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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Imperial Meal at the Bai Family Garden Restaurant

Ok, now I am going to start recapping my food adventures in earnest. It was sooo good -- Chinese food in China makes Chinese food in America seem like McDonald's Chinese food... everything tastes so much better there... oh I miss it already. Anyhoo, since I was on a royal visit there, I had a special imperial meal at the Bai Family Garden Restaurant. It is situated in a secluded courtyard garden formerly owned by a Qing Prince. Oh yeah, apparently the prince drives a Porsche Cayenne... def not as cool as the Catmobile (see below)

Catmobile sighting in Shanghai...

But I digress... the wait staff at the restaurant is dressed in period pieces and they would greet us with traditional royal greetings, and of course, they referred to me as Your Royal Highness, I think I could get used to that.

One of the main dining halls in the courtyard

But since I was an American Princess, we had our meal at this private gazebo in the middle of the large koi fish pond.

This server is dressed in blue, which means her primary duty is to fill tea for guests.

Here she is preparing to serve us

Sweets for appetitzers... we usually have desserts at the end, but here, they are presented at the beginning of the meal. But I was smart, and didn't eat any as to leave room for the yummy foods to come.

Flower Salad, so pretty.

Donkey Meat coldcut: it's very tasty actually, not gamey at all

Red Cooked Deer Meat: my favorite dish of the whole meal, it was leaner and more textured than beef, coupled with roasted garlic and leeks, my mouth is getting watery just thinking about it!

Sauteed Si Melon Shoots (Si Melon is a type of Chinese squash, with a cottony soft texture, people usually eat the squash and not the shoots, but they turned out really good)...

Deep Fried Chang Fish: beautifully presented and very yummy.

Giant Prawns and Shrimp Balls: we were given plastic gloves as not to soil our hands.

Nearing the end of the meal, the highest Imperial Concubine (the Assitant Manager) and the Empress (the Manager) came out to greet us. We requested an audience with the Emperor (the CEO I guess) but he was too busy with imperial matters.

Parting shot of the gazebo... and the pretty koi pond.


Anonymous said...

What a special treat! Nice pics. - jo

K said...


Pei said...

It's like Disneyland meets Afternoon Tea meets the Chinese soap opera fantasies of my youth...

Anonymous said...

Ok. Jealous. -J

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