Few weeks ago, I was in Aberdeen. Due to long cravings for char siu and siu yok, I rushed all the way to Chinese restaurant to order few of these Chinese dishes. A close friend of mine reminded me not to have Chinese food in Aberdeen as it is will not be as good as what we have in Malaysia…but how bad can it be..
Without hesitation, I walked in to a Chinese Restaurant in the middle of Aberdeen City Centre, acknowledging it will be pricy, I ordered few dishes, just to ease my cravings. In a way, I am like ant seeing sugar. Not much of choices there, so, please don’t ask if I can order anything fancy.
Instead of having my dinner in the restaurant, I decided to place a take away order. The first one dish that I ordered is sweet and sour prawns. A lot of prawns in one container but the taste, I would say it is delicious. If fact, I think I can cook better.
Despite Aberdeen is just right beside seaside, the prawns are frozen type and not the fresh type. That makes the prawns taste more like tendery type of meat instead of fresh juice prawns. How disappointing considering I paid about 16 pound for few of these small little creatures.
The waitress suggests this SCALLOPS with vegetables. From the name, it paints a mental picture in me that the dishes will come with a lot a lot of scallops and few vegetables as side than main. When I opened the aluminium foil, the dish is more like VEGETABLES with scallops.
But this dish is surprisingly good, just a bit stingy on scallops. Ohh.. I can also sense that they put a lot of MSG. All because as soon as I finish eating it, I felt the thirst that lead me to drink a big glass of water.
Finally, I can’t resist my temptation and ordered this, Siu Yok, Char Siew and Roasted Duck rice. This on cost about 17 pound. The rice is just simple plain white rice and not the oily type and the meats, so so only lor. Instead of usual cucumber, they put lettuce as a replacement.
Overall, I will also not recommending anyone to try Chinese Food in Aberdeen but in the event that you need to ease your cravings, you can do so by punching big hole in your wallet for these dishes which are not as good as what we used to have in Malaysia.. now I miss Malaysia a lot..
Lotus Root with Peanuts Soup
150 g Lotus root
½ cup Peanuts
10 Red dates
400 g Pork ribs
11 cups Water
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp TikkoSS’s Secret Ingredient
1. Boil 500ml water. Add pork ribs and cook for 5 mins. Drain water and set aside
2. Cut lotus roots into thin slices and red dates into half.
3. Boil 11 cups of water. Add pork ribs, lotus roots, peanuts and red dates.
4. Cook for 30 mins over high fire before simmer over small fire for 2 hours.
5. Add salt and TikkoSS’s Secret Ingredients. Ready to be served.
Stewed Pork Ribs
300 g Pork ribs
4 cloves Garlic
1½ tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tbsp Light soy sauce
1 tsp TikkoSS’s Secret Ingredient
1. Wash pork ribs thoroughly and set aside.
2. Cut tomato into 8 small pieces and finely chopped garlic.
3. Marinate pork ribs with Ingredients A, tomato and garlic for 1 hour.
4. Steam pork ribs for 30 minutes.
5. Ready to be served.
Yuyuan Garden is a famous classical garden in Shanghai. Although the existence of this garden is about 400 years now and undergoes multiple reconstructions, this place still remains as a famous tourist spot in Shanghai.
Sometime I felt amaze on the architecture of ancient times. It seems like they really spend a lot of time building, reconstructing, refurbishing and try to preserve the crisp of the culture. Technically, we should embrace our history but the remains turn out to be so good for photography.
Maybe I sound a bit melodramatic but as a newbie in the world of camera, ancient buildings turn me on. This is just one of the many buildings in this garden. If you have good stamina, you can walk the 20 000 square meters park, within a day. I am fit (or I wanted to believe that), so, no problem for me.
There are 6 main scenic areas that you must visit: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and Inner Garden. I went there twice and I don’t think I ever visited those places or maybe I did but forget the names.
To me, the main attraction is not those scenic spots. I have discovered Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant, the most famous and authentic siu long pau. Now, I also discovered the best dumplings in Shanghai called Ning Bo Dumplings (don’t know where they get the name from).
