Mixed Western and Eastern Shopping Experience
No 1 Department Store is located near the People's park, on Nanjing Road that is one of the main shopping streets in Shanghai. The store consists of two buildings; western and eastern. The names are a tad confusing, as the western building looks and smells like department stores in former Eastern bloc, the name included. The eastern store is the opposite, at least on the ground floor, and feels like any other department store in the Western countries. The upper floors have more of the Eastern bloc atmosphere.
The selection is wide and all major needs are catered for with several brands. The store doesn't carry big Western brands and most of the labels are unknown the average Joe. There are some exceptions, such as smallish Banana Republic shop-in-shop.
Most of the items are cheaper compared to European shops, but unfortunately the design and the quality are not on the same level.
Sichuan Modern Cuisine
Sichuan cuisine is typically spicy and flavourful, and this restaurant does a particularly good job.
South Beauty is an upmarket place, all modern chinois chic. In Shanghai, the restaurant is found in Lane Crawford, L5. You will also come across the same restaurant in Beijing, Pacific Place.
Fantastic place for business entertainment, or if you plan to give yourself a treat. Sichuan Tofu -
The tofu is made right before your eyes by the chef, using fresh soy milk in a clear glass dish. He will tell you what he's doing to make the tofu, albeit in the Sichuan dialect. In about 5 minutes, the soy milk has solidified into tofu , and you can choose from 4 different toppings, depending on whether you want your dish to be savoury or sweet.
Nothing beats the taste of fresh ingredients, and this is about as fresh as it can get.
Beef in Hot Chiili Oil -
Another dish full of showmanship.
The waiters will bring out a big glass pot of hot oil. Spices/chilli are floating in pot at this point, and you can see the hot oil bubbling, so imagine what the temperature must be like. Next comes a dish of raw beef sliced very thinly. The beef is then dunked into the hot oil, upon which there's this happy bubbling noise as the oil cooks the beef in a couple of seconds. Fish out the meat and enjoy!
Lotus Root (Cold Dish) -
It's common to have cold dishes together with hot dishes when dining in China, and this lotus root dish is particularly tasty.
It's basically lotus root, that's been cooked till soft, yet it remains firm in texture. It's served with a pink sweet dressing, made from the osmanthus flower. The fragrant osmanthus adds a delicate scent to the lotus root, and it tastes almost like a dessert.
Yu Gardens are a wonderful example of Chinese garden art. You will find little ponds, trees, rocks all designed in a special manner - it is a delightful piece of earth right in the middle of a buzzling city. Don't miss it!
"Just a quick layover"
If you have a layover at an airport in China, you're allowed to leave the airport briefly without a visa as long as you can prove that you'll be flying out of the country within 24 hours. (in our case, we weren't asked for any proof.)
We had 8 hours before our next flight, so we hopped onto the metro which is connected to the Shanghai airport and just saw where it would take us. ..