A Taste of Guang Zhou, Day 1

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….

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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!”

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The Stir Fried Lotus Root with Nam Yu (fermented red beancurd) fares better, although it was tad greasy. The lotus roots were thinly sliced, crunchy and not fibrous.

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And the winner goes to the Garlic Spare Ribs, which were very fragrant and not greasy. It would be better if the bone is smaller though (which means, more meat to be enjoyed!)

We then went back to hostel and take a much needed rest before hunting for dinner.

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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.

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We passed by this place called Shanghai & Suzhou Cuisine and decided to give it a try.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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19 thoughts on “A Taste of Guang Zhou, Day 1

  1. That is such a gorgeous view of the waterfront… I love water, esp. at night with all them pretty lights reflected off the surface.

    On the food front, lotus roots! Yummy!

    I can’t wait till I get to mainland China one day… be like returning to our roots, yes? Or lotus roots, even. *groans at own bad pun*

  2. PureGlutton,
    More to come!

    LFB,
    I like the waterfront too. Too bad there’s no such view in KL?
    LOL.. .yeah, returning to our roots, hence must have lotus root there!

    Cumiciki,
    Thanks! Yeah, the skin were very crispy, I wonder how they do it.

  3. yay! now i get to read about guang zhou, a place i’ve wanted to go to. especially when the airlines have got such attractive promos. more posts to come, ya! ;D

  4. never wonder how they prepare the food if you are not prepared to know about the truth behind it… hahaha! I guess it’s my philosophy.
    Till today I haven’t stepped my feet onto my ancestor’s land, and it seems that I am more interested (call my biased) to go to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Far East Asia before going to China…

  5. aiyo .. you HAD to quote me there eh? =P
    but seriously! kinda bland ma, no meh?!!

    the last dessert, the balls with red bean, i think Dragon-i, and etc also serving them. though not as BIG.

  6. wow!!! u went to guangzhou?! how do u find the food over there?

    and their appetizers are great, right? slurppp, i still can remember how great the food was during my trip to shenzhen

  7. Nic,
    Stay tune for more.

    Leo,
    According to my friends who visited GZ before, yes, it would scare the hell out of you if you happens to go into their kitchen. That’s why I mentioned the first place we ate was “messy”.

    Mimi,
    One and a half per person actually.

    SC,
    Stay tune!

    J2Kfm,
    Yeah, it was seriously bland. Luckily there were some peanuts to nibble on.

    Ai Wei,
    I like their dim sum and desserts. But the service was so so… the waiter/waitress hardly smiles.

  8. Haha! J2Kfm was funny, food that you eat when you have chicken pox? Haha…

    Oo, I love peanuts too, can’t stop eating them! Been to Guangzhou when I was 7, too long to remember anything. 😦

  9. Pingback: A Taste of Guang Zhou, Day 2, Part 1 « Ipoh Mali Talak Sombong!

  10. ohhh chinese food over there seems good. Their lotus root does not have those strands thus nicer!

    The colonial buildings there resemble a bit like Penang XD

  11. Hi, I would like to know which shuttleservice bus number you took to GZ Metro and how long did it take? Would it be better to a taxi? Other then Lian Xiang Lou did you try dim sum, lunch or dinner at Guangzhou , Datong, Tao Tao Ju, Panxi or Yinji Changfen restaurant? I really like your article on Guangzhou as this is the 1st time me going to China and Guangzhou at least I was able to get more information. Thanks & Best Regards

  12. Jian,
    Their chinese dishes were rather special actually.

    Ryan,
    Hello. I’m sorry I couldn’t recall the shuttlebus service number but the terminals are located just outside the exit of the airport. You will see ladies dressed in uniforms directing the passengers, so if you wanted to go to Guangzhou east train station (which is nearest to Metro Line 1), just ask them. They speak in Mandarin and Cantonese.

    The airport to city centre is about 34km, so it would take about 30 minutes by bus. Bus ticket priced in between 13 Yuan to 34 Yuan. Taxi would be pricier at about 140 Yuan. If you don’t mind paying and have a number of luggages with you, I suggest you take the taxi.

    Other than Lian Xiang Lou, we tried another place inside Citic Plaza for dim sum. It’s located at the top floor and next to the elevator. The food were rather good and you get about 40% discount after 2pm. We didn’t try the rest of the restaurants you mentioned but I did read somewhere before this that the food at Guangzhou Restaurant were mediocre.

    If you’re into dim sum, other than Lian Xiang Lou, you can try Xi Kuan Ren Jia on the 4th floor of of a shopping mall called “Li Wan Guang Chang” along the Shang Xia Jiu Lu (Up Down Nine Street). The food were good but it’s rather noisy.

    Hope you’ll have a good trip there!

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