Shanghai | Song Fang Maison de Thé

15557245918_1780c861a9_cSlipping away for a quiet afternoon…

15718973756_261be9782e_c…in the French concession of Shanghai.

15123283103_579d1dcea5_cSong Fang is a teahouse on the corner of Jiashan and Jianguo Road. The owner is from Paris and worked for Dior and Veuve Clicquot before opening Song Fang in 2007.

15740754971_5c1f7543b5_cDownstairs is a retail tea counter…

15556802809_0307b5a5cd_c…and upstairs is where you can spend a quiet afternoon…

15744211292_644196eda2_c…perhaps with long jing (which is produced in nearby Hangzhou) and osmanthus.

15742674775_b0ba419d35_cSee you back soon again ^-^

In China, from Adelyn

The only reason I check Facebook nowadays is for updates from my friend Adelyn. She’s been traveling throughout China for the past year and whenever she uploads a new photo I get this itch to get on a plane and go somewhere, anywhere, for just a week. I love NYC but there are just so many cities to experience. Till then, snapshots from China via Adelyn/@altlee. You can also see more of her travel photos here :)

Breakfast in Hong Kong…what a view.

West Lake, Hangzhou, China

Longhua Temple in Shanghai…

….and (what seems like) a million dumplings.

China: Snapshots from Hefei

More photos from China today – enjoy! Just few of my favorite shots from Hefei. I’ve been organizing all the photos we took from three separate cameras (dad’s camera, sister’s camera, and my own) and it’s taking up quite a bit of time. I guess that’s what Saturday nights are for right? Thank goodness mom didn’t bring a camera too. Hope the week is off to a great start for everyone.

Dropping a ‘lucky’ turtle into the ponds of Mount Jiuhau. We took a seriously cheesy family photo with all four of us holding the turtle together…but let’s keep that in the private files ;)

Deep-fried and salted young bamboo roots. More crunch than chew, a great beer snack.

My favorite dish from our “mock meat” lunch. This is pork belly (fat included) all made out of tofu and wheat gluten.

More tea. Remember, your teeth are the strainers!

A misty afternoon.

Regional dessert specialty – peanut oil and sesame cookies.

Preserved duck eggs with peppers. Served in a vinegar and shoyu bath.

The puffy white balls are tofu, but a creamy and light version I haven’t had elsewhere. Braised with broccoli, eggplant and pork balls. A very cozy dish devoured on the one rainy day we had in Hefei.

China: Snapshots from Bin Zhou

Small breakfast at the hotel in Bin Zhou

Hope everyone is staying cool in this ridiculous weather. After running around five different neighborhoods by bus, foot, and cab on Friday – what was one of the hottest days (104F!) in history, my goal is to avoid the heat. And to cut down on the air conditioning bill at home I’ve been working from Argo Tea on University Place this weekend. It’s so cold inside there that I have to bring a sweater hah.

I’ve been back in NYC for over a month since our China holiday, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll just won’t be able to post everything I would like before our next vacation. Instead I’ll settle for highlights from the different cities. Today we have snapshots from Bin Zhou, a city in Shandong province.

Hot pot around a lazy susan. Everyone had their own mini pot!

More than enough food to go around. After we had all the food that required cooking in the hot pot, we were served beef “sashimi.” Paper thin (see-through thin!) slices of beef served in a deep bowl made of ice. They say you have to finish on the cold raw beef to cool the body.

Stopping in for a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Eating pork floss buns in the car with my sister.

More tea, this time at the office. So elaborate!

Instead of rice, bread and noodles are the main form of starch in Bin Zhou. One of the appetizers served at our first dinner here was this steamed loaf of bread. It came with preserved tofu on the right, a creamy fish paste on the left, and in the center, steamed salty pork and eggs. You’re supposed to smear the paste and tofu on the bread and top with the pork and eggs. Addictive!