Mmmmm Macau!

Mmmmmmm….Macau. More about the country/Special Economic Region aka Casino later. First, on to the food!

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As a former colony of Portugal , the European influences are obvious. Egg Tart meet Mouth.

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Going with the colonial theme we can sneak some Brazilian cuisine in there. Meat anyone?

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This simple pork on bread with Siracha is simple but great. These things along with Egg Tarts are ubiquitous in Macau.

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There exists a Thai-town in Macau , this restaurant had inexpensive , amazing , eats , prepared by a crew of authentic Thais. Sa-wat-dee! We were exhausted from wandering around town by this point . It was amazing to simply sit in air-conditioning, eat spicy food , and drink Beer Chang with Thai condensed milk coffee.

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There are also ample opportunities for grabbing fresh veggies. Also , check out that behemoth winter squash!

Yummy!

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Turkey Day

Was Thanksgiving Day at Boxing Cat Brewery worth the 400 rmb?

Yes. yes it was.

Staff handled things really well , the interior ambiance was great ( love that fireplace) , we had little candles burning on every table , and most importantly there was tons of amazing food with free flow microbrews , wine , and spirits.

Highlights of the meal include: apple granola cobbler , pumpkin pie , bourbon cranberry compote (best cranberries of my life and I love cranberries) and of course the mash and turkey. I’m so happy the food was spot on American Thanksgiving.

Ah Shanghai! I’m thankful for you ( just not for my landlord).

Hong Kong Foods – Round Two!

Man , Cantonese fair won my heart over while in Hong Kong!
Be jealous everyone!

Hong Kong – Food N’ Drink

I’m working on the write-ups! I swear! Things are just busy right getting back into the swing of the work schedule and the home-living chores needed to keep the cockroaches away. I’ll distract you with some pics of eating and drankin in HK. We didn’t have much time and ,dang, Hong Kong restaurants are expensive compared to Shanghai. Just wait for the Vietnam eating pics!

Fragrant Pan / Savory Pot

One great thing about living in a huge megalopolis is the amount of food needed to sustain the population. In a one block radius around my apartment the number of restaurants is on an order of magnitude higher than my college town and my parents suburban town put together. Not only the numbers of restaurants but also the range of different foods is fantastic. This is fine with me.

I’ve been thoroughly converted from a Western diet to an Oriental one. Back in my college town I was starved for good quality food. That “food” on campus was not cutting it. When the chance to visit a restaurant came up, my circle of friends and I would always head out to an Asian restaurant. Drive 50 minutes to get to the good Indian place? Sure! Half an hour to the authentic Korean restaurant , we’re down! Skip the burger and fries at Denny’s , give us Kimchi and Aloo Gobi!

Let me show you what I had for breakfast this fine Saturday.

Jealous?

Let me introduce you to a new-found favorite.

香锅 aka Fragrant Pan , Savory Pot , something like that. Translation can be a pain. Xiang guo sounds right in Chinese just awkward putting it into English.

Nestled in the basement of the SML (Sun Moon Light) shopping center where a previous post talked about the Taiwanese vegan restaurant are a ton of different Fragrant Pan restaurants. The competition is fierce right now with nearly every restaurant offering a 15% or 20% discount. The one Savory Pot that didn’t engage in the cut-throat price slashing was dead.

These restaurants have fresh ingredients sitting out buffet-style and it’s up to the customer to choose what things get cooked up. There are 4 different “zones” . A Zone has cheap, green , leafy vegetables going for 1rmb/ 50 grams . B Zone features slightly more expensive non-meat things such as mushrooms , tofu products , sliced lotus root , and others. C Zone moves onto different meats at 4rmb / 50 grams , and the final D Zone has shrimp , octopus , pigeon eggs, and other treats for around 6 rmb/ 50g.

