A Taste of Guang Zhou, Day 4

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It was our last day in Guang Zhou. Since we can’t wander far from our hostel as we need to check out at 12pm (flight was at around 7 though), we decided to drop by Shamian Island again to have a better look of the architectures and as well as the locals’ morning activities. We saw plenty of senior citizens exercising, doing yoga, cycling and playing badminton. CK remembered about the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes but it was closed, so we couldn’t visit the historical structure which was build by the French in 1892.

After stopping by Starbucks for breakfast, we went back to pack up and dragged our luggages (and feet) to Teem Plaza which is located at Tianhe area. Our initial plan was to walk a bit and perhaps some last minute shopping (finally see some branded stuff like AX in Guang Zhou!), then hop over to the next nearest mall but then we spent too long in the CD shop… and it was already quite late when we’re done, so we cancel the initial plan and hunt for lunch in Teem Plaza instead.

On the top floor where all eateries are concentrated at, we spotted this place called Good View Cafe giving out discount (can’t remember exactly how much but it was pretty high) after 2pm, so we actually waited there till 2pm!

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The siu mai (15 Yuan) were juicy and meaty; egg tarts (12 Yuan) were flaky with melt-in-the mouth crust and wobbly custard but a tad small in size; rice rolls were too soft to handle the chunky filling and pretty normal to us (12 Yuan). Char siu sou (char siu puff, 10 Yuan) were pretty good with piping hot filling; Sam Si fried noodles (12 Yuan) were rather normal chives, beansprouts, luncheon meat and egg; char siu chan bao (10 Yuan) was excellent, similar like the char siu sou but it’s the fluffy bun paired with the sweet and hot char siu filling that we like and finally, durian crepe (18 Yuan) that packs a punch for dessert! The crepe was stuffed to the brim with pungent and fresh durian flesh… really, really good stuff.

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With a stuffed tummy, we headed to the airport, queued up to check-in, wander around, went to the washroom few times (the food were digested by this time), just to found out that our flight delayed for 40 minutes. So, we repeated the processes above few more times.

So, that eventually marked the end of our first China trip. We love the food and public transport (Metro, not the bus!) but not the dusty environment. But we’ll be back again, in August, that’s it. This time to Guilin! ūüėČ

Read the other posts on Guang Zhou here:

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A Taste of Guang Zhou, Day 3, Part 2

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After a long, tiring day walk to some of Guangzhou’s attractions, we went back to Dishipu Lu for dinner. We saw this cafe that look like HK char chan teng inside the mall at Changshou Lu Station, decorated in orange hues and decided to give it a try. That was the first time I tried char siew in Guangzhou but unfortunately, the waitress didn’t allow us to take any photos. What a bummer… Anyway, the food were just so so… my char siew came in thick pieces and were rather hard. Talking about double disappointment.

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After dinner, we went to the pedestrian shopping street further up of Dishipu Lu, also known as Xia Jiulu/Shang Jiulu (Up Down Nine Street). It’s in one of the oldest part of the city, where the buildings retain elements of both Western and Chinese architecture. It’s a good place to look for discounted clothing. I was rather amazed by the crowd (can’t sense any signs of recession here at all!).

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Before we leave the place, we dropped by this place which was recommended by LonelyPlanet called Nanxin (Famous Nanxin Steamed Egg Whites with Milk). The desserts range from 5 Yuan – 12 Yuan while dishes in between 8 Yuan – 15 Yuan. Their specialty, obviously is the Steamed Egg Whites with Milk (shuangpinai) but the weather that night was rather humid and warm, so we opted for something cooling instead.

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CK had the Boiled Snow Fungus with Papaya which was quite good. The snow fungus were boiled till tender and big chunks of sweet papaya were given. The sweetness of the syrup was just nice.

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I had the chilled Mango and Grass Jelly with Coconut Milk. The grass jelly cubes were rather chunky and a little bitter but the mango cubes balanced out the bitterness of the grass jelly. The combination went rather well with the coconut milk.

