Archive for June 21st, 2013

Day 3: Guangzhou, 江南大道 Wedding dress shopping & 上下九步行街 Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

We were excited on the third day because it meant that our Guangzhou leg of the trip was starting! We woke up early because we wanted to catch the early trains from Hongkong to Guangzhou to make it to Guangzhou by noon.

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Breakfast at another congee stall near Soy Street Mongkok. I wasn’t very hungry so ordered a plate of zha leong, which is fried youtiaw wrapped in cheong fun and soaked in a sweetish soy sauce.

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Richard had a big bowl of ‘zhu hong jook’ as in pork blood cube congee. He preferred the first congee stall we had the day earlier but said the bloodcubes were good.

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Don’t forget if you’re travelling from Hongkong to China, you need to apply for a visa in advance. There are various methods of getting to Guangzhou from Hongkong, but one of the easiest ways is via train. All you have to do is get to the Hung Hum station in Kowloon where you’re able to buy your train tickets (HKD$190) to the Guangzhou East station. 12 trains run daily and the train journey takes a comfortable two hours. The train itself is very spacious and clean so we had a relaxing journey.

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Once we walked out of the train station we were greeted by Gerry, Gerry’s mum and his friend CK ! It was all very exciting and cheerful, Gerry’s mum was delighted that we were finally going to visit their hometown and was chattering to us non-stop. Straightaway Gerry brought us to fill our tummies and introduced us to his hospitable and friendly god mother who started ordering a vast  array of dishes.

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This was one of the first dishes being red roasted pigeons, a specialty in Guangzhou and Hongkong.

Day 3

And then the dishes went on and on from a variety of dimsum to roast goose, a beautifully steamed fish and pearl chicken.

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But we were really in Guangzhou for a mission: to buy a wedding dress. They had purposely picked a restaurant along the famous Guangzhou Wedding Street being Jiangnan Da Dao so we could go wedding dress hunting straight away. The aunties left us to shop and the young ones started trekking along the never ending shops of wedding everything. There weren’t just wedding dress shops, there were shops specialising in tailored suits for men, shoe shops, wedding accessory shops selling everything and anything you would need for a chinese wedding.

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Big sparkly gown or traditional red and gown kua? Choices, choices.

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Just in this building along there were three or four stories of wedding stores. Along both sides of this busy street were bridal boutiques and tailors not to mention street vendors selling wedding stickers, red umbrellas, lucky packets with your family name …..

Did we manage to get a wedding dress? Yes! I also bought a cheongsam and Richard ordered a suit as well, so in all, a very successful shopping outing. Poor Gerry and CK couldn’t have been enjoying themselves trooping in and out of the stores in the muggy heat but they never complained and were great companions.

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It was late afternoon by the time we were done shopping, time to check in our hotel which was conveniently located on the busy Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. We were pretty tired by then so didn’t explore the street much.

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After checking in, CK brought us to this popular dessert house 南信 Nanxin located on the pedestrian street. We knew straight away that it was going to be a good foodie place because it was teaming with locals.

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Richard and Gerry in Guangzhou, June 2013.

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My first 双皮奶 Double Skin Milk and apparently Nanxin’s双皮奶 happens to be one of the best in Guangzhou too :). This mixture of milk, egg white and sugar was fantastically smooth, creamy and rich. I was very impressed.

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Gerry’s favourite chinese dessert is the black sesame paste 芝麻糊 which when you look at it, looks like a uurgh black mess. But Nanxin’s black sesame paste wowed us with its fragrance and richness. It was really lovely and possibly the best jimawu we’ve ever had.

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They have other things besides dessert! This was their Sampan Congee which was slightly burnt but still pretty tasty nevertheless.

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Their cheongfuns which come in huge portions. Again, I was surprised at how different the texture of cheongfun was in Guangzhou, chewier and stickier and smooth.

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CK introduced me to another signature dessert of Nanxin, this mixture of mango, red bean and herbal jelly dessert. It was nice but I was still partial towards the double skin milk.

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Another nice dessert, this one had crunchy bits of water chestnuts in it and tasted a bit like a light horlicks or ovaltine. Very refreshing and great texture. And with that, our wonderful first day in Guangzhou ended with a sweet note. Already this Guangzhou leg was promising to be an exciting foodie experience and memorable trip.

Nanxin Shuang Pi Nai 南信双皮奶
47号 Dishifu Road, Liwan
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

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Wanted to end this blog post with this picture that we snapped along the Guangzhou busy roads, can you guess what this building is? It’s a kindergarten! I think Tristan and Kaka would have liked going to a kindergarten that resembles a Hogwarts castle. More Guangzhou posts next time.

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