Thursday, 13 February 2014

China, Xiamen - Random food

I've been pondering for quite some time, on whether should I share my food here during my family trip to China. Because I have nothing much to say, and its gonna be photos-intensive then! Well.. Since I have the pics, might as well?

It's kind of like an annual family trip, which usually falls at the end of year. The trip were planned by my dad, and most of the time a few of my relatives will tag along too. I am not a person who prefer to be bind to holiday tours, as I find it too restrictive, and isn't gonna be as fun... Last year, my dad made it a little different, as he got his friend over there to drive us around. A pretty boring trip, as most of our time were spent on traveling... Not to mention the fun-spoiler due to the persistent rain! Anyway will still be sharing some scenery pics another time.

To the food.. Some were pretty yummy.. Here's what I have to share :)

We had our lunch on board the flight, thus our first meal upon landing was "awarded" to dinner...

Similar to our "ngoh hiang", I like the China version more, because their chestnut in it is sooo crunchy!!

Oyster omelette... Hmmmmm.. The one at Chomp Chomp is still nicer :P

I am a person who likes to try out different food in different countries. I mean since I'm there, instead of eating what I have been eating in Singapore, why not try something new, something I wouldn't usually get to eat? Hence, on my first night, I went out of the hotel, and bought this prata-like snack. I asked for spicy and it indeed made my lips burning! Oily but can't find a reason for rejection. Haha...

Breakfast the following morning was served in the hotel, which consists of porridge? Well, although I was expecting so much for western breakfast, but Chinese breakfast can be quiteee ok too..

Anyway, another rainy day from day 1 to day 3... The rainy weather plus the winter season can be torturous.. All of us were shivering and can't stop moving around to gather more body warmth! When this big smoky beef noodle soup bowl came, everyone was like slurping non-stop! Such a nice, hot and simple meal.

Finally a sunny day, and much welcomed by all of us :D Took a morning walk with my dad. He is kind of like a market person, and likes to visit wet markets! While on the way there, saw this couple making xiao long bao, 小笼包, by the street. In contrast with what we usually have in restaurants, this is the non-soupy version, and taste much more like our meat pau, 肉包, the mini version... Freshly made!

Took a photo of a street hawker's source of living... Could meat be tastier when there are less controls to hygiene purposes? As you can briefly see, background lies a bulk of rubbish. And FYI, this hawker is having his push-cart by a bridge, which lies a dirty river underneath...

Home-grown cabbage in someone's backyard, beside the dirty river.. Looks fresh though...

Well after a walk along the dirty river, we reached the only wet market in our area, and accidentally realized lots of barking within the compound. Caged-in dogs barking and whining... It seems terrible but this has been their food culture since long... Even heard that when serving VIPs, if there is no dog meat, it will be deem as the host family is not treating the VIPs with prestige...

REFRAIN from watching this video if you are any of the following...

1. Dog lover
2. Weak hearted

Did not witnessed the slaughtering process, but having seen online videos of how it was killed, I presume its better to not have seen it. Anyway, below is a short footage of how "dead" dogs were packed...

Disheartening, as a dog's relationship with man is so close... And numerous videos online does seems to tell us that dogs have humane feelings too? Previously also saw a similar sight in Vietnam.. 
Anyway, let's put that aside.. Not sure if it's a good thing that we did not have our breakfast yet that morning! Right after the market, we went to a roadside stall after having reconciling with the rest of the family. Simple but yummy! Piping hot!
My favorite bamboo shoot :)
Not really sure of this, but its something like our Chinese "Mee Hoon Kuey", but in soup base? I don't really like this...
But this is our favorite dish! Its like our oyster omelette, but deep-fried version.. Super yummy, and how I hope Singapore has this too now :(
Another cold morning.. Just a minute walk from hotel, there's a crowd queuing by a street hawker. It's a normal working day, and there were students waiting to go school, and adults on the way for work... Queued a little while to get it though.. Enduring the cold, and "angrish" vehicles whoosing past where the crowd was. Food is not bad, but if I were to compare with the one I had earlier in the post, 武大郎烧饼,this definitely lose by a certain degree...
Was brought to this popular "popiah" restaurant. It seems to have been published in various China's publications, and also considered a touristy place for food. Their famous is of course the "popiah".. My personal opinion, one is enough for me... I wouldn't ask for a second helping because there's a vegetable inside that comes with a weird taste, and the fillings are not wet, in contrast with our local version.
Ahhhh!! This is like our local version of "mee hoon kuey". Very similar to what my mum used to cook during the weekends! But hers is always full of spiciness as far as I can remember.
Another "ngoh hiang" dish as part of our lunch in the "popiah" shop.
Also another popular snack in the "popiah" shop. Sesame based snack... It is quite oily, which I have to admit. Not really that exciting, but does the job to keep mouths shut from complaining hungry :P
After so many days of street food/local family-based eateries, my dad finally set our butts in a classy restaurant, called something like Poney Jade?? It is a pretty big place, and dish servers are wearing roller shoes to let them get around the place easily! Their variety of seafood is quite wide, and they do display sample food of the other famous dishes they served. We were seated in a private room :) First served was this cold plate dish. The guide told us this is quite delicious, and all my family ate it happily, exclaiming how delicious it was, while I had one of each and stopped.. At the end of the meal, they asked what this really was. Well, obviously there are baby octopus, and some jelly-like stuff. If you look carefully at the jelly, inside contains some weird stuff... Focus more on the almost-transparent thingy.. Its sandworms, or in chinese, "沙虫"!! Google-ed it in it's chinese name, and you will see the actual look of it, I assume. True enough, this exact dish is served in their supermarkets too, and worms are even bigger than in the restaurant!
Some other food ordered while dining at Peony Jade.
Ended the meal there with a plate of crafted fruits... erm.. Nice to look indeed. They only served us orange, honeydew and watermelon!!
Didn't really had much of an food adventure back then, although I really wished to try more unique food! May not like it and having to try it are two individual issues. Better to experience it, than having to regret it later on right :)

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