With only one night in Shanghai, it was important to make the most of my time. After I sat through an obligatory dinner with my host, it was almost my bedtime, but, convinced that I should at least try to see something, I headed to The Bund with some of my co-workers.
The Bund is a riverwalk along the Huangpu River and it is for sure a Shanghai must do! From The Bund you can see several of the buildings that are Shanghai skyline icons such as the Shanghai World Trade Center, the tallest building in China, lit up in blue.
The west bank of the river is developed with many extremely modern buildings, while the east bank is fronted by historical building. The old buildings are hard to make out in the picture, but they remind me more of being in Venice than they do of Asia.
Going back to that obligatory dinner and my previous comments about my meals here, I thought that I could provide some samples from our dinner menu.
First up is the sweet and sour fish. No, that isn’t the real name for it, it was ‘squirrel fish’ fried and then smothered in a pretty standard sweet and sour sauce. Happily, this fish was filleted, which helped detract from it’s very, um, anatomical look. I am not a big fan of eating animals that still resemble animals in any way. It makes me feel guilty and sad for them. Aside from that aspect, of the fish, it was prepared well and the sauce, while overly abundant, had good flavor. I would never order a dinner for myself that was that fried or quite that covered in sugary sauce, but it seemed like the best option that I was offered, so I actually had quite a bit of it.
Next up is this innocent looking dish. It is difficult to see here, but everything is served family style on a ‘lazy susan’ type disc in the center of the table. When this came around to me, thinking that it looked pretty safe, I picked up a few pieces to add to my plate. ‘What is this one?’
‘Cow tendon and broccoli.’
Of course it was. I should know better than to ask questions like that. I am not hugely familiar with cow tendons, but I think that this was a botched translation. I think it may have been large veins and arteries because of the tubular structure of the ‘meat’. Who knows? In any event, I found myself with food on my plate that I was determined not to eat. I usually pride myself on not being a picky eater, but group meals in China definitely test the boundaries of that. I guess I am far more picky than I like to admit. Thankfully, after manipulating them around the plate a bit and pushing them under some other inedible parts, our server saved me by changing out my plate for a clean one. Whew!
On to dessert! These pictures are not exactly in sequence. We ended up getting ice cream on The Bund. I got peer pressured into ordering this giant dessert. Had I known that this was in my future, I probably wouldn’t have indulged in quite so much sweet and sour fish. Whatever. I don’t eat ice cream in India because of sanitary concerns, so I’m not too worried about it. I doubt I will have more anytime soon, nevertheless, this was definitely overeating at it’s finest!
I vote ‘Yes!’ for tiramisu ice cream.
This morning I headed to Wuhan, also a new city for me. More on Wuhan coming soon!