|July 27, 2013||Filed under California, China, San Francisco, Shanghai|
“And the next course is lobster xiao long bao!” gushed the waiter at Benu, arguably one of the best restaurants in San Francisco at the moment. Having recently returned from Shanghai — home of xiao long bao — I couldn’t help but chuckle as he began to wax poetic about the two dumplings that looked quite lonely atop a beautiful white ceramic serving vessel.
In Shanghai, one orders the soup dumplings by the dozen in bamboo steamer baskets. They are so common and inexpensive in China (granted not filled with lobster) that to see them presented at a Michelin 2-star restaurant was quite surprising. Of course, having been chef de cuisine at The French Laundry, Chef Corey Lee did it with aplomb as one of 15 courses in a 3+ hour dining experience at Benu. (more…)
|June 30, 2013||Filed under China, Shanghai|
“Las Vegas meets Flash Gordon meets RuPaul,” I thought as I gazed at Shanghai’s surreal Pudong skyline. So gaudy and glitzy but grand that I couldn’t help but stare. I was not alone. Thousands of locals and tourists crowded The Bund’s promenade along the Huangpu River on a rare day when blue sky appeared.
Exploring both new and old Shanghai meant traversing some of its nearly 2,500 square miles (that’s 5 times as large as Los Angeles). From solo outings to excursions with newly met relatives to hanging out with expat friends of friends, I had a great first visit to this vibrant city where East and West have been fused by a complex cultural and political history. (more…)