This restaurant is usually congested and probably you need to spend some time queuing to get seated and queuing to order and pay the bills. Maybe this place is the most affordable as compare to others? To me, crowded means good.. hehe..
As you might notice, they do serve big pau and some other dim sum too but the highlight is definitely the rice ball dumplings. Instead of ordering one, the long queue makes me order additional bowl. The sesame and crab roe dumplings.
In Singapore Chinatown, you can get this with almond or just plain sugar water soup. Over here, they only serve with plain water as the soup. In that case, the soup is like drinking hot water. On the other hand, the dumplings taste very nice and the texture is just perfect.
Two bowls are definitely not enough for me especially on good food. As soon as you walk out from the restaurant, you will notice that they also sell take away dumplings. I did not get it but I think it is a good deal. According to the lady, it can last about 3 weeks without fridge.
I am not leaving that place empty handed. I bought myself herbal bean curds with pigeon eggs. No, it is not stinky bean curd. This also taste good except a little spicy. Gosh, you should try to drink the soup too. Now, my floor is wet coz I can’t stop drooling when I write about this.
Ning Bo Dumplings
Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai
If you read my post on Shangri-la Pudong, Shanghai, you will probably realize that I have a lot of nostalgic moments in this hotel.
Nothing can embrace my memories except carving the good one on stones and not so good one on sands so that the waves can help to flush them away.
Another way to do it, is to feed my stomach well first and start reflecting later. One way to do it is by ordering decent dinner just for myself in my own quiet room.
The trick is, you have to either order food that you crave for or food that you love. This time I go for potatoes wedges and salad as starter. Now, I can sense that my memory puzzles start to align on its own.
To speed up my thought process, I have to go for wanton noodles soup with mushroom and char siew. As a pork lover, I have to say char siew really helps in merging my brain cells together.
At this stage, I felt like as if I already travelled back through time to meet with my loves one, my family, probably about 20 years back.
To avoid myself from waking up from this hypnotic moment, I have to continue feeding my stomach with Sirloin Steak and strawberry milkshake. Or stomach growling will definitely creates distractions.
I recalled, my dad gave me my first present, my mom and sis too. How mesmerizing. I remembered we used to have a lot of fun time together and thanks to decent food, it helps to blend a good chemistry between my present and past.
The sweet moment was really short and I woke up straight away after I got slapped with the dinner bill. It costs me RMB 495?? That is approximately RM 250???
After this meal, I have to probably eat instant noodles for another week. Worth it or not, why not you tell me.?
In Room Dining, Shangri-la Hotel
33 Fu Cheng Lu, Pudong,
TEL: +8621 – 6882 8888
Funny thing about travelling is that sometime, you tend to crave for something really bad like a pregnant lady. Of course I never experience pregnancy before as I am biologically challenged.
When your brain goes haywire, it tends to make you believe that if you don’t consume it, you will die instantly. Yea.. that is how bad it is.. something like fish cannot survives without water.
Before I even enter Hong Ji Tea House and Restaurant, my big belly (physically, almost the same like pregnant lady) already helps me to register what I want to eat.
So, it doesn’t matter if the place is cozy, nicely decorated or filled with pretty girls during peak hour, all I want is my drugs to get me over with my addiction.
Dressed like a hippy, untidy hair like beggar, I desperately asked the waitress, “Do you have what I need?” She replied, “What do you need?”
Ops, I’m in a paranoia state that I totally forget to place my order and assumed she knows. She might thought this is a lame pick up line but disappointedly I asked for not her number but beef curry, black pepper and seafood noodles.
At points the cravings feel like having sex, once you have it, you are wanting for more. I did not resist that temptation as it helps in stress reduction, right? Ohh.. ok.. I guess I have that is too much detail for a young person like me.
Besides sex, the combination of siu yok and teh that is not tarik also gives the same effects. What are you thinking? I am talking about satisfaction over here. What turn me off is that I have to pay RMB 158 (~RM 80) for all these.
Quite a price to pay to ease my cravings isn’t it?
Hong Jiu Tea House and Restaurant
(Beside Oriental Pearl Tower)
TEL: +86 21 3868 8877
Opening Time: 10.00 – 22.00 hours
Another day another dollar earns. I guess it is slightly different in my case as to me, another day another day another dollar spend.
