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Friday, August 20, 2010

(Slightly unethical) deliciousness in Shanghai

Stir-fried ferns
Steamed Chinese radish
Steamed yams
Jellyfish tossed in chilli and sesame
Pork belly with Chinese mustard
Double-cooked Shanghai-style fish
Steamed crabs
Sake-infused Foie gras
Sharks-fin soup with abelone, scallops, swim bladder, sea cucumber, morels, porcini and chicken
Shanghai-style blanched prawns
Steamed grouper
Freshwater crabmeat ragout on baguette
Stir-fried celery, wood ear mushrooms, carrots and lily root petals
Chilli-fried lobster's tail and head
Roast duck in steamed mantou bun
Dessert: Hasma (snow frog's fallopian tubes) cooked in papaya, served hot
LOCATION: Tian Di Yi Jia, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai, China
CATEGORY: Shanghainese, Chinese-western fusion, gourmet
DRINK: Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne, Chateau Chauvet, Bordeux 2007, Chateau Pontet-Canet, Pauillac 2004, Chateau Lascombes, Margaux 2005
WE THINK: Although we oppose the consumption of shark fins and find it deeply disturbing to harvest fallopian tubes of rare snow frogs - and particularly wrong to do this during the frogs' sub-snow hibernation (women: watch your tubes while sleeping!) - we also know a thing or two about Chinese social etiquette, and are fully aware of the guanxi suicide we would be committing if we had declined what our hosts were serving us this evening. Besides...the damage had already been done. Let's just say we sacrificed ourselves and our ethics for the sake of I EAT EVERYWHERE! In case it's not apparent from the substandard photos, the food in this place is divine and you can easily steer clear of ethically dubious dishes. Apart from possibly making it easier for you to sleep at night it will also render your meal considerably less expensive (as an example, the dessert was RMB 250/person, ca. £24 or 1/5 of the average monthly income in China...way pricier than the fruit platter!).
OUR TIP: Bring a dictionary (or a smartphone). Even though the menu comes with English translations, some of the dishes are so outlandish (ever heard of hasma before?) that you may wish to consult a dictionary or Wikipedia before placing your order.

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