It is often said that Chinese food in China tastes nothing like what we get in the West. Understandable, considering that China is home to more than 50 different ethnics and 32 regions. Variety has a whole different meaning here.
The meat and the green
From the braised pork in brown sauce of Shanghai to the famous Peking duck, traveling through China is also a journey through the different meat options. For the more adventurous, ears, tongues and intestines can easily be found as well.
Don’t forget to add some green to your diet. Spinach, morning glory and beans can be found on every menu and are often cooked with sesame seeds, chilli and nuts.
Noodles and Dumplings
Steamed or fried, knife-cut or hand pulled, it does not really matter. You can’t go wrong with noodles, they are all equally tasty and incredibly cheap.
Having tried the famous xialongbao (dumplings filled with broth) in Shanghai and all sorts of steamed and fried dumplings, we are yet found a place that we have fallen in love with. Just a matter of bad luck we think.
While wandering around the French Concession we noticed quite a lot of locals queuing outside a restaurant. This is often a good sign and so we joined the queue and realised they were serving Taiwanese food. It turned out to be our favourite place in Shanghai! The rice cakes were filling and the rich tofu soup delicious!
Street food with a twist
Closer to a zoo than to a food market, this street near Beijing’s commercial area has wide selection of delicatessen that range from all sorts of insects to intestines and even testicles. No, unfortunately we did not try any of them as we were full already.
A hole in the wall
Now this is something you won’t find on the Lonely Planet. A hole in the wall, three tables, a few stools and a guy cooking noodles. It does not get any more authentic and it was as good as it gets.
Chinese craft beer
Both Shanghai and Beijing offered a number of breweries and we could not resist to try some of their craft beers. Happy hour at the Boxing Cat Brewery was good value but our special mention goes to the porter and Honey Ma at Great Leap Brewery in Beijing.