Year Abroad: Celebrations & Farewells

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As is be a common theme in our household, everything can be improved, and solved, by eating good food, and boy does our end-of-trip celebration dinner come up to scratch. For the end of our month family holiday together, short family stop-over in Shanghai, and celebrating both my parents birthdays, we head to a restaurant in Wujiaochang (五角场), two bus stops from where we’ve been staying near Fudan University.

外婆的小菜

4F No.600, Handan Road, Shanghai
No: 5566099

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From the lush interior and the welcomed air-conditioning, seated waiting line to the terrifying recorded screeching of “外婆請你吃飯嘍!!!” at deafening volume, it’s a good start to what is one of the most fabulous meals I’ve yet to have in Shanghai. A pleasant little waitress from Anhui province is quick to help us, and another girl steps in to suggest some house specialities for the big night – and they certainly don’t disappoint: beautifully prepared, delicate, perfectly cooked and a sensory delight to behold. Perfect for a family of connoisseurs.

Our favourites include:

外婆紅燒肉 49RMB
荠菜鱼丁滑豆 29RMB
西子藕韵 15RMB

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It’s definitely telling that the only dishes I’ve managed to take proper photos of are three of the sweetest on the table. They do keep saying that Shanghai food, and South Eastern Chinese food in general is meant to have a sweet edge to it, and these dishes certainly hit the spot –  from sticky, rice stuffed lotus root to mouth-watering, slow-cooked braised pork that I’ve been especially recommended by a friend from home. It’s a fantastic farewell meal.

I wish I’d taken more pictures, but take it as a testament to the quality of the food!

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It’s certainly not until I’m walking my last walk back to the hotel my family is staying in and bundle up into their room for the last time that I realise, with a heavy chest, that I’m not going to be seeing them all together like this for a long time. At most we’re apart for four months at a time, and I can tell already that I’m going to miss them a lot.

I may have to make an impromptu trip home at Chinese New Years after all…

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