On Our Way
My wife and I are leaving Friday for 16 days in China - Shanghai & Nanjing for sure and then around Jiangsu - Yangzhou, Suzhou, Tongli - we're not sure - maybe down to Hangzhou and Moganshan. Any and all recommendations are welcome. Looking for not to miss street food - not high-end dining - thanks for Gary Soup for his great posts.
I found the attached photo on Flickr - I think it is in Yangzhou - any idea where to get this?
Please consider visiting Suzhou - restaurants are very reasonably-priced and extremely good (was there in April 07) - "Songhelou" (in business since the Qing) - try the doufu with crabmeat and the green tea shrimp - "Deyuelou" - try the minced fish with pine nuts - "Wangsi" - an amazing appetizer of sliced lotus root steeped in tangerine juice stands out. These 3 are all close together in the Guangqian pedestrian mall/entertainment district. Would have to push to spend more than $40 for two with plenty of beer (Taihu beer is local, available at Wangsi - light lager style, delicious). English menus but some Mandarin Chinese is a definite help. Street food esp dumplings all over the place, very cheap. And Suzhou is so beautiful, this should be a wonderful time to be there. They have made a definite effort to rehabilitate the scenic areas and historic look of the city since I was last there in 1994. Going back next March and cannot wait...
You have a picture of a "tang bao" (汤包). The big dumpling in the steamer is filled w/ soup and you drink out the soup w/ a straw. Sometimes, if you're lucky, there's a little bit of meat inside. This can be found in Huaiyang style restaurants all over Shanghai and Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces, but Yangzhou is the place to go. Yangzhou food is terrific. There's a pretty famous "tea house" called Yangzhou Fu Chun Cha She (扬州富春茶社), tel. 0514-723-3326. It's in the old city and is a little hard to find. Basically, you go to the corner of Wenchang Middle Road and Guoqing Road (文昌东路和国庆路) and then head south on Guoqing Road (you should do this on foot). When you get to Desheng Qiao (得胜桥 -- even though Qiao means bridge, it means "alley" here), turn left and walk down the alley (the alley is surrounded on both sides by peddlers operating stands selling kitchen knives and cleavers. You'll then see a traditional three-story pavilion-type building. If I remember correctly, you go through the main hall and walk around to the teahouse in the back (I think you cross a courtyard or a small lane). You order at the desk in front (the board is only in Chinese; no English as far as I know). It's very cheap. The tang bao is good, and all the other small snacks we had were very good, too. And it's cheap!