It's a cold night and tomorrow's temperature is expected to dip to -2°C ! Brrrrrrrr. It tried to snow in the afternoon, but the miserable teeny flakes turned into rain instead. In the cold, hot pot was a welcome option for the evening meal. But I was not too confident that my stomach could withstand the rigors of eating food cooked in tap water and some stock. Anyway, we bravely headed to an outlet of a Hong Kong-style steamboat eatery in Shanghai- 一哥肥牛火锅海鲜酒家. Ummm...I don't know the English name of this place. The signboard's reflected a English version of 'Number 1 Hot Pot Restaurant', but I don't know if that's actually it.
This isn't a fancy restaurant at all. In fact, it looks a tad dodgy. But what the hell. Try! The soup base was Chinese wine and chicken stock. It smelt fine. It was a boiling pot. That ought to be alright. There were potfuls of food dunked into the pot to boil. I was most intrigued by the fish balls and paste. I didn't want to know what they really were. They didn't smell bad, and tasted quite alright. But the pretty mushrooms which were boiling for too long, soaked up the heavy taste of the meat in them and tasted quite weird. I had tons of raw garlic in soya sauce with chilli padi too. Heh.
While waiting for a cab after dinner, I grinned at the BFF and said, "BOO". She promptly ran away from my garlic breath. She doesn't like garlic very much. Then she chased me down the street and made me chew a mint before she allowed me to clamber into the cab. Hmmmmph. I no like mints.
It's been a while. I haven't had the runs. (Touch wood!) I guess the stomach is living fine with the oil and flavors of this city. The food is quite salty, and very friggin' oily. They never seem to understand it when I repeatedly remind them to use less oil in the cooking. And about the oil....I can taste the sort of oil they use, regardless whether the food's from small eateries to mid-sized restaurants, to foreign-owned cafes and those in the hotels, and oh never mind.