On the menu

On tonight’s menu was a selection entitled shattered sheep spine or packages of small cock. We could have ordered sheep’s head stew as well if we so wanted. Disappointingly for you readers we decided against eating any of these dishes or contracting some prion disease.

Instead it was fried diced chicken and vegetables spiced with cumin, an fully flavoured lamb stew on round bread and rice flavoured with carrot and lamb (pilaf). We had gone looking for the same Uighur restaurant, Xin Jiang Yi Li Can Ting, as we dined at in 2007, but ended up along Yunan street and this unknown Uighur restaurant instead. The selections of the cuisine that we dare try taste really good, even Alex was wolfing it down, despite the spices.

After yesterday’s exhausting Expo exploration we didn’t leave the hotel until close to midday. Alex had returned to bed and had a long morning nap. It was wet and miserable looking outside and not particularly conducive to big expeditions.

Instead we walked up towards Nanjing Road from our hotel. There were many interesting little shops along the way. Lunch was tasty fried dumplings, silky smooth boiled dumplings in broth and noodles at a basic little eatery where old women boiled and steamed big vats of dumplings out the front. Alex loved this too.

We sought a jacket for Alex from along Nanjing Road as we had seen a big shop selling children’s goods there yesterday. It had floors of toys and clothes, but the prices were on par with Australia. We were tempted by strollers as my shoulders still ached from lugging Alex around in the backpack yesterday.

Jacket on the toddler, we returned to the hotel as somewhere clean to change his nappy, and my shoulders wanted a break.

B wanted to go antique shopping in the Old Town, but it was late in the day and wet, so I lead us to the Yuyuan Bazaar, an area impressively done up in Ye Olde Chinese Style. It’s full of souvenir shops, Chinese kitsch and tourists, though the weather meant fewer of them. We actually got to walk the zigzag path to the teahouse this time, though we did not partake in any tea.

It was getting late, I was very sore, so we went looking for the Uighur food. Along the way we passed through local street markets, wet markets selling fish slaughtered on the footpath, shrimps and eels, cuts of meat, vegetables and fruits and other goods.

We have had a few shop keepers try to rip us off pricewise, especially the greengrocers. One bakery quoted us a different price from that written on the shelf.

If I were Phil & Ted I’d be expecting to be ripped off very soon. The number of stares and comments we are getting from the baby backpack. Heads turning everywhere in Shanghai. Plus Alex is cute.

Giving up looking for the restaurant we came across the Yunan street food area and another Uighur restaurant. By this time I think I was almost ready to collapse from hunger, though my stomach was sending few messages.

On our way to the Bazaar we had crossed a big concrete overpass lined with potted plants. At night it was now illuminated blue. The soundtrack was honking horns.

Just prior to our hotel we stopped for snacks and drinks from one of the ubiquitous convenience stores. I began with strange dishes, now I leave you with a couple of “interesting” chip flavours: Numb & Spicy Hotpot and Hot & Sour Fish Soup.

Filed under: