I experienced a lot of interesting and exciting things during my brief trip to China. I saw things that were difficult to comprehend given Australia's comparatively brief white history and sparse population. Some occurrences even left with me a with a wee bit of culture shock.
However, not even the ancient wonder of the Great Wall or the shock of babies wearing split pants and weeing in the street could compare to the overwhelming joy and awe I felt upon visiting what I can only describe as heaven on earth.
What is the mystical, fairy-lit place? The four level, 24 hour dumpling palace. Sure, my brother had told me about it, but to be standing in front of it, its neon lights glowing and a steady stream of hungry patrons entering while a steady stream of stuffed patrons left made the magic real.
Upon entering and being seated I was so excited I was wiggling in my seat and clapping. I just love dumplings so much. I was so excited I could barely handle the menu, pointed at a few things that looked yummy and left it to my brother to make the hard choices.
Xiaolongbao, also known as soup dumplings, also known as the most wonderful little parcels to grace my taste buds and belly. Oh. My. Goodness. Left to my own devices I would've eaten these until I fell asleep (and truth me told, I wasn't far off after waddling into a homeward bound taxi). After a crash course from my brother in the best way to eat these dumpling and the optimum time to leave them cool (long enough to avoid a steam burn, not long enough for the skins to toughen), I may or may not have eaten more of these than you can count on one hand. My life before these little darling is barely worth remembering.
Char siu bao! My much loved pork buns, an oldie but a goodie, it wouldn't be a proper dim sum adventure unless Dad and I bet how many pork buns I can eat (hint: it's a lot more than you might think).
I adore these translucent dumplings, they're almost too good to eat. Almost. These little ones were prawns and chive (I think), and perfectly scrummy.
Apologise for the blurry photo, I think my food coma was starting to take over at this stage. I think these tasty morsels were pork and prawn, delish.
We finished off with deep fried glutinous rice cake..thingies, with walnuts. We didn't manage to eat them all (not surprising given these photos are the mere tip of the iceberg of our meal), so I did the classy thing and stashed them in my purse for later. We returned to dumpling heaven once more during our Beijing stay, I would've happily spent the remainder of our holiday there.
Is it any wonder my clothes were a bit tight on the way home?