foooood in china

moon river diner

some people have asked what do i eat everyday here in china, so i think a series of posts on “what can you eat in shanghai?” are in order. a brief disclaimer:

1. if you’d like to find out how dogs, cats or rats taste, you’ll find the series disappointing… the strangest thing i ate here were frog legs – completely by mistake (no menu translation available and the dish looked like chicken on the picture…)

2. i do eat chinese food most days, at lunch, when i have someone to help me order it. i have a few favourites which i’ll try to cover. mostly though, shanghai is such a big and international city that we don’t feel the need to stick to noodles and rice. i hope i can show you why.

3. i’m not being paid to do this.

that said, meet moon river diner!

at moon river diner

moon river diner is a an american style restaurant with a very typical/cliché look-and-feel, hearty burgers, maccaroni and cheese, tacos and salads, apple pie, sundaes, all day breakfast (pancakes, waffles …), bottomless mugs of coffee, smoothies and lemonade! isn’t it just like in the movies?

ah, and there’s even a jukebox and a popcorn stand – popcorn is served as the appetiser for the meal.

we came around for today’s dinner, i ate the waffle breakfast (with fruit, egg and ham or maple syrup) and paulo had the mushroom burger (with hash browns and salad). here are the obligatory pics, which you can click for larger:

mushroom hamburger   waffle!

our diner :)   the jukebox!

they were absolutely delicious and decadent. :)

nice bonuses:
* the service is cool and the waiters don’t “hover” you.
* the music is ok (nice volume and selection) as long as you don’t sit too near the stairs, where one can hear the music from upstairs as well as the one from the floor where you are :S
* they have wireless – it isn’t terribly fast, but it works.
* the place is huge but quite cozy, with a deli on the ground floor (sandwiches, bread, etc), and a sort of bar/lounge on the last floor. i heard it has a patio, but i’ve never been there.

so there you go, this is the place we go when we feel like pretending we’re in the states. :)

moon river diners' menu

moon river diner (jingan)
66,77 yuyao lu, near xikang lu
the new factories, building #1

foooood just life links and ideas

the grass is always greener…

last thursday i ate my first francesinha in a smoke-free café. and let me tell you, it tasted really good. my sincere thanks to all the portuguese smokers out there who are playing by the (new) rules – i appreciate it. :)

ad by tbwa for the world tobacco free day.

foooood in china

sweetness is superficial!


“It is difficult not to love: the kumquat is like a tidy orange. You get the punch of zest and sweetness without a lot of drippy juice.” (from the new york times:)

i had never heard of kumquats before coming to china – and the reason i picked them up in the supermarket was because i mistaken them with little oranges. but as soon as i got home and started pealing one, i knew these little guys were no ordinary citrus.

so i waited for my chinese lesson to ask the teacher about them. it turns out, you can eat just the peal, which is sweet, or eat them whole, by chewing chewing chewing (this instructive video shows how to eat a kumquat).

the inside is unexpectedly tart for those of us expecting mini-oranges (but not too tart), so you really need to chew a bit to get the flavours mixed and get the best combination.

“The size and shape of a large olive, the kumquat is like an orange in reverse, with a sweet skin and tart pulp. So you don’t have to peel the kumquat; you simply eat the entire fruit. Thus its brilliance.”
(from the same article)



rabanadas! bolo-rei! mexidos! leite-creme! :D


it’s the pre-xmas season again. we can’t really feel it here, because the chinese are not very keen on that holiday. no xmas lights on trees (well, not more than usually anyway), no window shops decorated with red and green.and yet, we have our own subtle reminder: moms.

“so what do you want me to cook for you when you come?” is the question following “how are you?” nowadays. to which we happily answer with the roll of our favourite dishes and as many xmas desserts as we can remember.

it’s not like we’re starving here, but you know, mom’s food will always be the best – and i can guarantee that it tastes especially delicious after a few months abroad.
we should start dieting now, to make up for all the extra kilos we’re going to put on those 2 weeks.

foooood in china

not only with chopsticks…

no matter how much vla i ate in the netherlands, there were still no “natas” nowhere to be seen – and i missed them dearly.

so, the last time i was in lisbon, to take care of the passport/visa issues, i made a point in going to belém and eating a “nata” with an expresso. my little ritual consists of taking the expresso spoon, dipping it into the nata filling and slowly eating it, while drinking the coffee. only in the end i eat what is left. natas go well with expressos: both are hardwired in my brain as “portuguese flavours”.

little did i know by then that the chinese are great fans of these “egg tarts”, as they call them! some of them know these are portuguese (some think they are from macau) and they enjoy them just as much as we do. of course, they don’t taste exactly the same – the filling is more pudding-like, i would say. but still, we’re quite pleased. :)