[Shanghai] Day 2: Walking Stomachs (Part 1)

Part 1: This was for the earlier part of the day.

  • Tian Zi Fang 田子坊, 泰康路
  • Rui Jing Road No 2 瑞金二路
  • Huang Cheng Miao 城隍庙 & 旧校场路

Tian Zi Fang 田子坊, 泰康路

The morning started at 11 am thereabout with a trip down to Tian Zi Fang. It’s an alley area especially set up for touristy shops I think. The street is filled with refurbished old buildings and architectures in narrow alley corners that turn up unexpected surprises.

One of the many entrances to Tian Zi Fang. Dont be fooled by the unexciting front. The shops inside are pretty cool!

 

All the shops are so quaint and exquisite even if their themes of interior decorations are a little at odds with the charm of an old chinese alley. Don’t expect to buy anything there thought. Everything is expensive. But I think I felt like how Harry Potter might have going into Diagon Alley for the first time. An hour or two would be more than enough time to explore the area. It’s small but I’m not sure that we covered all the corners, after a while, you simply get lost in the maze. But you got the idea of the shops anyway. Apparently CL was looking for a fragrance/ perfume shop that she once found inside the street, but she didn’t manage to find it.

Another corner & another wall

Rui Jing Road No 2 瑞金二路

We exited Tian Zi Fang and came to Rui Jing Road, which again I really liked. The trees are just so beautiful.

Love the feel of the street.

CL said it is because these were planted by the French or something. Or at least that was how those trees came to be on the Shanghai streets initially.

Grabbed a quick bite there and ate some dumpling soup. For 10 RMB, there was a big big bowl and it was pretty delicious.

But that isn’t the point of the story, the point is I found the first food shop in Shanghai that excites me! It’s a shop specialising in All Natural Purple Sweet Potato Pastries 纯天然紫薯饼 (English Translation my own, Address: 瑞金二路 207 号). I didn’t take the photos because it didn’t seem that special initially. It is a new shop that recently opened. By the time I took a bite into the pastry and realised it’s awesome, I was long past it. But while we were queuing there (it was pretty long queue – abt 10 ppl ahead of us), an old lady came by with her plastic bag in hand. Apparently she ate the Bing/ Pastry for breakfast, and came back to buy more. Even asked them what is the difference in taste between what she ate and the other items being sold. So, I presume it was good enough that it made her come all the way back to buy more in the same day.The pastry was pretty awesome! The crust was thin and crispy and the filling was generous! And the best thing was – it was all natural sweet potato! The paste didn’t have any added preservatives or additional sugar etc. It was just heavenly to bite into the warm pastry in the cold weather. And it tasted really well! I bought back some dried potato strips too. Those were alright. Decent but nothing much to fuss about either.

Huang Cheng Miao 城隍庙 & 旧校场路

Next stop is Huang Cheng Miao vicinity. Three descriptors: Touristy, a lot of food, a lot of people. Shops are set up buildings with old chinese architecture, and because it’s a tourist destination, you’ll be sure to find a good collection of various local delights.

Walking Aroung in Cheng Huang Miao Area

 

Jiu Qu Qiao (Bridge with Nine Turns)

And this is where the food journey continues.  Food, food and more food… This place is filled with small eateries and shops and … starbucks too.

Soup Bun, Fermented Bean Curds & Tofu with quail eggs in some Dark Sauce

 I wanted to eat the quail egg which was why we ended up with a lot more tofus than we probably wanted. And this was my first time eating fermented beancurds. I think this is a mild variety. I saw the mold, but it didn’t stink much and the taste was not that strong. Not too bad! I think I can understand why people might like it. I’m not a big fan of it though, pretty neutral at the moment, but I can imagine that it’ll be an acquired taste.

The shop which sold the soup bun or 灌汤包

The Pao/ Bun was the interesting one. It’s a bun with a straw stuck into it. CL2 said I had to try it because … well i haven’t tried it before. It was a meat based soup inside. It’s alright I suppose. Interesting experience. But honestly, there was no need to make a bao just to have the soup. They could have cooked just the soup I think. It’s a waste of food because the exterior skin is too hard to be eaten. Plus, I have a phobia of eating food that I cannot see. I did faintly wonder what if there’s like a chopped finger or a cockroach or a watever inside. So for my ease of mind, I opened up the bun to explore afterwards.

Candied Haw – my first time eating. And I like it.

Candied Haw 冰糖葫蘆

 Xiao Long Bao from some apparently famous shop that had a long queue but which wasn’t nice at all. The skin was too thick, there wasn’t enough juice and the meat didn’t taste great:

This is the queue or the later half of it (which was apparently shorter than usual)

 

The objects of our desires...

 

The shop from which they originate

The restaurant itself is very interesting. Apparently, they have many different levels. Each level just gets more and more expensive. Sounds like the 7 storey pagoda of heaven doesn’t it?And since we could only order takeaway… well, we see where our budget lies. They had a running annocuement from a Public Address system under the shop which keeps advertising the different types of xiao long baos available at the different levels.

Other random photos as we walked around. We passed by 旧校场路 too. I’m not sure when the photos crossed into those…

Very interesting slogan!

Pay for 3 minutes of...?

Some strange entertainment/ money-making venture where you are supposed to pay a sum of money and stare into one of those peepholes for 3 minutes. They promise to entertain. I didnt do it though. Cos I felt like it was a tourist trap and I refused to be the tourist-trapped. =X But gosh, I do wish I know what was inside. 

Walking around

 To be continued ~

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