Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Culinary Sights of Nanjing and Suzhou, China

As usual, this trip to China was all about eating lots of good food. Generally speaking, food here is dirt cheap. We had one expencive meal which came out to be $26 total for the two of us, but it was well worth it. Everything else pictured here was less than $4.

Breakfast on day one. Some kind of thin pancake filled with veggies, egg and lots of yummy cilantro. at less than a dollar, I'd say we ate well.

First lunch on Day 1, Chinese ramen and tea. There weren't a lot of options around the Ming Tombs for food.

Lunch number two on day one. We found a restaurant near the Sun Yat Sen Mausaleum. At about $1.50 we felt it was a bit overpriced. It wasn't great. 

The above photo and the two below were dinner on day 1. The top one was pretty good, but had some unknown things that we left behind.

I liked this one a lot, kind of like Chinese seasoned cold roast beef. I learned something I never knew about the boyfriend. He doesn't eat cold meat. So I ate it all up myself.

This was supposed to be crab. We asked him if they had crab, he pointed to it on the menu, and we ordered it. But, it was some sort of curried chicken. Delicious, but not crab. We found out later crab is out of season now, it seems he was too embarrassed to tell us they didn't have any. Or he told us and we didn't understand it.... Also a possibility.

Breakfast on day 2. The best dumplings I've ever had, I think. I love that they are filled with some soup like filling. But it makes it rather dangerous when they break open before you get them into your mouth. Oh, and the soy sauce is totally unnecessary. I wish I could say the same for Korean mandu. This was about $1

The cute mandu boy. He seemed a little embarrassed to get his photo taken, but didn't say no!

Lunch on day 2 near the city walls. I may call this restaurant some Chinese answer to a kimbab chonguk... lots of cheap, quick Chinese food at cheap prices. It tasted good to us!

Pineapples were everywhere in Nanjing and Suzhou. We tried to eat as much as we could while we were there.

Ah, finally we come to our one "expencive" meal, our dinner on day 2 just after we arrived in Suzhou. We would call it hot pot or shabu shabu, but the Chinese name is Huo Guo.

I think this may be the same chain as what I have seen in America, otherwise there's one in America which looks remarkably the same with a little lamb as their mascot (has anyone seen it, in China or America?) It gets expencive because you order every vegetable, noodle, etc separately, and of course you want to try as much as possible! 

Yummy yummy Huo Guo!!!

Lunch on day 3, the above soup and the below spring rolls. Nothing fantastic. I was a little weirded out by the blood chunks in the soup, but it tasted much better than 선지국 (beef blood soup) I've had here in Korea.

A snack as we left Suzhou to go back to Nanjing. Kind of like a Chinese burrito.

Our last dinner. Four dishes; mushroom soup (not pictured), bak choi (above), Disanxian (pictured below, translates to three seafoods of the earth, meaning potato, pepper and eggplant), and a ground beef with green pepper dish. Plus two big beers. Total price, $7. And for those of you at home, there's no tipping in China.

I often wonder if I could live in China, the food alone would be worth it. The cost of living is so cheap, as long as you're not doing touristy things. Just those summers... I think I'd have to escape the summers....


  1. All this food is really making me long for the good stuff I get in a real China Town. I can't wait for my return trip later this year. Authentic food!!!

  2. Makes me hungry. Yes, that is the same hot pot/huo guo chain you've seen in America.

    In regards to living in China, my classmates in college would teach English in Korea for the summer, work lots of over time, and live off of that money for a the rest of the school year in China, traveling all over the place. So it could be done.

    Proper Yankee