Saturday, December 15, 2007

Si Chuan (四川) Holiday - Food (Part 1 of 7)

I decided to make the Si Chuan province of China my last holiday destination for the year. This was quite a last minute decision so after much desperate call attempts to the various tour agencies, my friend and I finally found a tour from Chan Brothers with vacancies for the Jiu Zhai Gou (九寨沟) tour. With absolutely no prior research or reading up on the destination, we have no idea what are the must-see, must-do, must-eat or must-buy in Si Chuan. It's a 100% Rest & Relax holiday!

With hundreds of photos taken during the trip, I have splitted them up into seven parts, with the first part devoted to the various 'delicacies' I saw and ate in Si Chuan.

Without further ado:

First meal in ChengDu (成都) - Mushroom with Rice Crackers (锅粑)
Well, nice presentation but not exactly my type of food. The rice crackers should be consumed fast otherwise it'll get mushy after being soaked in the gravy for some minutes.

Deep-fried Fish in Sweet & Sour Sauce - Tastes so-so as I do not really fancy fried fish

Glutinous Ball with Meat Fillings - Looks totally gross but very nice! The glutinous rice soaked up the gravy nicely and the meat filling delighted the carnivore in me! As the saying goes "Never judge a book by it's cover"

Fat, Juicy pomegranate bursting with Vitamins B & C

Fresh fruits, nuts and preserved fruits on sale at a roadside stall

Cold noodles - one that tastes like Soba while the other like Udon

Fresh water steamed fish with lots of bones - anyone?

Literally a bucket of rice - 米桶

Fatty Meat - Woooo....looks totally fattening to me but it's one of the delicacies in China where meat dishes are uncommon

Plain Noodle Soup - From the looks of it, it's nothing special. But it's totally heavenly during the trip where we were served mainly rice which cooled down so fast once it was served and was already cold by the time it reaches our mouth

Emperor Chicken with Gingko nuts - Another heavenly dish featuring meat! The gingko nuts used in this soup is a bit bitter but it complements nicely with the chicken.

Chicken Feet Skin - We were that close to eating meat...

Pancake appetiser - Sweet (left) & Salty (right)

Mushroom Hot Pot (菌火锅) - It's essentially steamboat with many different species of native mushrooms. Simple? You are wrong. After this meal, I finally understood the art of eating steamboat. It's not simply to dump all the food into the steamboat, but mastering the technique of which food to put into the steamboat and tasting the soup first before adding more food into it. For every different mushrooms added, the soup tastes really different!

The different kinds of native mushrooms added to our hot pot

I only liked the long beans and carrot slices

Kong Bao Diced Chicken (宫宝鸡丁) - I can totally identify with this dish

Sauteed Lettuce - Nice to look at but somehow, not yet that tempting for me to want to taste it.

Aloe Vera Appetiser - This is a cold dish which proves to be rather refreshing

Sweet and Sour Pork Chop - Another dish which identifies with the Singaporeans

Crispy Duck Skin (脆皮鸭) & Bun (曼头) - The crispy duck skin is not the same as those served in Singapore. It is really fattening but I guess the locals like to serve fatty meat to their guests since meat is a rather rare food fare.

Steamed Raisin Buns

Herbal Buns (曼头) - Looks innocently nice but one bite into it and ohhhh....for those who hates the chinese herbal taste, stay away from it

Steamed Egg with Diced Ham - Two Thumbs Up!!

慈母锅 - It's steamboat with the inner round pot filled with hot & spicy soup (麻辣汤) and the outer pot filled with chicken soup

Hot & Spicy Beef Noodles (麻辣牛肉面) - For those Singaporeans who love to eat spicy food, don't ever brag about your tolerance level for spicy food in Si Chuan. My friend ended up with pulsating burning lips only after a few bites into this potent looking noodles which we found at a local food restaurant

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