Monday, December 3, 2012

Pavilion overhaul

After spending 10 days in China, I realize how little I had known about the culture and the food.  The last time I took an international history class, it was 1999 so a lot has changed, but I had hoped that Epcot's World Showcase, acting as a living and breathing permanent World's Fair, could help keep me somewhat up to date on what modern day China has to offer.

Obviously the Pavilion is designed after ancient China which is stunning, but what about the high rises of the big cities?  And now, even the countrysides are overwhelmed with high rise residential living space.   But, I'm okay with the buildings - I love the ancient style and absolutely appreciate it.  What I don't get is the food.
Snacks from my train ride - fish jerky WAS in there!
Yes, there are very strange foods to eat - I'm sorry, but dried fish jerky and chicken feet will never make it into my must have snack list.  But the dumplings.  Oh, the dumplings.  There is a very famous Taiwanesese chain of dumpling restaurants, Din Tai Fung that was near our hotel in Shanghai that in our 3 days in Shanghai, we stopped in twice.   The big speciality - soup dumplings.  The best way to describe it that it's like having wonton soup in a thin wonton wrapper.  Wonton, meat/veg/fish (your choice) and broth all in a thin dumpling and steamed.  Absolutely incredible.
Hot and Sour Soup

Dumplings in a spicy sauce


Steamed pork buns

On our day we didn't have dumplings, we found a restaurant called Lost Heaven which is based on food of the Yunan Province, or South Western part of China with influences from Burma and Tibet.  The meal we had there was decadent and completely different flavors - lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, yum. 

Between the dumplings and Lost Heaven, how is it possible that I have never had a good dining experience in The China Pavilion?  I know that many people enjoy the eggrolls (and I'm curious to try the new tea/coffee/bourbon drink), but as the meals go?  I would never stop there over Via Napoli or La Hacienda.

But, bring in some soup dumplings and I am IN.

Now, to get that restaurant to take over....

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