Friday, January 26, 2018

Sichuan sauerkraut fish?

Smartphones and the Chinese addiction to them has meant wonders for us. I've downloaded an app called Dian Ping (点评) where people review restaurants, cafés, bars... We used it to find Uncle (the Hog Kong restaurant I mentioned in my previous post), and then used it to find this one, Tai Er (太二老坛子酸菜鱼), a nice but affordable restaurant at Mall of the World (花城汇). 

You could grab a cup, add hibiscus flowers and hot water for a fragrant drink...

I could also tell (thanks to the app) a popular item was rice cakes (糍粑) with some slightly sweet sauce. Nice, but definitely better as some sort of dessert.

But the pièce de résistance was the restaurant's signature dish, what they themselves translate as "sauerkraut fish" (or, literally from Chinese, sour vegetable fish from the old pot). It even came with instructions! Eat the fish meat. Eat the sour veggies with your rice. Drink your soup.  

And how was this dish? Unbelieavably good! The soup was spicy, but not impossibly spicy. It was full of aniseed and peppercorns that released the most delicious of fragrances when you chewed them. The fish was amazing. The veggies on rice were on point. The remaining soup was delicious. And it was crazy filling.

We left that place feeling so happy I think we kept talking about the dish for quite some time! Too good! I'm sure gonna keep using that app to find more treasures!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

manga exhibition at Guangdong Museum!

There are so many museums and exhibitions it's hard to choose what to see! But last weekend we decided to visit an amazing manga exhibition at the Guangdong Museum (广东省博物馆). 

The exhibition area itself was cool, with numerous sections for the best works, the runners-up, and the rest, covering illustrations, manga, and even other media like sculpture and installations. Cool, eh? 

The drawings were gorgeous (especially those selected as the best) and in many styles: 

But this futuristic Monkey King slaying a cyborg dragon was my favourite new media piece:

After the exhibition, we had a look around the museum, and we found a sort of garden-like area on a side, with a sculpture composed of several Tibetan-like figures in various procession and prayer postures. It looked abandoned – there was a frame with prayer wheels lying on the ground, damaged. A strange silent comment?

There were many more exhibitions, but were one-exhibition-a-day kind of people, so we'll be back!

matcha mango bread?

My local bakery keeps surprising me with new creations every day. Matcha mango bread? The one next to it is a tad more normal, I guess – a spicy pork floss bread.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

a day at the Redtory Art District

When we lived in Beijing, there was this factory area that had been turned into an art district. Well, Guangzhou has a similar concept! Redtory (红专厂). And there was an exhibition by video installation artist Bill Viola. So we had a look this past weekend...

Getting there means walking through a few alleys after getting off the subway. Yummy street snacks, narrow streets, definitely not the urban flashy area we live in! Cool!

Redtory itself is big. And you could enjoy simply walking around, without visiting any specific exhibitions.

But you should most definitely do the exhibitions there, of course! I had never seen anything by Bill Viola. And I loved it! His videos are amazing! He films in slow motion, the beginnings of his films are usually a very long introduction and sometimes it's hard to tell what's coming or what the film is about, and then drama increases slowly but exponentially. He also often shows you the film in reverse, to beautiful and surreal effect. They're absolutely mesmerizing and a real delight to watch.

We were very hungry afterwards, and we ended up at Uncle (表叔), which bills itself as a Hong Kong-style nostalgia place. Many Bruce Lee figurines, bright decoration, and lots of tasty dishes!

And you can even find comfy cafés for an espresso before you leave! Now, the espresso might have been a bit too acidic for us, but the bright and airy space, the super cool stuff they sell (gotta go back for an expensive but totally crazy cup by a Japanese graphic artist) and the sofa we sat on more than compensated.

Undoubtedly, this will be but just one of very many visits to Redtory. So glad there's a place like this!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

a night around Huacheng Square

Sure, it was one of the most polluted days we had. But it is what it is, and at least smog gives pictures an artistic haze? Anyhow, here's a night walk around Huacheng Square, including views of Canton Tower, the International Financial Centre building and the Opera House.

dragon fruit bread, sea cucumber soup, seaweed Cheetos!

Fascinated with the diversity and difference in flavours! Dragon fruit cheese-filled bread, sea cucumber soup, seaweed Cheetos, wasabi almonds, salt and black sesame candy... yum!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

first Guangzhou impressions – III

Ok, here's the last part of impressions from our first week by the Pearl River Delta! Including...

More views of malls, trees lit pink, a massive Apple Store, and Tesla. 

Subway ads promoting both "the core values of socialism" and McDonald's breakfasts that include many kinds of congee!

Views from apartments that we can't rent because... well, it's complicated, but it involves mismanagement, a bit of xenophobia, and mould...

More delicious food, like this Hakka style lunch at Hakkayu! Hakka Tofu (客家豆腐), Huai Mountain greens (淮山炒水东芥), and fish mouths (想亲鱼嘴)?

Tons of views around Huacheng Square, including the Opera House, Canton Tower, the library... 

And last, but not least, a taste of Lanzhou halal noodles!

There. Hopefully, in future, my posts will have a bit more of structure. But this first week there was just this – experience after experience!