Our adventure with food continues. We love to eat, and there is plenty of food to love here in Yangshuo, China.
For breakfast, Josh collects two buns from our favorite steamer place down the road. The man that works at the shop is very enthusiastic to have some new foreign friends and has some of the best tasting buns we have ever had. I refill our thermoses with fresh, hot water and order us one cup of Americano coffee. Then, we meet up down in the common area of the hostel to enjoy our plunder. Breakfast is small, but filling, and only costs $2 (the one cup of coffee eats up $1.60 of the cost of breakfast).
We ate at the shop once. Their fresh soy milk (in the bowl) is amazing! The tiny table and stools that are common at shop fronts in China are way too small for our big American booties though. So, we have gotten in the habit of getting our breakfast to-go (da bao) and eating at the hostel.
Our favorite stop for lunch is a place we call “The Good Build Your Own”. At the front of the shop, there is a case of fresh vegetables and meats. We are given a bowl and some tongs, then left to our leisure. We fill our bowl with the ingredients we want, then hand it off to the cook, who asks us whether we want rice or noodles. There are four identical restaurants of this style all on the same block, but the “Good” one always serves us a larger portion than the others. Depending on the amount of meat we put in the bowl, the price will vary between $2.30 (first photo) and $2.60 (second photo, due to the added egg). Each dish is enough to serve both of us.
We’re also still eating a good amount of “Chinese fast food”. There is a place we like that is about a 15 minute walk away near the Bank of China. The staff is super friendly and they serve up amazing food for only $0.75.
For dinner, we usually enjoy a more traditional sit-down restaurant. We named our favorite place “Paper Lantern” because of the restaurant’s choice of lighting decorations. We haven’t even ordered the same thing twice because everything has been delicious. My favorite has been the sweet and sour eggplant, but Josh’s favorite was the beef and potatoes. With one or two dishes and a big bowl of rice, we are usually charged about $6 for dinner.
At the sit-down restaurants in South China, it is common to wash your dishes before you eat. Most of the time, the dishes have already been professionally washed, packed, and sealed in wrap, but the tradition lives on.
Yangshuo’s Famous: Beer Fish
Yesterday, we made a friend down in the common room and invited him out to join us for Yangshuo’s most popular dish, Beer Fish. We had a great time chatting with someone new and enjoyed a good meal with good company. The fish was delicious, but nothing to write home about (although I guess that is exactly what I am doing!). It came in a large, hot dish with a candle underneath to keep it warm. The tomatoes made it a little saucy and gave it an almost Spanish flavor.
Yangshuo’s Foreign Food Scene
If we haven’t said it enough, Yangshuo has LOTS of foreign restaurants. Right in the center of the city is a giant Starbucks. The problem with foreign food is that it can be quite expensive in China. This, and the fact that we love Chinese food, kept us from eating out at foreign restaurants often. We did, however, frequent Ganga Impression Indian Restaurant more frequently than we would like to admit. The service was top notch and the food was beyond delicious.
We also tried a pizza restaurant, Thai restaurant, and Burger King. In my defense, Burger King was offer TWO ice cream cones for less than $0.25. Could I really pass that up? I didn’t think so.
We only have a few days left in Yangshuo and I know I will miss all my favorite stops. But the only thing better than the food I like, is more food I like. Can’t wait to see what our next stop tastes like!