Friday, October 22, 2010

Fu 1039, Shanghai

For one lunch in Shanghai, I was lucky to eat at Fu 1039, a restaurant specializing in Shanghai style cuisine nestled in a beautiful old mansion from the 1930s in the Hongqiao neighborhood.
The food at Fu 1039 was not only delicious but also plated beautifully.

We started with several plates of appetizers.
First was lotus root stuffed with sticky rice. I should note that Shanghai cuisine leans toward the sweet even in savory dishes. The lotus was wonderful.
We had the marinated drunken (Chinese wine) chicken topped with shaved ice and some goji berries.

Also, there was a dish of marinated wheat gluten with mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms.
A classic Shanghai appetizer was the smoked fish which had a great flavor.

Our following courses were just amazing, each better than the next.
We had sauteed fresh water shrimp, a simple dish, but good.

Next was braised pork in sweet and sour sauce. The preparation was much more subtle and delicate than the sweet and sour pork here in the US.

We then had a dish that consisted of fresh water crab meat that you poured into very fine sesame coated bread.
While the crab was yummy, we were actually more impressed by the bread (bing) in that it was so thin.

Another classic Shanghai dish was the vegetable rice. Another simple dish, but so well prepared- the vegetable being diced so fine and every grain of rice coated in flavors.

Dong Po Pork, taking its name from a Chinese poet, is another classic Shanghai dish. It is made by slow braising pork belly in soy sauce. The result is wonderful, fatty pork with a wonderful sweet and salty soy sauce that has penetrated into the meat and fat.

It was accommpanied by mini mantou (rice bread) to sop up the residual sauce.
My aunt said Fu 1039's Dong Po pork reminded her of eating it at home when she was young. It was one of the best single dishes I had on my trip to China.

Another unique course was the braised fish in Chinese vegetables. Again the vegetables were diced very fine, almost like a pesto sauce, but with very Chinese flavoring.
The sauteed sweet peas were yet another example of a great simple dish. I think they may have used pork fat in them because they were really good.

Our soup was a chicken soup with pork and sheets of bamboo.
For dessert, we had a jelly that was made with a Chinese herb I don't know the English name of.
Fu 1039 was such an amazing experience. I will make sure then next time I am in Shanghai, I will be back.

1039 Yuyuan Lu
(86-21)5237 1878

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ice Cream Moon Cakes at Häagen-Dazs in China

In China, Häagen-Dazs is considered a high end ice cream brand. Their branch on Nanjing Lu, Shanghai's main drag has a doorman.
Since we were in China during the Autumn moon festival, on special at Häagen-Dazs, was an ice cream moon cake that came in chocolate or strawberry flavors. At $12US, they were expensive, even more so for the Chinese, but since we were on holiday, we got both kinds to try out. They were beautiful to look at, and the ice cream was indeed delicious. To our surprise, for the "yolk" of the moon cake, they had a yellow mango sorbet in the middle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Breakfast at KFC in Shanghai

KFC is really popular in China, even more so than McDonald's. It's probably because they've adapted their menu to include Chinese favorites as well as the Colonel's finest.
We got some breakfast from a nearby branch on our first day in Shanghai.
They had mini You Tiao, a deep fried stick of dough, and I enjoyed my bowl of Congee that had pork and some thousand year egg in it.

While these were fast food versions of traditional Chinese breakfast items, KFC also had a breakfast ham sandwich made with Shao Bing (sesame seed covered flat bread). This was actually pretty good as well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cajun Kate's, Boothwyn, PA

On the way to Delaware this weekend, we made a 3-mile detour off I-95 to find Cajun Kate's - which 1000yregg had read good things about. It's a teeny lunch counter inside the Booth's Corner Farmer's Market. The market itself is huge, and had a lot of promising looking Pennsylvania Dutch butchers, bakers, etc. -- worth checking out next time.

But this visit, we were on a mission for Cajun Kate's. The story behind Kate's is that culinary couple Don and Kate Applebaum grew up in the Philly area, met at The Restaurant School, and found their careers taking them to New Orleans, where they fell in love with the cuisine. After they decided to start a family, they wanted to move back to the PA area, and so brought the taste of NOLA with them.

We scored a couple of stools and dug into red beans and rice, fried mac and cheese (with a deliciously sweet Creole tomato glaze), and gator sausage on a stick with Creole honey mustard. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that there was a "special" mac and cheese that had 4 kinds of cheese and applewood smoked bacon...

We also brought a few quarts of the red beans and rice, along with yummy gumbo, down to the Don Rockwell picnic in DC, which we were headed to the next day. I think they were a big hit!

Cajun Kate's
Booth's Corner Farmer's Market
1362 Naaman's Creek Road
Boothwyn, PA 19061
(484) 947-8914