We wandered around historic sites, went to the top of high buildings and discovered markets and little lanes full of interesting people and businesses. It was a wonderful two weeks.
Of course food was a big part of the holiday. Can you imagine my daughter of 35 years, had never, in her life, eaten Chinese food! Never, amazing isn't it? She just didn't think she liked it.
So here we are in a city alive with food culture and she was willing to give it a go. We started slowly with a restaurant called DIN TAI FUNG, which is a dumpling restaurant. Their speciality is little steamed dumplings, here they call them, xiaolongbao, filled with pork, prawn or vegetables. One thing you have to be careful of is biting into them as soon as they arrive at the table as they are really hot, and will burn your mouth, I speak from experience! You can watch the chefs prepare them as there is an open kitchen. It's fun to watch. Amazingly my daughter loved them, and we would have a second visit before she left.
I had asked my daughter to bring me a copy of Gok Wan's new Chinese Cook book and had been excited about trying out some of his new recipes. All seemed pretty easy and straightforward.
So on the Sunday evening my daughter and I set about making our own Chinese feast at home. We picked dishes to cook, which included twice cooked pork, chicken in soy sauce, some ribs, from Bill Granger's Asian Book, some fried rice, and we decided to buy some dumplings and not, at this stage try to push ourselves too far.. Delighted to say it all turned out very well, it was really delicious. I enjoyed cooking with my daughter and this has given her an interest in carrying on cooking Chinese at home. She has already purchased the book and various ingredients and equipment and she has only been back in UK for a week! I'm sure she will be treating her friends to some nice meals in the near future. Not bad for a girl who had never eaten this food before.