18th April 09 – 21st April 09 marked my first ever trip to the mainland China, just shortly before I shifted to my new job in PJ. Overall, the trip was a memorable one; plenty of walking, visiting typical visitor attractions and stuffing ourselves with Chinese food. Also, it was my first time taking flight early in the morning (our flight was at 6 something in the morning if not mistaken), so all I could see outside the window was pitch-black darkness.
We arrived at Guang Zhou’s Baiyun International Airport (Baiyun means “white cloud” in Mandarin) around ten in the morning. We took the shuttle bus to the Metro station (GZ’s LRT station), which will take us to our youth hostel at Fangcun, Liwan District, facing the Pearl River.
The weather was gloomy when we arrived. Can’t really differentiate it’s hazy or cloudy due to the fact that GZ itself is quite polluted when it comes to air quality. We started to wander around the area after checked in and unfortunately, it starts to drizzle. We decided to stop for a lunch at a nearby restaurant.
We had some difficulties trying to understand what they wrote in the menu (Chinese like to give fancy, four-lettered words to their dishes) and luckily, the waitress was friendly enough to explain them to us. And we had….
A bland and plain fu chuk (beancurd sheets, suspected to be steamed) and served with soy sauce, peanuts, ginger and scallions. The soy sauce doesn’t taste like soy sauce as it was not salty at all and the only thing we like were the peanuts. As J2Kfm commented on the picture I uploaded on my Facebook, “OMG, this look like those food you eat when you’re having chickenpox!”
We then went back to hostel and take a much needed rest before hunting for dinner.
When we woke up few hours later, we decided to take the ferry at the pier just in front of our hostel to Shamian Island (shamian means “surface of the sand”), which is located at the other side of the river. It was actually more like a man-made island, surrounded by river. In the 19th century, the British and French set up their warehouses and offices here. Today, the colonial buildings have been turned into hotels, restaurants and shops with restricted traffic are allowed to enter the vicinity. The buildings in the photo above are those you can find in Shamian Island.
The restaurant was small but comfortable nonetheless. We were presented with two appetizers; peanuts with salt and pepper and cucumber with chilli oil and ginger (5 Yuan each). I, of course prefer the peanuts and it was so addictive!
From top left to right; Tung Po pork, Beancurd with Mashed Salted Egg Yolk and Chicken Soup with dumpling. The Tung Po pork (20 Yuan) came in a small pot and every pieces of the layered fatty meat were gelatinous and flavourful. The beancurd, also known as Golden Beancurd in Mandarin (28 Yuan) was my favourite that night. A simple steamed soft beancurd topped with generous mashed salted egg yolks, compliments the plain beancurd very well. We however, doesn’t really like the soup (38 Yuan) as it has a weird taste to it. Nothing to shout about the chicken as well.
We ended the dinner with a dessert (we would like to try more variety but we were stuffed at this point) called Marshmallow Bun with Red Bean filling. It came in three big balls, almost as big as a tennis ball. The outer skin were dusted with something similar to icing sugar but more coarse. The buns were pillow-y soft albeit a bit thick and the red bean filling was just nice, not too sweet. Total bill including rice and tea for two came up to 132 Yuan.
Shanghai & Suzhou Cuisine
(part of the Dining Club group)
37, North Street,
Shamian Island, Guangzhou.
Business hour: 11.00am – 11.00pm
Tel: (86) 20-8121 5201 / (86) 20-8121 5276
Fax: (86) 20-8121 4102
*to be continued…