The boys have a mission to try every variety of Pocky and Pocky-like product on the market. A trip to Metro (sort of like a Chinese Costco, but not exactly) this morning yielded a pretty good selection:
Good news…the grocery orders were successful! So nice to just press a few buttons and have all these things show up at my door a few hours later! It took ordering from two different stores to get what I needed, but I’m OK with that…free delivery from both places.
Even better news….as a new customer spending a certain amount of money from one of the stores, I received a free chicken as a gift! And chocolate ice cream!
Best news…that frozen stuff came with dry ice. Tons of fun for the guys.
Unexpected news….that free chicken? Came with the head still attached!!
We had a more relaxed day today because we finished everything we needed to do this week. We spent the morning touring the city. We drove around the Century Park area and found a few places nearby to do basic shopping. One highlight was the plant/flower market. The place was jammed with all sorts of beautiful vases, fountains, plants, orchids, flowers, and bonsai. I’m sure Parke will enjoy filling up our place. We also went to the Expo area, which was super cool. There is one particularly striking building which looks like an inverted red pyramid.
In the afternoon, we headed to the Bund for afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria. It was both lovely and delicious. There was even a guy playing the harp. After stuffing ourselves with mini sandwiches and various little desserts we had a cocktail at the Long Bar, which is also at the Waldorf. As you could guess, the bar was very, very long. The activities at the Waldorf were a great way to celebrate a successful week getting things going in Shanghai.
From there we took the ferry across the river, back to Pudong, and went to the Superbrand Mall to pick up some gifts for our family and friends. The Superbrand Mall is an enormous place, something like 10 floors, and it contains every name brand store on the planet. Seriously.
So that’s it. Tomorrow we pack up and head back to the US. Though we will probably head to the fake market in the AM to get a piece of luggage. I doubt we will be able to fit all of the purchases into the bags we brought over.
Headed over to the Former French Concession tonight for dinner with some Swedish friends. Sichuan this time, and ohmygoodness it was delicious. Started with a round of the most amazing cocktail, called the Basil Drop. It was green and frothy and full of basil and fabulous. The food was fresh and spicy and so good…and it just kept coming. Cold cucumber salad and garlic eggplant started us off. Then came a mushroom dish, mapo tofu, spicy pork ribs, dumplings, and these amazing whole shrimp skewers that you ripped off the head, then ate the middles (Including the shell!). At some point we ran out of cocktails and switched to pitchers of Tsing Tao. A delicious and unforgettable evening!
Tonight was another night to try a new food, but this time was not remotely spicy. I’ve been anxious to try Beijing Duck, and was unwilling to wait until we visit there. We had originally planned to head over to Puxi to eat at Lao Beijing , but we were late getting back from the fake market (no pictures from there, too busy buying lots of stuff!). When we asked the concierge to call us a taxi for Lao Beijing in Puxi, and he suggested that we could instead walk just around the corner to Quanjude, we jumped at the chance.
Happy to say it was better than I could have ever imagined. The skin was brown and crispy, with a small layer of fat that just melted in your mouth. We went with just the basic accompaniments since there were just the two of us eating, but I am looking forward to trying out Lao Beijing also, hopefully with the kids along so we can justify ordering more food!
Pictures are of terrible quality, sorry!
Big beers. We each ordered one. Not strong, but Ryan had to finish mine anyway.
View of Quanjude
The carving of the duck ( for the table next to us)
The skin is served first
Ryan assembles the duck, plum sauce and scallion wrap.
We went wandering in search of dinner tonight and had some great finds. We mixed things up a bit and ate dessert first, stopping at a choux puff stand. You can pick from several types of pâté à choux balls, and a variety of cream fillings. They were so good!
Afterwards we wandered a bit more before settling on a Hunan place nearby. Not knowing just what we might be getting into, Ryan ordered two dishes…a mushroom skillet thing and a celery and beef dish, both of which were not marked on the menu as spicy. If they were the Hunan version of mild, I don’t think I could handle even looking at a dish they call spicy. Check out the photos I took of Ryan enjoying his meal. I promise, there was absolutely no hamming it up for the photo. He was too busy trying to survive to bother with silly poses.