. Unexpectedly excited, then hit with immediate disappointment, then a feeling of…”well, it’s better than nothing.”

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Lau Sah Bao: A glorious ivory bun filled with a runny salted egg filling. It didn’t taste bad but it’s like ordering a chocolate molten lava cake and then getting served…a cake. Not bad but not what I was promised.

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The Random (In order from Misc. to WTF!):

Cashews: I can appreciate the effort put into the intricately placed cashews but the real question is…did they wear gloves?

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Soup Dumplings: Did you know that there is a formal way to eat these? Shoving a dumpling with scorching hot soup straight into your mouth is not one. I know that now.

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Something missing: In China, more often then not, my soft serve reflects the heart of person that served it to me…cold and hollow. Who can be this evil?!?

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Chicken Heads: Like a stamp of quality…every chicken comes with a head. It’s uneasy eating something that is literally staring at me.

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That is it folks…

There were many other things that passed through my digestive track; stir-fries, dim sum, drinks, desserts, traditional dish…basically things that I have found here in the states. If you care to get more details on anything in particular then send me an email.

Part 2 will be about SIGHTS and EVENTS. Part 3 is about the Big Party. Until then, Thanks for taking part in my little foodie escape!

 

 

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