Q&A with eat.artSales Executive, Sue Gillespie about her recent trip to the East.
1) You recently travelled to Asia, where did you go?
2) What was the reason for your travels?
I travelled for the SIAL China Show at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.
3) What did you love most about Shanghai, China
As a self-confessed travel bug there is no greater excitement than experiencing a brand new city, and Shanghai – the largest city in China – had plenty to promise. After 6 nights it was very clear that Shanghai has all the ingredients of a modern, progressive and buzzing metropolis, from glitzy restaurants and savvy shops, to legions of futuristic skyscrapers and throngs of ever-stylish Shanghainese. However what I loved most about this city is a mixture of the old and new. In the city centre there is the Old French Concession area which was once occupied by the French during WW2 but has since been converted to exquisite tree-lined avenues with trendy restaurants, pubs and the ever-famous Chinese karaoke bars. Other highlights include The Bund, Peoples Square and Shanghai Museum.
4) What was your favourite restaurant in Shanghai?
I loved Gokohai which was in the Old French Concession area.
5) What was the best meal you had whilst on your trip?
My best meal was at Gokohai. It was a potluck of many starters on the menu, from dumplings in soup to braised prawns, baked lotus flower root and tai zhou roe crab. There was even double boiled lion head on the menu, however sitting at a table with South Africans we all declined this option.
6) What is the most popular local cuisine?
There are many ingredients in Chinese cuisine that are quite foreign to Westerners, however as the saying goes “when in Rome” (or Shanghai) one has to be adventurous and sample! Popular local dishes are steamed dumplings, wontons, chow mein, ma po tofu and sweet & sour pork. Most of these dishes can be bought on the side of the road as fast food is a growing trend.
7) What 3 things should readers travelling to Shanghai try while they are there?
I would highly recommend walking The Bund. It is one of Shanghai’s most famous attractions – a beautiful waterfront over-looking the Huangpu River. Shanghai is without a doubt a shopaholics paradise. It’s known as the town that’s “tailored to you” as one can get any and every item of clothing made, particularly at the Science & Technology Museum and People’s Square. For all those history buffs the Shanghai museum is a must see. There are pottery artefacts dating back to 5000 BC.
8) Where is the best spot for drinks/ live music?
The Bund and Old French Concession area….also, you have not properly experienced Shanghai if you do not try a spot or Karaoke