Eating my way through Shanghai
Saturday was a day for eating. It started out a little scarily, though, being out on my bike in a cold wind doing errands. I got really hungry and succumbed to a street vendor's late morning remnants. I asked for the pancakey thing to be heated up but the seller insisted it was already hot so I bought it, goo and all. But when I took the first bite I knew that I had headed into dangerous waters because it was sort of luke warm at best. I was so hungry though I just ate the whole thing. Then worried that it was a bad idea...luckily everything stayed in.
Later after checking out a new children's book store, Naomi and I headed for the chocolate buffet at the Swissotel, but we had arrived too early. Next heading for a venue where I'd left my hat last weekend, the wait staff seemed unpleasant and unhelpful at the Velvet Lounge, like it was a major inconvenience for her to even take my request to look for my hat. But upstairs was Casanova, a Spanish restaurant, where we aimed ourselves for lunch over white linens and a basket of freshly baked bread, butter and olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Afterward, we caroused around the Portman Ritz Carleton and enjoyed some live Chinese music. Outside we stopped into Element Fresh, an Aussie chain specializing in delicious organic fare where we had real berry smoothies and a very large herb-grilled chicken salad. We decided this was the right alternative to missing the chocolate buffet and also being unable to find a slice of pumpkin pie! Later we rounded up two more friends and headed for Di Shui Dong, a chain of Hunanese style food where we again indulged a nice dinner including spicy barbecued prawns, potato shreds, broccoli, spinach, mapo tofu, kungpao chicken and caramelized banana. Again this wasn't quite enough to satisfy our gastronomic necessities so we walked along Shuicheng lu in search of dessert. We stumbled upon a Japanese restaurant where we were able to have our own room and sit tatami style, ordering gelatos and hot sake. I love Shanghai!