Tag: food

Eating out in Shanghai – Dessert Edition

Eating out in Shanghai – Dessert Edition

Since I got back from Germany I’ve mostly been hibernating in our apartment and eating chocolate while watching Grey’s Anatomy. This post has just been sitting there as a draft for a while , so I thought it might be time to post it while I dream of sunnier days when I went out for ice cream a lot 🙂 Also, I’m still trying to convince some people to visit here, maybe these pictures will help?

Disclaimer: Of course you can get dessert at most restaurants but this post is dedicated to the little stalls and places that just sell delicious dessert.

Japanese waffle shaped like fish with filling

I went here with Verion before his farewell dinner, because obviously it’s always a great idea to get dessert before dinner. The stand sells waffles which are shaped like fish and have different fillings in them. I learned they are from Japan and are called Taiyaki. I got banana custard and it was really good. Unfortunately I don’t know what the booth was called but it’s inside the Shanghai Metro City mall.

Beard Papa’s

Pearl showed us this place which sells yummy cream puffs. I got a cookie puff filled with custard and it was delicious – not too sweet and with a very rich, vanilla cream.

Gracie’s Ice Cream

The ice cream is pretty expensive (6.50 for 2 scoops or 11.50 for a pint to take home), but it is so so good. They have some interesting flavors like Balsamic Strawberry & Buttermilk, Black Sesame & Honey or London Fog (Earl Grey). My favorites are Half Baked Cookie Dough and Malt, Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate, though Mango Coconut and Passion Fruit are also delicious. We also got a reward card so I can justify going more. And the best thing is that you can also get the pints delivered from Sherpa’s. Guess what’s in our freezer :).


Buco is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall ice cream place, right next to Gemma’s, an Italian restaurant. It got recommended to us a few times, usually when I raved about how great Gracie’s is. When we finally tried it I was a bit disappointed. My pistachio ice cream was really good and creamy but Thorben’s fig and blueberry were pretty watery. So I will keep telling everyone that Gracie’s is the best.

Pantry’s best

I went here with Ellie after drooling over the cupcakes during a previous visit. They all look so beautiful but I was kind of scared they would just taste like pure sugar. I was very pleasantly surprised. The red velvet one I got was moist with a rich cream cheese frosting and not overly sweet. Success! Ellie also liked her raspberry red velvet one though it didn’t taste like raspberry. We were too busy inhaling them to take close up pictures 🙂


This is a juice place so more of a dessert after dessert kind of place (unless your name is Thorben and you count fruit as dessert). I still wanted to include it because I think it’s cool. You take a little container and can choose 3 fruits, stick them in there and then you can watch them make the juice according to your specifications.

Lillian Bakery

I think we talked about their egg tarts before but Lillian definitely deserves to be mentioned again. The only thing I’ve tried from them are the egg tarts and they are delicious: a crispy, flaky, buttery crust combined with a rich cream filling that tastes like crema catalana or creme brûlée. They have a little stand in our metro station and I may or may not have eaten 4 of those for dinner once 🙂

Awfully chocolate

This dessert chain is devoted to chocolate 100%. Cakes, pies, cupcakes, brownies, truffles, white chocolate creme brûlée … Everything was yummy and super rich and just awfully chocolatey 😉 I couldn’t eat all the ganache on my cupcake and had to admit defeat. If you are really in the mood for lots of chocolate this is definitely a good place!

First hometrip

First hometrip

Happy New Year!

I got back to Shanghai with my 46.4 kg of stuff on Sunday so I I guess it’s time to kick off the blogging for 2018, now that I’m not busy anymore having fun at home.

Here is a quick photo recap of my first trip home after almost 7 months in Shanghai. Not pictured:

  • My sisters and I in a pikatchu, minion and panda onesie. They said I couldn’t post it.
  • Our golden VW rental car. It was beautiful. Thorben was only slightly embarrassed.
  • Lots of fun with family, friends and my former co-workers


My favorite things about Germany

1.) Seeing friends and family. Obviously.

