Sorry for the interruption. Server issues meant the blog was down for a few days although I’m sure nobody noticed!
So where was I? After Vegas the next stop was Los Angeles where the sun always shines.
It’s been 35 years since I was at Disneyland so it was nice to catch up with a couple if old friends!
Apologies for the brief updates. More details when I get back to China.
So the WoAi USA tour had moved on to Las Vegas for some much deserved indulgence.
The drive from San Francisco was epic but well worth the effort with stunning views of the coast along the Pacific Coast Highway, a night stop over in Pismo Beach before a 7 hour drive to Las Vegas via LA.
Tonight’s plan : dinner at Bouchon followed by Cirque Du Soleil’s Mystere.
Sincere apologies for the lack of posts. It’s been all go since the Bali trip, moving in to my new place, unpacking (more on this nightmare later!) and packing for my vacation which I’m just at the beginning of, here in San Francisco. Bear with me and I’ll be posting very soon!
Apologies for the silence. I’m currently in the Indonesian island of Bali for a work related conference and it’s been non-stop meetings, networking, eating and of course, drinking.
The hotel pool – Grand Nikko, Nusa Dua.
I spent was only here on the neighboring island of Lombok in February, but it’s lovely to be back again, if only to cool down and get away from Shanghai’s sweltering heat and to enjoy the lovely Balinese hospitality. I don’t really understand how it gets cooler by traveling 7 hours south, but it is.
Hope you’re all enjoying the last days of summer.
The 3 Whiskerteers
So my only Norwegian reader has asked me to help find homes for these 3 lovely kittens, all aged around 3 months. The middle one is called Violet (female) and Christopher is the all black kitten at the back. The cutie at the front doesn’t have a name yet.
Please give me a home! One more of Christopher.
If you’re interested in helping out, please contact hellyfishing [at] gmail and mention where you heard about them.
Firstly, has everyone booked seats for Restaurant Week yet? I’m booked in for Sir Elly’s and Pelham’s. That’s quite enough for me.
This isn’t a review as I have yet to try, but I am excited about the opening of Mr Harry, describing itself as serving British cuisine. A quick look at the menu will get any Brit salivating. I can’t decide if on my first visit I will be having the full English breakfast, the homemade bangers and mash or the Ploughman’s lunch. Sides include bubble and squeak and cauliflower cheese.
I’ve spoken to Mr Harry himself, they are in soft opening (so bear that in mind if you pop down) but I’m not going to wait for the full official opening before I go for a try.
If anyone beats me to it, please feel free to report back here on your experience.
Address: 5th floor, 819 West Nanjing Road, close to Shi Men Yi Road.
Reservations: 6203 6511
So I moved out on Sunday and if packing everything up wasn’t stressful enough, I had one final unpleasant encounter with the worst landlords I’ve ever come across. I had dreaded this moment from the second I moved in, 4 years ago. It’s always a tense time when you are wondering how much the landlord will screw you by way of deposit deductions.
The first sign of trouble was the previous night – he texted to request I give the apartment a thorough clean before handing back to him and kindly offered the number of a lady who would help for a reasonable 300 RMB! I would never leave an apartment in a mess, but I think it’s natural to assume that apartments are generally given a good clean by the landlord prior to any new tenants moving in. In any case, I decided to just clean it myself as it was only the floor that really needed cleaning.
So the moment arrived, 2.30pm on Sunday, the landlord and his battle axe wife showed up, and it was clear very early on they were relishing this meeting and couldn’t wait to get started on a list of things I needed to pay for.
This was originally going to be a food review, but well, it got hijacked by a loud ABC (American born Chinese). I haven’t been to Southern Barbarian for several years. It was popular among my circle of friends during the Swiss James era, but then people moved on and I never went back. But for reasons I won’t go in to, I am going to be living next door for the next month so I decided to pay a visit.
I ordered all my usual favourites – potato pancake, spicy and sour chicken, BBQ beef on toothpicks and waited for the food to arrive. Unfortunately there was a very loud American Chinese girl about 4 tables away and all I could here was here annoying voice the entire time. She was with a European male companion and every now and then there would be complete silence which I eventually figured out was the rare time he was speaking (at normal volume).
A token food shot – Yunnan ham and goat’s cheese
Before my goat’s cheese and Yunnan ham arrived, I learned more about this girl than I know about most of my friends. She went to Princeton, not as well known in China as Harvard, her mother wasn’t a tiger mom – apparently, when the book came out, she sent her mum an email saying “thank you mum for not being like this”. I also learned a lot about the US education system and how the top schools encourage studies of the liberal arts rather than more practical subjects that you can actually use in real life.
I suppose I’m being unfair mocking her discussion topics – there’s nothing wrong with them per se, it’s just the ridiculous volume as if she wanted everyone not just her dinner companion, to know her life story. Luckily, they left not long after our food arrived and I enjoyed the rest of the meal in peace, although there were several other tables still dining.
They say Chinese are loud, but on this evidence, they have some stiff competition from across the Pacific Ocean.
I know it doesn’t seem that long ago, but here we are once again. Restaurant Week is from 2nd to 8th September and this year, it looks like there will be 3 rather than 2 price categories for both lunch and dinner bookings. So for dinner, it’s 248 RMB, 168 RMB and 99 RMB, the price being set by each venue. For lunch, the prices are 118 RMB, 78 RMB and 48 RMB.
Bookings open to the public on 22nd August at 4pm so mark it in your diary and start booking as soon as the clock strikes 4! You’ll get a few hours head start if you follow Dining City on Weibo or WeChat (DiningCity_china), or if you like their Facebook page, in which case, you’ll be able to start booking from 10am on the same day with a special password.
As always, the top venues will get booked really quickly so you’ll have to be very quick. My highlight last time was a fantastic dinner at Pelham’s at The Waldorf Astoria with a large group of my friends. It was so good I was tempted to go again when they put on an extended restaurant week just for the venues that one awards.
And finally, the event is also being run in Beijing and Guangzhou, so readers in these cities can also take part (price structure is slightly different for Guangzhou).
If you want to stay up to date and not miss any special offers or announcements like this, please go to my food blog and SUBSCRIBE to Shanghai Uncovered by clicking on the subscribe button on the right side of the page and leave your email contact.
The drinks selection
And so the time has come to move out after 4 wonderful years. The “opening” party 4 years ago feels like yesterday and it seemed apt to mark the end of an era with a “closing” bash.
Just getting started
Guests flew in from all four corners of the globe to participate in this historic event (well, the ones lucky enough to be invited). Clooney couldn’t make it and I didn’t invite Brad Pitt cause he just brings the party down every time he comes!
The Sangria starting to kick in!
I made some Sangria which seemed the perfect drink for a hot summer night. The last time I made Sangria, I almost missed my brunch the next day and threw up all over myself in the bathroom of Jean George, so I was careful not to drink too much this time and didn’t make any brunch (or dinner plans) the next day.
It’s always funny to watch. Things start off slow and civilised, but there’s always a point in the evening, a very obvious moment, when things move up a gear and chaos ensues!
Can I get you ladies more Sangria?
Show me love!
But everyone had a good time and my television didn’t get smashed, so I consider the evening a roaring success. Next stop : WoAi’s 2013 house warming party!