Friday, September 25, 2009

Grilled Lamb Sticks, Muslim Street in Xi'an China

Blink and oh, Hari Raya is upon us already! Oops, it just passed. BUT hey, one can smell the celebration in the air still. Yup, the lemang stalls are still around. Afterall it is still the Syawal month.

So my halal post specially dedicated to celebrate my Muslim friends' grand celebration is still not too late. =P

When in Xi'an, we frequented this area once during the day, twice on nights.
Browsing through tourist maps and websites, this will be pointed out as one of the top attraction spots in the walled city - The Great Mosque.

Though the unique Chinese building styled mosque (with no dome nor tower) is still very much a popular prayer house among the locals, tourists need to pay entry fee ranging from RMB15-25 per person depending on season.The heaving day and night street market surrounding The Great Mosque offers almost everything, eats, homemade attire, trinkets to spices.
But what do you think was our main draw here, which kept us going back 2 nights in a row? They have plenty of roadside stalls hawking fruits, cakes, cooked dishes but only this made us drooled. Succulent Grilled Skewered Lamb (Gau-Yang-Rou in Mandarin).No doubt, the Muslim men doing the manual work looked good too. Trust me. These are must haves. No strong 'beasty' smell. Spicy. On both occasions we savour them in our hotel room. *snap fingers* Now now, we are talking about the the grilled meat.

One of the shops doing brisk business was this.Maybe it's the never ending flow of customers, maybe it was the shorthanded staff or maybe (most probably) it was just the level of tolerance the locals have. We found the din and pile of leftovers on the tables and floor overwhelming so we ordered takeaways.

On normal days and nights, the area was already so busy.Can you imagine the marvellous chaos it's in now during this festive season?

*Clink* Sirap Bandung to a SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI!

Pity smooth traffic week has ended ..

For those map-illiterate as moi, when visitng at night, just look out for this beacon - the Drum Tower (Gu Lou) of Xi'an. One of the entrance into the Muslim Street is just behind it.
PS. Something memorable happened during the just long weekend ie the Raya holidays. I met up with 8 wholesome to goodness kindie/primary school friends whom I've not been in contact with for 2 decades and counting!
TQ so very much dearest Michael T for your generous time & effort!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Toilet Post#30 .. Bonus: Breakfast provided at Nan Fang Hotel, Xi'an

Actually, just got back from a week in bblrrrr cold Perth. But I still have posts & posts of my adoi hot China trip ..

Bused into the walled Xian city from the airport. Walked to our budget hotel. It was RMB150 per night. RM75. A far cry from the published rates of RM2,000 at this palace. However credit to my friend who did the research and booking, it was everything we needed. Clean, safe and with a hard working air-conditioner.And conveniently located within the busy area of the city. And breakfasts were provided. Ah, breakfasts. Cold dishes of oily greens were served. Believed the greens were boiled then mixed with salt, mild spices and chili oil.Noticed the other local patrons were enjoying the oily greens with steamed dumplings. Tight dough dumplings. The meagre fillings were sweet lotus paste or red bean paste. Every morning is different but same-same (a lingo describing very minimal variation). Oh how I missed my piping hot nasi lemak or a bowl of steamy noodles. Of course this is just me. The disadvantages of being born with very localised tatsebuds. =,(

No coffee no tea. Hot plain soya bean milk anyone? 2 of us dunked our 3+1 coffee mix into it and wala, a delicious newly discovered beverage was born!
PS. It was summer. Did I mentioned it was summer? Summer in China? Landed right smack in the extreme sunny July summer! A summer so hot that hair fizzles and bottoms sweat. *note to self: Never travel to China during their summer months!!*

So most dishes are either prepared or served at room temperature. These are called cold dishes (len-chai in Mandarin). The initial 6 meals, I tolerated. Then the persistent appearances of sliced raw cucumber and celery tossed in chilli oil got to me. So if the later posts sounds unappetising or sluggish, please understand that I'm a Malaysian who loves hot food served hot even in our all year round hot weather.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oak Tree Cafe, Guangzhou International Airport

And so at 7am in the morning after, we left the comfy pampering center by taxi to catch a transit bus to the Guangzhou International Airport.Obviously all the fuss of flying outta Guangzhou instead of the nearer Shenzhen International Airport was due to cheaper air tickets. It was a budget backpacking trip afterall. *ahem*

The airport was quite impressive.We did self check-in at the machines instead of queuing at the congested counters. Once the boarding passes are printed, just check-in the luggage at the designated counters. Don't understand? Just ask one of the few appointed airport personnels (cannot miss them as they wear flashy sashes) standing by to assist. Ecpc, especially if you read and speak Chinese (Mandarin). =P

Our breakfast at the airport. 3 of us shared 1 bowl of Wantan Noodles and 1 bowl of Preserved Chinese Mustard Noodles. Tastewise, the latter fared better. The wantan (porky dumplings) skin were thick and the fillings smelled very different to what I'm used to. The Malaysian version wins hands down.The piping hot Lattes and Cappucino were good.Just love the brown crystal sugar they provide!Our bill:There are at least 3 outlets of this cafe in that airport!

Next post, we arrived in Xian, City of the Terracotta Warriors.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wahaha Bakery, Bukit Mertajam Penang

I know I know I've been neglecting you. Again. But you know I'm telling you the truth when I say you are my one and only. Yes yes I did think of committing to another before but it was just a frivolous thot for a time. A long time ago. I may not be consistent but I'm quite persistent. Persistently trying to surprise you and get you the attention you craves. So please forgive me. Again. Thank you, dear Blog.

Is it just me or whenever the 3 quarter of the year arrives, time increases its flying speed. So many trips, so many eats, so many back posts, so little time. *sigh* So much weight. *SIGH*

Let's put a hiccup post in between my long winded China posts.

Last month I had to make an unexpected trip up north due to a family emergency. My father was hospitalised due to non-precious stones found in him. See, dear seniors out there, please drink more good 'ol plain water. Leave the flavourful drinks to the very young who still do cartwheels and climb monker bars.

Ok back to my food post. During that trip, found an interesting must see must try bun:-

Charcoal Bamboo Bun with Sesame Seeds
Now tell me that picture is not appetising.What about these?Hahaha.
Tastewise, quite bland with a very slight bamboo fragrance but I definitely did not buy it for its taste!

Price:- RM2.20 (I think) for a pack of 4 buns

The brave bakery's contact:-
Blog dearest, moi forgiven?

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