2.) Food. No surprise here 🙂 It was fantastic to eat Butterbrezeln, Hefezopf, Maultaschen, Käsespätzle, Sauerbraten mit Knödel … I could go on and on.

3.) Drinking the tap water.

4.) Crusing down the Autobahn at 180 km/h.

5.) Having your phone battery last forever because it’s not getting used up by the VPN. And just  being able to quickly use google and watch cooking videos on Facebook without preloading for 5 minutes 🙂


Now I’m back in the land of Alipay and Sherpas, which is also pretty great. Always remembering cash was really annoying.

2017 – A Year in Review

2017 – A Year in Review

2017, it’s been a crazy year.


Our China adventure started in January with a look and see trip to Shanghai. We spent 5 days and half the time I thought Thorben was crazy for wanting to move here. I got used to the idea when we visited Jing’An, the Bund and Xintiandi and our relocation agent showed me where to get Nutella and cheese 😉


In February we started our preparation with an intercultural seminar followed by a 2 week intensive language class, which made my brain hurt and showed me how difficult learning Chinese is. While Thorben got over this traumatic experience and started studying again towards the end of the year I still haven’t recovered quite yet 😉 I also got my job offer and started the visa process.


My host sister got married in California and I was happy to be part of the wedding as a bridesmaid. We also used the time to visit San Diego, Joshua Tree National Park and spent time with my American family in Ventura.


Thorben turned 30 in April and we took the chance to celebrate both his birthday and a farewell party. We also packed all our stuff into 25 boxes, handed over the key to our apartment and I dropped him off at the airport at the end of the month.


While Thorben was busy starting this blog, a new job, exploring China and finding us an apartment, I spent the month saying good bye to family and friends. I also took a trip to Budapest and celebrated my birthday winning at mini golf before hopping on a plane to Shanghai.


During my first week in Shanghai I met Pearl and we visited Zhujiajiao together.  We also received our air freight, which helped us settle into our new apartment. Thorben went to Japan with his coworkers while I discovered the avocado lady and spent a day exploring the city with Shane.


In July it was a bit rainy at times so we had fun playing board games and making travel plans. I also visited some touristy places as a friend from university was in town. Thorben went on his first business trip to Germany and we saw “Sleep no More” which he loved and I hated. We also faced some crazy temperatures – above 40! – but that didn’t keep us from trying lots of different restaurants and seeing the Lion King in Chinese.


During the summer we went to quite a few brunches and also cooked for the first time, not at our home but someone else at a home-style cooking class. In August we also met Ellie (at a brunch) and had some adventures with her and Pearl at a murder mystery dinner and trying to eat lung. At the end of the month Thorben and I took our first trip out of the country together and spent a long weekend in Seoul.


September was a mix between food and culture: I tried hot pot for the first time, we went to see the musical Sister Act. I hoarded cheese after hearing of a coming ban while Thorben took some pretty pictures at night. During our trip to Beijing we visited famous sights such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall and had some delicious Peking duck.


The month started out with a week long break – Golden Week – which we used to travel to Hong Kong and visit Jana in Taipei. I also had an epic scone bake-off with Ellie. Most of our weekends we spent at brunch, shopping for tailored clothes and getting Christmas presents at the Pearl Market.


Thorben tried some hairy crabs while they were in season and I indulged in yummy breakfast street food. I also got some more Christmas shopping done during Single’s Day. After months of eating out and Sherpa deliveries I finally cooked for the first time. We got to check off a big item on the travel bucket list and explored the magnificent temples of Angkor. After 4 beautiful days in Cambodia we also visited Singapore.


In December we had to say our final good bye to Ellie at the airport. The rest of the month was much more festive: We ate Raclette, baked some Christmas cookies and went to a Christmas market. After a crazy half a year we got on a plane to Germany to celebrate Christmas with our families and catch up with friends.

Thanks to everyone who made 2017 so fun. Let’s see what 2018 has to offer!

Hoarding Cheese

Hoarding Cheese

On Saturday at brunch we got the shocking news: Imported Cheese is now banned in China!

