Last year, my husband and I spent 5 weeks travelling through China. The highlight you ask? Well, while the Wall blew my mind and Jiuzhaigou National Park made my eyes water it was so gosh darn pretty and the rice fields in Dazhai gave a whole new meaning to serenity, I have to say it was something else that made me all gooey for China. That would be the food.
Heads and guts and feet, oh my!
This may not be surprising when you look at our photo album and see shots like the one above. Hmmmm, braised chicken heads...and guts...and feet. It might seem a little left field to anyone who has experienced a country RSL Chinese restaurant. Everyone knows Chinese food. It’s nice, but what’s the big deal? Well, let me tell you my friends, the Chinese food you think you know ain’t nothing on the real thing.
Take the above photo for example. I’m not known for my love of chicken heads and entrails, but I will admit to gnawing on an unidentified piece of meat/offal/bone from this dish as the flavour was phenomenal!
Dumpling obsession begins
It didn’t stop there though. Oh no, when we moved on into the cities, dumplings became our life source – forget not going without water for a day, we couldn’t go without dumplings for a day (OK, maybe two serves of dumplings a day...don’t judge).
From your dodgy corner shop dumpling joint to the fancy chain Tai Din Fung, dumplings were our drug of choice. Succulent pork buns with the softest dough imaginable, Xiao long bao – the imaginative and irresistible soup filled dumplings, pork with cabbage dumplings, pork with shrimp dumplings, plain pork dumplings, oh it didn’t matter, we just ate them by the plateful!
A new contender
Dumplings momentarily lost their place in our hearts when we got to Beijing and discovered Da Dong Roast Duck restaurant. All I will say is – crispy duck skinned dipped in sugar, it’s like a new religion peeps, get on board! Amazing duck – you will never have duck so tender, juicy, crispy, flavoursome and all out awesome as you will in Beijing!
The main thing to remember though my friends, in a country so food obsessed it makes the French look like amateurs:
Got any questions for Jess? Leave them in the comments section below. And head over to twitter and Facebook for more food-related fun. Upload pics, share stories, enter comps or just chat with other Gecko's travellers.
If you'd like to fill your belly with some fine Chinese cuisine, take a look at our trips.