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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Went Down South, To S’poreLand

It was rather a quick decision, when CK, Pat and me agreed to fly south to Singapore end of March for a short 2 days 1 night trip. Reason is because Nick was there for business trip alone and since we can bunk in his hotel room, accomodation’s issue settled! It’s been many years ago since I stepped into the island and that was a brief, few hours excursion.

We took Tiger Airways (one of Singapore’s budget airline) as they were having promotion (can’t remember the price, sorry but it was very reasonable) and within one hour, we’re walking on the land of the Lion City. You can er… say this was my first trip to Singapore, no kidding.

And here’s our first meal in the city.

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According to CK’s friend, Danny, the food on the island are basically tasteless and not worth mentioning (which were rather hard for me to believe after I watched several Singapore food programmes on AFC). He, however strongly suggest Xin Wang HK cafe to us.

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Appetizer was the Prawn Paste Chicken (SGD 6.90) which tastes a bit like Nam Yu (fermented red beancurd). The outer layer was kinda hard to bite on but it made quite a good snack.

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I, unfortunately was having a bad mouth ulcer that day, hence I just ordered Nissin noodle. Pat had almost the same stuff like mine, so I just don’t bother to post the pictures here. CK’s pork chop however, came in huge portion with two pieces of pork fillet, fries, baked beans and salad (SGD 8.50). Taste wise, he said it was nice as I didn’t try it.

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Danny’s favourite Curry Chicken with Bread (SGD 7.50). He insisted that I try this although I was having mouth ulcer. The bread were fluffy and the chicken curry, very fragrant with just the right level of spiciness.

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AS for dessert, we had the tallest Mango Snow Ice with condensed milk (SGD 6.90)! Shaved ice topped with mango puree at the base, mango cubes, mango jelly, mango ice cream and condensed milk. We swept everything in a jiffy!

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Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe
6, Raffles Boulevard,
#01-04/05 Ground Floor,
Marina Square, Singapore 039594

Tel/Fax: (65) 6337 5297
Email: manager.xw@xinwang.com.sg
Web: http://www.xinwang.com.sg

See also:

Chunky Meat @ Chow Kiat, Klang

Hi, sorry for the long hiatus. Was really busy with my resignation, handover, my first trip to China (will blog about this soon!) and my new job at new company – it was a crazy period for me. However, things are starting to settle down and I shall take this long weekend opportunity to update this blog of mine a bit.

This happened before my Singapore trip last month where Calvin need to renew his passport and service his car, so he suggest that we go down to Shah Alam (to renew his passport) and Klang (for BKT and service his car). Sounds crazy huh?

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After we had our first taste of Klang BKT at B.H. and wasn’t too impressed, we drove all the way into the town centre to Chow Kiat this time. According to him, this shop has been around for some time and it’s popular with Klangites who are not keen to drive to the new part of Klang town for BKT.

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Come here early and you can ask for the best part of the meat, e.g “fah lam” (belly part I presume). But we were late that morning so the fatty meat lover asked for the fat parts *shudder*

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I asked for the lean instead and I’m happy with my choice. The meat were VERY tender, I could just pick it with my chopsticks and it fall off from the bones easily. The dark broth has a stronger herbal flavour to it compared to B.H. and wasn’t greasy nor diluted. Good stuff. But at the end, I couldn’t finish my portion so I gave the remaining to Calvin instead. If you’re a small eater, you might want to share with someone else as the meat comes in big, chunky pieces.

If I’m correct, the meal for two with two BKT, two white rice and tea costs about RM20+.

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Chow Kiat is located at Jalan Kapar, Klang, opposite Lembaga Tabung Haji. Read Julian’s post here.