Monday, July 16, 2012

A cheesy good time

Saturday was spent partaking in a very un-Chinese event.

We got our cheese on at the first annual Shanghai Grilled Cheese Cook-off. Cheese is not a staple of the diet here, making it a rather expensive ingredient. As a self proclaimed cheese-aholic, I was rather dismayed to realize I had gone a solid six months without a grilled cheese. Thankfully, I overcompensated this weekend.

This Korean Chicken and Cheese sandwich was my favorite in the Asian category

 And they all paired nicely with some hard cider on an insanely hot day

Walking home, I remarked that events like this make me almost forget that we are living in Shanghai. I was promptly hit by a bicycle and screamed at in Chinese. Thanks for the reminder.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have a secret to share. Matthew and I don't eat Chinese food all that often in Shanghai. Shocking I know. When we lived in the US, we certainly didn't eat "American" food every night (though this may have had to do with the fact that I don't eat hamburgers, BBQ, or other typical fare) and instead had a diet which varied daily from Indian to Mexican to Macrobiotic. Even now, when we do eat Chinese food, we tend to cook it ourselves at home in order to decrease the oil and pork that is liberally used here.

Yet after Matthew returned from a business trip to the US last week, he wanted nothing more than to indulge in some typical Chinese cuisine. So off we went to Cha's Restaurant, a diner specializing in Cantonese dishes.

We sampled a number of foods including sweet and sour shrimp, ramen noodle soup, fried noodles, and salted fish fried rice, all washed down with traditional milk teas.


But most importantly, they had bōluó bāo (pineapple buns) on the menu. A bōluó bāo is essentially the love child of a sugar cookie and a dinner roll. Or perhaps they are made of fairy dust. Hands down, these are my favorite Chinese dessert (sorry egg tarts!). Despite the name, these babies don't have a dash of pineapple in them. Instead, the name comes from the pattern which appears on the top when baking. You can't really see it here since I was halfway through eating them before I bothered to snap a photo.

Cha's is located in the basement of our complex and it somehow took us six months to try this place out. My waistline thinks this is a good thing.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

An Ode to Sherpa's

In Shanghai, there is a magical business. It's name is Sherpa's and this company is single highhandedly keeping most expats from starving in Shanghai (and a few other cities in China).

What exactly is Sherpa's? Sherpa's is a takeout delivery service. You simply call Sherpa's (or go online) and give your order to an English speaking phone operator. The operator then calls the restaurant and orders your meal. Within 45 minutes, piping hot food is at your door, delivered by a friendly bike messenger. I know, I know. It doesn't sound that amazing or different than regular takeout. But consider these facts. I can order from a Chinese restaurant where there is no English menu and not a single person speaks English and actually get the correct food. I can have McDonald's delivered to my door. If Matt wants Thai and I want Indian, we can order from multiple restaurants and all the food will arrive at the same time. People, they will bring me beer and cigarettes! Okay, I have no need for cigarettes but if I did, they would deliver them to me.

All of this for a mere $2.40 delivery fee.

As if my love affair with Sherpa's wasn't intense enough, they went ahead and gave me $15 worth of food vouchers for submitting this picture of Snowball to a contest. Step one of turning my cat into an internet sensation is complete.
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