Guangzhou (Guangdong Province) – Shangxiajiu Pedestrian St Part 2

A big hello to everyone! So, I disappeared again. Where did I disappear off to? My exams.

This was the first semester at uni where I had 6 exams in the exam period, so I put everything down in my life and went to fight those head on. Hopefully, I succeeded, but we will find out in a few weeks time.

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who follows this blog and reads my writing. Really, this blog means very much to me, because this is a platform where I can express my views on something I love so much. As my sincere apology, you can expect a post from me every weekday of this week, which means there will be something to read on this blog today, tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!

Alright, let us finish this holiday.

 

“My daughter isn’t that interested in food”. This was the conclusion my own father came to by the end of our trip. If anyone else had said that I would swell up indignantly and set out with steadfast determination to prove them wrong. However, if you are comparing me with him then I think I will be more inclined to wave a little white flag above my head and tell you that biologically my stomach just doesn’t work as well as his. I really cannot just go from eating a reasonably full lunch to snacking half a hour later and then again half a hour after that. So, after a lot of convincing dad agreed to browse the shops a little with me before returning to one of his favourite authentic snack houses.

OuChengJi – The “mian shi” specialists (欧成记面试专家)

99 Dishifu Rd, Guangzhou,

Guangdong, China

IMG_20131225_174909

I should really have wrote a disclaimer regarding my translation. Translation really isn’t my forte, but I will try my best. First up, what is “mian shi”? I typed it into Google Translate and it gave me pasta. It is not pasta. “Mian shi” basically refers to anything that is made out of wheat or dough. So this can be buns, it can be dumplings, it can be noodles, but in this case I’m going to introduce you to Ouchengji’s specialty wontons.

 

Prawn wontons

Prawn Wontons (上汤鲜虾云吞)

This dish looks deceptively simple, but it packed in so much flavour. A deep yet crisp soup base was studded with fat, plump jewels of wontons. Each and every morsel was stuffed full of fresh bouncy prawns and every bite exploded with umami. If I could have a bowl of this for breakfast  in this miserable Melbourne weather right now, I promise you I would be bouncing of the walls for the rest of the day. Simple perfection.

DeChang Savoury Pancake

DeChang Savoury Pancake (德昌咸煎饼)

Err…didn’t you say pancake? This looks more like a doughnut. That was my very thought. Initially, I thought this was rather ordinary. Just a fried ring of dough that was lightly flavoured. However, I found myself reaching back for more and more, this was the culprit that kept me from enjoying my dinner that night because I was just too full. There is something insanely addictive about this chewy ring of dough, maybe it was because as I chewed every bite there was a lovely sweetness that would seep out from behind the initial savoury facade. If you enjoy a fine balance between sweet and savoury I think you will like this snack.

This Ouchengji store we visited also housed a popular dairy dessert brand, “NanXin”, which is famous for its milk curd. The direct translation for this dessert is “double skinned milk”, because the top layer would contain a thick film of milk, like the sort you would get when you over boil your milk. This steamed curd dessert is made through a double steaming process of egg whites and milk. I guess the closest western dessert I can think of would be Panna Cotta, but at the same time it is also very different from it.

Plain Double Skinned Milk - cold (双皮奶 冷)

Plain Double Skinned Milk – cold (双皮奶 冷)

For me this was a very delicate, yet sophisticated dessert. It wasn’t overly sweet, but really let the creaminess and purity of the milk shine through. Actually, I liked this so much that I tried to replicate it at home and I will share the recipe up on here for anyone who is interested at a later date. It is really quite simple to make and paired with some fresh pomegranate it makes for a lovely summer treat.

Double skinned milk with red bean paste - cold (豆沙双皮奶 冷)

Double skinned milk with red bean paste – cold (豆沙双皮奶 冷)

We also ordered a serve of this with red bean paste. At first, I could not imagine on how a sweet, smooth red bean paste would work with this delicate dessert, but once I saw the thick chunky version appear on top of the delicate curds I understood immediately. The chunky red bean paste wasn’t overly sweet and was lightly flavoured with osmanthus flowers, it served as a beautiful flavour and texture accompaniment, without overpowering this light dessert.

After 2 bowls of wontons, a plate of  fried pancakes and two bowls of milky dessert the three of us were stuffed, yet the damage was only 45 yuan. Really, this is what I think good food is. Good food should be simple, affordable and it must also be able to stand the test of time.

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