We met Lester for lunch. We went to a local xiao~ long/ bao (XLB) place that was very popular. We got there a little after 11:30am, and the line was already out the door. We eventually got seated and then proceeded to consume six basket of dumplings. Half were pork, and the other half were pork with crab.
A light soup with duck's blood. Kind of funky texture. Not as heavy as I thought it would be.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around town, mostly in the old city.
Bacteria-infested fresh fruit!
Passion fruit popsicle.
Eels, and some guy doing a not-so-great job of watching over the eels.
Chicken skewers. Pretty good... had a light hint of curry or maybe just cumin.
(May need to click to zoom and read) "Here we have Chinese cakes preparing for foreigners"
More popsicles. Sue's is obviously pretending to be watermelon. Mine was gross. It had three layers of different textures, and the flavor was just odd.
In our wanderings, we went through quite a few markets. Very cool.
Some of the largest winter melon I've ever seen. The knife on the side is machete-sized, just to give me a sense of proportion.
More meats. Duck mostly.
View of the market. Very old-skool feeling.
Chickens and ducks.
Bag o' frogs.
These guys were gutting eels. Man, they must have been doing it for years on end, because they were really efficient.
We got back to Ela and Arrin's apartment and decided to just relax with some drinks. This brand is called Reeb, which I found really funny since the first thing I thought of was Klim: a brand of powdered milk that my grandfather used to drink. Don't get the names? They just spell the products backwards.
"Bai/ jio~" (literally white liquor). Nasty.
For dinner, we met up with Lester again (he had to go back to work after lunch) and went to a Szechuan restaurant.
Starting top left going clockwise: some kind of lettuce with a peanut-like sauce, oil-fried meat (see below), don't remember what kind of meat, and spicy chicken.
Close-up of the lettuce w/ peanut sauce. Some kind of lightly pickled/vinegared cucumbers on the right.
The ma/ la\ catfish. ma/ literally means numb. The catfish is soaked in this oil, which is full of peppers and they weird peppercorns. The peppercorns aren't really hot in the normal painful way, but they make your lips and tongue tingle and eventually go numb if you eat enough (it doesn't last too long though).
Close-up of the catfish after they've scooped out most of the peppers.
I think this was called "toffee taro" or something like that in the menu. It's basically pieces of taro (or some other root/tuber) that's dipped in a warm caramel-like sauce. You then dunk it in ice water which makes the sugar crystalize. It took us forever to order this because Lester didn't remember the name of the dish, and then when we were trying to describe the dish to the waitress, neither of us could remember how to say potato or taro. Eventually, it turned out that there was a photo of the dish in the menu all along that we could have just pointed to.
After dinner walking around in the streets. Just a funny sign for a restaurant. I'm guessing they serve some kind of spicy chicken, although the pepper doesn't seem to be too keen about the idea.