Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snapshot Sunday: Chinese Hotpot

We arrived in Chengdu late after our border run from Kunming to Hong Kong to renew our visas.  The only restaurant open was packed with young local people but, as usual, was without an English menu.  We sat down anyways and Tracy pointed in our phrase book for vegetarian which resulted in a laugh from the waitress.  She in turn pointed at chicken and fish.  We saw the fish heads and scales as we entered the restaurant and didn’t want that in our pot so we shrugged our shoulders and ordered chicken thinking how bad could it be?  What came out of the kitchen was a cold hotpot, a concoction of lukewarm spicy broth with bits of chicken floating in it.  We stirred our chopsticks around and the first thing Jason came up with was the chicken’s head!  I swirled my chopsticks around and came up with a foot.  We sighed, ordered another beer and resigned ourselves to going to bed hungry…


For those of you that are curious we asked at our (English speaking – YAY!) hostel and they confirmed that we went to a “different” kind of hotpot restaurant and that it shouldn’t keep us from trying Chengdu’s traditional hotpot which really is a delicious spicy concoction with vegetables and meats (it really is, I LOVE those SICHUAN peppercorns)! 


Connie said...

Oh no! Eating in China has been one big surprise for me as I don't know what I'm actually ordering half the time and never know what's going to show up on my plate! But floating heads and feet? Oh no. No, no, no... And I'll pretty much eat anything!

Jason and Tracy said...

It was always an adventure but I was actually surprised by some of the tasty stuff we ended up with! I love the egg & tomato dish as well as the green beans (when you can get them, depends on the season). And the gyoza...yummy! We found the best way to get something we wanted was to frequent local mom and pop places and then make our way into the kitchen pointing at what we wanted. That and a language book saved us! Good luck, I'll keep checking your blog to see how it goes!