Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tried Xinjiang Food

I'm lucky that most meals are taken with a large group. In that setting, we always have a variety of food that everyone can share and eat. Dinner was at Xibo, a Xinjiang restaurant. It's beautifully decorated, along with a wide range of food on its menu.

Some of the food's just strange for me. I don't do well with the spices because they overpower all the natural taste of the ingredients with a sourish sort of chilli which makes the tongue numb and an unwelcome acidic taste swirled around the mouth for moments after. Eeeeks. I had to ask for Coke to drown that out. The menu is extensive, but it must be because the table had ordered alot of meat and less vegetables. Whatever I tried of the starters were quite ummm.....weird. I was happy with the flatbreads and vegetables. The steamed pumpkin dumplings are good, along with the squares of potato used in the gravy of most dishes. Most stock and gravy are meat-based though.

I confess I didn't know what to make of the food. It isn't exactly horrible, but the oil, spices and goo-iness make my stomach churn. In the end, only the bread, broccoli, mushrooms and potatoes landed on my plate. Oh, and the fried rice was fairly delicious.

It's fairly fascinating to listen to the conversation at the table. They're not all Singaporeans. They come from all over the world to work in Shanghai. As a tourist, I don't really see the full picture of what Shanghai is about. All the little tales, stories, insights tell me about the friends' lives in Shanghai, their concerns, thoughts and comments. That's a valuable takeaway from this vacation.


sinlady said...

all the more reason why some chinese foods never made it outside of china. i remember xinjiang food as terribly oily and spiced with the infamous mah lah peppers that numb the entire mouth for hours after.

but, must try at least once :)

imp said...

sinlady: yah lor. i thought i should try it first before ummm....panning it! tried it a long time ago- forgot about it and made the mistake of eating it this time. grrrrr.