I was completely taken by surprise by Chinese food and China in general. I was getting lots of mixed reviews from fellow travelers so I really went to China with no expectations about what the food would be like. I learned some very important things on this trip:
- even if something smells like rotten garbage it can still taste delicious, in the case of stinky tofu
-partially formed chicken embryos are a delightful snack for some Chinese people
-Chinese beer is disappointingly low in alcoholic content
-but imported beer costs 45 cents a can
-if you want to eat the best Chinese food in China, go to a vegetarian restaurant
We went to "Lifestyles" vegetarian restaurant 3 times during my week in Ningbo and Shanghai. This is a vegan restaurant with a brilliant reputation as one night some famous monk was eating here while we were dining and the other patrons were going crazy with bowing and it felt like the monastic equivalent of Madonna was in the same restaurant.This food was so good it now makes me sad to recall the delicious sweet and sour flavours of the crispy "pork" or the stir-fried mushrooms. Why sad? Because I may very well never taste this kind of Chinese food again. I have no idea when I will be back but my love still burns strong for you, wonderful mushrooms!
I think the reason Chinese food is so surprisingly delicious is because it's so gosh darned fresh. Like, dew still on the leeks at the market fresh.
No one said life would be easy, but sometimes you just wish for an easy ride. Restaurant.