Every day, I will be thinking on how I would like to spend my money wisely, what to buy and what to eat. Of course the favourite part is eating what I plan for.
While walking in Super Brand Mall, Shanghai, my stomach gave me a red alert and my mission turned out to be hunting for a place to refill myself.
On 8th floor, which I always think is a lucky floor, I found Long Feng Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant that serves morning dim sum starting at 11 am?
The place is rather quiet when I arrived but it started to gradually filled up with customers especially during lunch time. As much as I normally treat dim sum as breakfast, this time I called it brunch.
Started slowly with custard bun and later followed with small dragon pau as my starter. Maybe I was hungry or maybe the food was really good but my refilling needs more substances.
The waitress somehow acknowledged that and started to introduce their famous signature dumplings to me. Beside prawn dumplings, I did go for chef recommendations.
The dim sums are good and comparable with many Malaysia dim sums but lacking of one thing, the sweet and chilli sauce. Yes, you can dip in soy sauce but I still think it tastes better with sweet sauce.
Whenever I go for dim sum, I will automatically order chee cheong fun (I ordered 2 plates .. hehe) and deep fried spring rolls. The feeling is incomplete if I eat it. How weird isn’t it?
If 10 is good, I will only rank this place as 7. Not because the food is not good but minus 1 for no sweet sauce, minus 1 for start at 11 and minus 1 for too expensive. I actually paid RMB 137 for this “brunch”
Long Feng Restaurant
24, 8th Floor, 168 West,
Super Brand Mall, Liujiazui,
Pudong, Shanghai, China
TEL: +86 21 2206 0003
You stupid Asian, what are you doing in my country? Get the hell out of here! Do I look Asian? Yes.. Do I look stupid, maybe but chasing me out from your country? That is way too much.
Travelling in foreign countries are not always fun, you get hiccups from time to time. That line was quoted from my travel diary back in 2005. I always wonder what will happen to the whole idea of globalization when there is a small community who still lives in the state of denial.
I felt sorry for them but hey, my journey still continues until today. If I stop then, I will not have a chance to see Fatema Indian Restaurant in the middle of Qingdao, China.
This restaurant is not in a shopping mall. It is by the roadside about 15 minutes from Qingdao Olympics Sailing Museum. The restaurant is decorated with authentic Indian decor with spices as background smell.
If you are physically in Malaysia, I don’t think you will find this restaurant interesting. If you are away from Malaysia for long long time, this restaurant will remind you of mamak stalls.
Finally I get to try cheese and garlic naan and roti prata after craving for it for so long. Not to mention, you get to try different type of Nasi Beryani too..
Let me try to recall what I ordered. If I am not mistaken (in clockwise from top left).. Vegetable Curry, Mutton Curry, Prawn Curry and Chicken curry.
Bear with the lousy photos as I took with my lousy phone in low lighting condition. The presentation of the food is not so good but the tastes of spices are marvellous.
Like many good food around, the portion come in small size. With that, it gives you opportunity to order more. So, I take my chance to maximise my order for second round.
With not a single glass of water yet, I ordered tofu curry, fish curry, potatoes curry and beef curry. Considering the place I am in, all these curries are considered great except the fish one.
Lastly, as for drinks, I ordered mango yogurt and teh masala. Mango yogurt is like a normal yogurt drink with mango flavour but the teh masala is kind of special.
It reminds me of the genuine teh masala that I used to drink when I was in India but slightly bigger cup than usual. I forget how much does this meal cost but I tell you it is not cheap. The price is almost comparable with Little India in KLCC.
Fatema Indian Restaurant
No. 10, Gutian Road,
TEL: +86 137 3099 4178, +86 532 8300 6655
Money is not everything. Money cannot buy love, health and happiness. That is what many advice me. To me, money might not be everything but money is definitely something.
If you don’t have money, how can you buy roses for your love one on valentine? Without money, who is going to pay for hospital bills and how are you going to buy iPhone to cheer up yourself?
Let me show you what I do with my money. Nowadays, with money, you can do just about anything. And that includes becoming an Emperor for few minutes.