There was an article on City Weekend with the title: “China Bans Imported Cheese, Baking Powder, Canned Soup“, which details the situation. Of course that’s all we talked about for the rest of the brunch. It’s not as bad as it sounds – not all cheeses are banned, there is a list of almost 50 cheese including mold ripened ones like Brie, Camembert and some goat cheeses – but bad enough!

I haven’t really bought a ton of cheese since we moved, just the occasional piece to snack on. Just knowing I could get it anytime I want is mostly enough, but now … I want cheese! All of it! The stocks the stores have can still be sold, but after that they can’t import more. So I did what any normal person would do and ordered a bunch of cheese from epermarket, an online grocery store. I don’t think all of the types of cheeses we got are banned, but better safe than sorry 🙂

While I was at it I also ordered some baking supplies including the now banned baking powder. I’m starting to miss baking. I think I’ll try out the oven this weekend.

Some like it hot

Some like it hot

Last week I finally tried hot pot. I guess it is usually more of a cold weather experience but I felt after 3 months in China this was overdue. Ellie, Pearl and I went to Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, which is famous for its good service and has many locations. The service lived up to the hype, we got wet towels several times, hair ties and even aprons (though almost no one else was wearing those so we probably looked like dumb tourists). We “unfortunately” forgot to take the plastic roses the waiter brought us ;).

Hot pot is kind of like fondue, so you cook your food in oil or a soup and eat it with different dips. We went for the non spicy variety and got tomato soup and mushroom broth. You order with an iPad and can get all sorts of meats and veggies. We got some scallion pancakes to start with and then cooked fish, beef, bamboo, mushrooms, potato and lotus root. Everything we had was yummy, including the sesame sauce and the soy one Pearl mixed for us.

Something that was recommended by a colleague who has been there a few times is the Kung Fu Noodles. When you order them, a chef comes out of the kitchen and does a little show hand-pulling the noodles in front of you. Then you can cook them, I especially liked them in the mushroom broth. It’s both fun and delicious, so I’ll definitely get those again next time 🙂

To cool down after dinner we got some ice cream at a stand in the same mall. After taking a picture of us with my phone the vendor also took one with his, so maybe we’ll end up on an advertisement for this place 😉

Seoul Food 

Seoul Food 

Right after we arrived we went to a Korean restaurant. They gave us some appetizers, including kimchi, the Korean spicy Sauerkraut. I had cold buckwheat noodles: cold as in there was actual ice cubes swimming in the broth. Thorben got pretty much the opposite: a boiling beef dish. It was alright, the flavor was good, the noodles a bit slimey, so nothing I’d come back for.

The next day we ate at another Korean restaurant in Insadong for lunch. We had a stew with veggies, beef and giant dumplings in it. The dumplings were probably my favorite Korean food. Of course it came with a side of kimchi 🙂 After lunch we went to a cafe and had a mango dessert which was mostly shaved ice and syrup under the ice cream. And yes, those are pine nuts in my pomegranate tea.

We also wanted to try some Korean street food so we went to the shopping district Myeongdong where they had tons of carts lined up. I had a tornado potato Thorben said tasted like old oil but I thought it was good 🙂 Also, I got some fried cheese on a stick that came with a sort of condensed milk sauce which was a bit of a strange combination but still pretty tasty, and an bread thing that was sweet on the outside but had a hard boiled egg on the inside. On the last day I also tried the Korean honey ice cream in a fish shaped waffle which sadly looked much better than it tasted.

Thorben had some octopus, which they torched before serving it. Not sure if that adds flavor or is just cool to watch. After that he got lemon honey shrimp, also flamed, then sweet potatoe chips and Korean sushi.  It was really fun to see and try the different foods. There were so many to choose from so I’m sure there is something for everyone.

Overall, I have to admit that I wasn’t crazy about the food in Seoul which was a bit disappointing because I kept reading how amazing it is. Maybe my expectations were too high. There were some things that were pretty good but overall I don’t think Korean will make it into our diet on a regular basis. 

On our last night we didn’t really feel like eating Korean again so went to Outback and had some delicious steak 🙂