Point at your favorite things , choose a spice level , and grab a seat. You are minutes away from a feast. A very affordable feast at that. How much could this giant bowl of lotus root , tofu , spinach , cabbage , shrimp, 2 types of mushrooms , dried yellow bean strips , cucumber , rice cakes, potatoes ,and winter melon cost? Try 66 rmb (Just a tad of $10) oh yea plus 3 bowls of rice and 3 free soft drinks. Could 3 people finish it? Nope.

This is one of the reasons I love China.

Taiwan 7 Brother – Vegan Food!

While people here in China eat plenty of veggies and eat fairly well health-wise (barely any fatties here ) , it can be tough to be a vegetarian. While ordering tofu sounds like a good choice for the vegetable-oriented among us , keep in mind that small bits of pork and beef are almost certain to be included. Stir-fried spinach sounds good? Yes , but only if you like the small dried shrimp that comes with it. And to make matters worse pretty much all the meals you can get at a restaurant are bound to be cooked in oil that was used to cook meat , or the wok wasn’t cleaned off and animal oils abound in it.  Animal rights aren’t so hot here and people making the choice to not eat animals are pretty much limited to the Buddhist monks eating at their temples.

This may make matters tough for vegans/vegetarians planning on moving to or traveling in China. However , besides home-cooked options , there are a growing number of options available. Like I mentioned earlier , Buddhist temples are a sure-fire way of getting cheap , delicious, vegetarian fare but we have other places as well.

One of these places , recently discovered by me after a mention in That’s Shanghai , is Taiwan 7 Brother . Ohhh man is it good! The menu features a lot of veggie products designed to resemble meat and trick the eater into believing its  meat, inda like Morning Star veggie bacon and spare ribs,  as well as the just straight these are super tasty veggies enjoy dishes.

I sucked down the Spicy Numbing Tofu with fake pork , eggplant with pepper and carrot , and the amazing , thick , Shepard’s Herb ( Not exactly sure what that is ) Soup. The three dishes plus two bowls of rice hit the wallet for 60rmb (~$9.50) and was plenty to stuff two people . It’s a great find for those vegetarians , people who like good food , and people who are looking for healthy dining options ( the food was not loaded with oil like many restaurants here are known for doing ) .

Taiwan 7 Brother can be found at Dapuqiao Line 9 Metro Station’s SML basement found court. It’s tucked away near entrance #2 in the newly opened Taiwan Food Town near the 7/11 . Happy Eatings! (And be jealous all my Ohioan friends , mwhaha!)

Oh , and also in case you were wondering about the name. 7 and older brother are said  qi and ge , respectively.  Qige sounds like Vegan . Taa – daa!

Doing my Service for the Expat Community

Yesterday , on what just happened to be my big 2 years in Shanghai, I got the chance to take a bullet for the team , to do my service for all you expats here. It was a serious matter , one of life and death. A good many of you know what I’m talking about here. Too lazy to get off your couch and turn off the dvd player with pirated dvd inside , with the prospect of starvation and actually getting up quickly arising ,  who ya gonna call? Sherpas!

As a foreigner living in Shanghai you will quickly learn about the food delivery company Sherpas. They work with tons of different restaurants throughout the city . You can pick up one of their menu’s and choose from the world’s cuisines and have it delivered right to your door. Awesome.

Anyway, there was a new Italian restaurant to be tested and judged to see if it was worthy of working with the orange and black clad motorbike warriors.  My one friend who would normally be in charge of that was in Beijing on business . So I bit the bullet and the crack taste testing team was formed!

The dangers were many and I was fraught with many uncertainties as well as a long and arduous journey. I faced insane taxi drivers speeding through the city , had to make a long journey to a place called Pudong (Where is this place? Why is it so high-tech?)  , fought through the metro tunnels during rush hour (braving broken bones and crushed limbs) , and then had to deal with the risk of hot melted cheese burns , death by pasta , and perhaps even food poisoning. I did my service to all of you!!!

Haha , the restaurant was super awesome and if you glance at a Sherpa’s menu in the future and see Acqua e Farina listed , you’re welcome.

(Alternately just go to Room 2 in the Basement of Shanghai One at 1138 South Pudong Rd. It’s really good and pretty reasonably priced.)