*Note: Initially I wanted to separate the blogposts into Food (in GZ and HK) and Shopping (in GZ and HK) but I have wayyy too many pictures in one posts so I will be dividing it into 4 different posts. I don’t mean to be longwinded, sorry!*
Guang Zhou is a whole new different city now, in my opinion.
Before heading to Guang Zhou, I had interacted with a few Instagrammers to find out the hip places to go (this is when I find Instagram really useful!) and I found a few. During this trip, I got to visit some of the most Instagram-worthy cafes in Guang Zhou thus far – ApF Kafe and Hay Coffee.
Something that really stood out to be was how neat the designs of the cafes were; perhaps the workmanship over at Guang Zhou is multiple times neater and the materials used were of higher quality. It was surprising to me because I could not say the same about a lot of coffee shops in Jakarta.
The coffees were not too bad, I am not a coffee connoisseur so I won’t be able to judge whether it’s good coffee or not but I think it might be a bit pricey compared to Jakarta. I think a cup of coffee is about 45 yuan. which is about IDR 90.000.
There were also a few other restaurants that left an impression, one in particular is Wai Po Jia. Their service and their food…. oh my, my mouth’s watering up thinking about it. Perhaps it’s in the way Chinese people cook … well, Chinese food. The ingredients are a whole new level up as well. Oh! Annnnd, I loved the pork served in China. What’s the difference, you ask? Pork in Jakarta has this smell.. This smell I can’t really describe but if you do eat pork, you know what I’m talking about. I’m assuming it’s because pigs in Jakarta eat rubbish because 1. Pigs are non halal so no Indonesians want to raise them. So let’s leave it at that before I make myself traumatized.
Pork served in Guang Zhou (or anywhere else in the world, really) is so juicy and… fragrant. I love pork intestines. Don’t judge me unless you’ve tried it. At Wai Po Jia (外婆家), they serve deep fried pork intestines with scallions. So good. Heavenly. Amazing.
One more restaurant that I have to mention is my forever love – Hai Di Lao (海底捞). Of course, I’ve tried the said hotpot restaurant elsewhere such as in Singapore, but every visit is different for me. One thing I have to point out is that the Ma La 麻辣 flavor is amped up several times in Guang Zhou compared to Singapore. I’m guessing it’s due to the spices that they get straight from Sze Chuan.
This restaurant is one of a kind. Their toilet in particular is seriously top notch. They provide sanitary pads for you, they even have hair ties for girls to use, hand lotion to use after washing your hands. They literally have someone to hand you a hand towel, another person to guide you to the restroom. I was mind blown.
Another thing that is sort of cute (but borderline creepy) is that if you’re dining alone, they have life size dolls to accompany you eat. Not those creepy ones, but cute ones, like a bunny. They will even leave a glass of water for the doll. Cute? Creepy? Funny touch to the experience though!
When in Rome, do as the Romans do they say. Since I was in China, I definitely had to go have dim sum and xiao long bao. At the rate I was eating, I was totally convinced that I would turn into a xiao long bao.
My mum and dad are fond of Jade Garden in Tai Khoo Hui, which is the mall right across our hotel, which is also conveniently where Wai Po Jia was located. Dim Sum in China… man, the dishes taste so good. I really have no idea what’s wrong with me or my taste buds but food tastes way better in China and must I say, the vegetables and meat are all fresher, juicier and bigger. Dishes aren’t heavily seasoned with MSG, the price of dishes served are satisfyingly affordable for what you were getting in terms of size and quality; I can say I’m satisfied with the food I ate in Guang Zhou.
Sometimes I do wonder why all my friends go to the same restaurants while they’re traveling, highly possibly made famous on Instagram by their peers. Mostly fine dining joints and whatnot. I am not in any way saying that I don’t agree with what they want to eat, after all, it’s their money. But I’d rather eat what the locals eat, for one I believe where the fun’s at. Eat as the locals do and not what’s on the travel magazine or on Instagram. Because, you gotta admit, the best dishes aren’t even at all Instagramable.
I hope this helps anyone who is planning to visit Guang Zhou. A simple google search will give you the information on location and all. (… and to be honest, I’m pretty lazy to type that information down). See you in the next post which I will be covering my favorite activity – SHOPPING in Guang Zhou.