Nanxin
47, Dishipu Lu (further up from Lian Xiang Lou)

Business hour: 10am – midnight
Tel: (86) 8138 9904

*to be continued…. last part up next!

A Taste of Guang Zhou, Day 3, Part 1

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The sun was shining brightly the next day. Lucky for us as we planned to explore the city centre a bit and so, we headed to one of the oldest Chinese restaurant for dim sum breakfast.

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I couldn’t recall where did I get the information but there was this particular site recommended a few famous restaurants with reputable history. Founded in 1889, Lin Heong Lau (Lian Xiang Lou) was said to be famous for its tasty dim sum. We took Metro from Fangcun and exited at Chang Shou Lu Station. From the station, head right towards Dishipu Lu.

Having dim sum in Guangzhou is like a char chan teng affair. The waitress will pass you a piece of paper with available items and pricing. All you need to do is tick the items you want, pass it back to the waitress and wait for your food to arrive.

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The fried crullers (yau char kuey) were passable; they weren’t greasy with crispy exterior and soft inside. Also notice the size, which were slightly shorter than what we have here.

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The char siew sou were good with flaky, light and buttery crust, while the char siew filling was moist and fragrant, with a tinge of sweetish aftertaste. Our only gripe was the size, which was rather small.

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Came in two pieces per order instead of three, the egg tarts were bigger though. Same buttery crust as the char siew sou with smooth, eggy custard. CK’s commented that the custard was firmer than those we can get here but still, I think that they were pretty nice.

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The deep fried yam cake doesn’t scored high with us as they were too hard and dense. They were a little oily as well. A few bites on this and we were kinda jelak with it. Guess it would be better to avoid carbs-loaded items next time.

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Their xiu long bao were pretty good as well. Came piping hot with aluminium holder, the skin of the baos were actually quite thin where you can see the silhouette of the colourful ingredients inside the package, but not too thin till it breaks when you pick it up with chopsticks! The broth inside was hot, very flavourful and the pork filling doesn’t have strong porky taste. We love this a lot.

We had some other stuff too like the salted egg bun which were not salty at all, soup wantan and lotus leaf glutinous rice. Too bad their char siew bao were sold out that day.

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After stuffing ourselves, we were off to Yuexiu Park, where we can find Five Rams Statue (Wuyang Shixiang), the statue of the five immortals attributed to Guangzhou’s founding and also a famous landmark of Guangzhou. Legend has it that Guangzhou was founded by five immortals who descended from the sky on rams and saved the city from starvation, hence the people built the statue to commemorate their deeds. The park also includes the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower now home to the City Museum with relics dating back to the 15th century. Admission is 5 Yuan for the park.

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The Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, located on Dongfeng Zhong Lu was huge! The main building is surrounded by gardens from all four directions and one of the four bronze statues of Sun Yat-Sen is placed in front of the building. All four statues were carved in Japan and funded by Dr. Sun’s good friend, Miyazaki Toten.

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Some scenery in Guangzhou city centre. The dogs here are quite tame and pampered; you can see their fur were clean and nicely groomed. Even condos and apartments allow their residents to keep pets here.

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The famous street for shopping, Beijing Road is a pedestrian-only promenade. You can get fashion brands like Giordano, Yishion and Samuel & Kevin here and popular with tourists. Those lanterns decorating the trees were sponsored by Giordano. There were also a few glass-protected squares along the street where they displayed the artifacts excavated out from the soil when they built this shopping area.

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I was practically exhausted from all the walking but CK insisted we visit the oldest Chinese temple in Guangzhou before going back to hostel. Temple of Bright Filial Piety (Guangxiao Si) on Guangxiao Road is not a very big temple and frankly speaking, I can’t sense anything special from it. For more info on it, you can follow the link above.

Lian Xiang Lou
67, Shipu Road,
Liwan District

Business hour: Daily 6.30am-midnight.
Tel: (86) 8139 1191/8139 8297
Only accept cash and local cards.

*to be continued…