I had an interview this weekend in Chengdu! We boarded a super fast train around noon on Friday, and I had lunch out of a plastic bag. Just beyond classy, really.
Our cute hotel room. The light blue, sand, and beige color scheme gives a feeling reminiscent of beach living. Then you glance out the window. Sunny days are a rarity around here. It's the Seattle of China.
Exploring the center of the city.
Met up with my aunt and uncle! I haven't seen them for over three years. We went to the exact same restaurant as last year. They are so thoughtful; knowing I am not a fan of meat they made reservations at a mushroom - centric place.
The highly prized matsutake mushroom!
Coincidentally the documentary series I've been following recently 舌尖上的中国 (a taste of China, it talks about food's importance in the Chinese culture.) starts by introducing them. They are extremely rare and expensive, and grow only at the base of a certain kind of tree. Legend says they never grow in the same place twice. Which I imagine proves frustrating for foragers.
Simply grilled. The verdict? Tender, a bit chewy, and juicy. Basically if you are a fan of mushrooms you will love them. Good, but not mind blowing. Certainly not after all the hype built around it! Also possible? My palate is not refined enough. I was expecting it to taste like magic and unicorns and happiness. Or at least give me ability to fly.
Do not be fooled. I had milk, yogurt, and more eggs along with this plate. (But look! An organ shaped egg!)
Boiled peanuts! They are dee-licious! And only ¥6 a pound. Salty crunchy peanutty and acts as an edible hand-warmer on cold days. Confession: we actually bought some yesterday from the same lady!
This place was hopping for lunch. Literally. The first time I saw waitresses actually running to fill orders. We shared a table with a dad and his daughter and ordered what they did. Beef stew and cabbage were delicious! No picture because they are definitely not photogenic. The food, not our dining companions.
Some contraption my Dad purchased as a gift for my uncle while I was being interviewed. Apparently it's super smooth. Cause regular wine is rough, right. I'm not a wine connessiur so I'll refrain from saying anything else so I don't sound stupid. My Dad says it's made from frozen grapes. Makes sense.
Dinner with uncle (TOTAL wine and tea expert) after my interview was at 龙抄手. 抄手 (chaoshou) are kind of like dumplings but with thinner wrappers. This restaurant is famous for theirs. Dishes are served in courses.
First: larger plates and a bowl of soup. Second: smaller appetizers. Third: dim sum, sweet: 粽子，汤圆，sticky rice. Fourth: dim sum, savory: spring rolls, 糍粑, noodles, 凉粉. Fifth: 抄手.
We had a fabulous spread in front of us! Can you imagine the dishwashers' work load? I know what job I don't want. Unfortunately the taste did not match the splendor - average at best, and definitely overrated! But like many dining experiences, it's the company that matters. And you have to try things once to know never to return.
After our rushed 30 minute meal we ran to the subway in the rain, bid my uncle goodbye, and began our journey home, always the worst part. I love vacations but I hate getting there. On the train there was a group of about 10 girls taking photos; like truly sitting in every combination. There is a math problem in there somewhere.. Please please tell me your secret to making train rides entertaining. My dad's phone died and he was relegated to reading the back of a box of tea and fiddling with his keychain. Poor guy. At least the guy beside him was watching Tom & Jerry. Without headphones! Jealous.
btw what is bitcoin and where can I get some?