I am not talking about wearing the emperor costume for photo shoot. All I am saying is to experience a lavish spread of imperial Chinese cuisines in Fangshan Restaurant, Beijing.
As soon as you enter the main entrance, you get to experience a truly unique ambiance and real ancient décor signifying numerous ruling Chinese dynasties in the past.
The dining hall is adorned with beautiful royal painting on the ceiling and even traditional Chinese art. Of course you are greeted with waitresses wearing original imperial dresses.
Gold and yellow used to be the Emperor’s color. If you are spotted using those colors, you will probably behead instantly but that was long long ago. The historic setting with yellow and gold in dining hall surely add the imperial effect into it.
As far as food is concerned, you get to experience truly sumptuous dishes as long as you are willing to pay the bill. As for me, I go for the set of RMB 298/per person (~RM 150). If you are richer, there are also set of RMB 2880/person (~RM 1440).
What I get as a start are Appetizing Cold Dish, Mashed Peas Pudding and Rolls of Kidney Bean Flour, Stir-fried Scallops and Brocolli and Ginseng Red Date and Deer Tendon Soup.
Despite the place is very congested, I personally give 9/10 to the waitresses as the services are pretty efficient. As soon as I almost finish my dishes, they instantly served me with new one.
This time I get Braised Sea Cucumber with Quail Eggs, Braised Camel’s Paw with Scallion, Sautéed Prawns with Spicy Garlic Sauce, Deep-fried Duck Rolls and Pork Rolls. Yes, you got it right! CAMEL PAW!
I must say I get to savor the authentic flavors of former imperial’s meals. Some of it might look exotic to me but hey, no harm to give it a try right? Besides, this is the finest dining you will ever get.
On top of what they served earlier, here are the remaining from the menu, Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish, Sautéed Vegetables with Mushrooms, Sesame Cakes with Minced Meat, Assorted Palace Dim Sum and Mixed Fruits.
If you have some spare time, try to visit the “Imperial’s Toilet”. I must say, now I know where the emperors did his big and small business.
The bills cost me about RMB 952. It might appear to be slightly on the expensive side but it is definitely an experience that is worth trying. Money is not everything? Think again!
Inside Beihai Park’s south gate, Beijing, China
TEL: +86 10 6401 1889, +86 10 6401 1879
Lunch: 11 am – 1:30 pm (Mon-Fri); 10:30 am – 1:30 pm(Sat-Sun)
Dinner: 5 pm – 7:30 pm (Mon-Fri); 4:30 pm – 8 pm (Sat-Sun)
牛车水 or better known as Chinatown used to harvest more than 70% of migrant populations (Chinese) in Singapore in the early days. Back then, this is just a humble place but today, it turns out to be one of the main attractions in Singapore.
To me, this is the place where I got my very first traditional Chinese costume which make me look like Chinese, the first place where I tasted the best dumplings ever and of course the first place where I visited when I first visited Singapore.
Personally, I have labeled this place as ‘must visit’ place in Singapore. If my math is right, I never miss visiting this place whenever I am in Singapore.
Over here, you will feel like you are in another world.. a Chinese world .. duh.. you can get cheap souvenirs, reasonably good deal on Chinese traditional stuffs and good food too!
I am not much of a shopper but I love to bring my mom around to see what I see and loiter around in strangers’ places. This time, I told her, “I will show to you what I love about this place.”
The weather is quite warm when I first arrived. Despite I was born in warm country, I still sweat like pig. I nearly get into a situation called “cerebral hypoxia” or better known as not enough oxygen getting to the brain.
As soon as I arrived at the hawker streets, I told my mom, “This is the main reason why we are here!” She just replied with a gentle smile. How sad when I only get to order Kuey Chap and Stew Pork Leg.
My favorite dumpling stalls and dessert shop were closed. On the bright side, this place is not as congested as usual, maybe because it is Chinese New Year when everyone is busy collecting angpow.
Both the dishes I ordered are really delicious. It makes me salivating when I wrote this post but the potion is slightly small. So, I decided to order seafood noodles just to fill up my bottomless stomach.
Generally, the food around this area is quite good and reasonably cheap. If you are ok in paying SGD, this place can be a food haven for you too.
39 Smith St.
GPS: 1.282423, 103.8439