Travel Diary: Guangzhou, China

So it appears my blogging battery ran out again this time last week. I can only blame myself really. If you are curious as to where I was this past month, I was immersed in a Public law textbook reading about this thing called the Australian Constitution. It seems pretty important...

I've actually been sitting on this post for a really, really long time now but after taking thousands of photos overseas, it takes a different you to have the meticulous care to sit down, sort them and edit them (if you can really bothered to complete this step).

Let's begin!!!

 Stop 1- Guangzhou 

So after a 9hr flight and a stomach that hates any mode of travel whether that be by car, sea, plane (you name it), I was famished but given the late hour and my upset stomach, I had a very light dinner. The next day however was a different matter because I couldn’t wait to feast. For future reference I will be taking 1AUD= 5 RMB (Chinese currency). Guangzhou is a fairly popular Chinese Tier-1 city, because it is an economic and travel hub with China Souther Airlines directing a lot of their flights there. Sightseeing-wise there is nothing appealing about Guangzhou, the food however is amazing. If you liked Chinese in Australia then Guangzhou is so much better but then again that can be said about the rest of China in comparison to their Australian counterparts.

Yum Cha 

When in Guangzhou you cannot overlook yum cha.

 In Australia, you’re used to having the food making its rounds in trolleys and when what you want passes by then you theoretically ‘ordered’ it. What is distinctly different though between Chinese Yum Cha is that the former no longer uses the trolley system, instead you actually mark down what you want to eat and then the food comes to your table- it's fresher that way. I think for foreigners this is a setback in light of limited to no English translations or pictures to guide you on what to order (Note I am just basing this off where I went). 

This is where I went if you're curious, its called Tianfu Seafood Restaurant but to be honest it wasn't that great.

The glutinous ball were far too chewy with little to no stuffing. I love eating these at Sydney whether they be on those rare occasions now when I go to yum cha or when I visit Emperor’s Bakery in Chinatown, and so these were really disappointing. 

The rice noodles, we go two flavours, one vegetable and the other meat. I absolutely loved these, so soft and full of flavour but evidently the servings were tiny.

Meat balls are mince meat combined with other vegetables including herbs. They’re incredibly tender and go down really well. That said, I’ve had better

The cakes were superb- 2 layers so delicate and the attention to detail is not to be missed.

3 coloured buns, of different flavours. I had the green one which was quite sweet with a sesame, lotus and sunflower seed stuffing (from what I gathered). Verdict? Not bad.

3 cakes were delicious. End of story regardless of whether you fancy taro, radish or … they’re all good.

BBQ pork pastry, the stuffing isn’t really worth mentioning but I adore the pastry. Crumbling, buttery goodness and let’s just pretend for now that eating to our heart’s content has no impact on our waistline. 

All up cost us like AUD $30 to feed like 6 people.

Stop 2: Small eatery 

So after going yum cha, I though that would be breakfast and lunch, you know brunch. But no. My relatives had other plans because what is a holiday without food, food and even more food. So at 2/3 o’clock we went out for a late lunch.

Holy moly, if you thought the noodle houses in Sydney were good then hop on the next plane to China because this is one thing I will miss dearly. Customs can I bring these back with me? The rice noodles are a tad bit firmer but the amount of flavour that that soup had belonged in another world. 

The egg noodles are thinner but have a slight crunch to them in that they are more elastic and again their flavour retention is unparalleled. I mean I had the wonton noodle soup and sure the wontons were good but even though I was stuffed and wanted to leave unfinished, those noodles had me stuffing my face until I was wobbling out the door. And yes you need a massive photo, though a bit unsightly of my meal because I'm coming back here for sure.

上下九-步行街 (Shang Xia Jiu- Bu Xing Jie)
Lunch one day was mostly street food or eating at small eateries one or two dishes at most. We went to a pretty popular district in Guangzhou though you shouldn’t expect many Western shops here. This place below is right smack bang in the middle. 

First thing we bought was Changsha stinky tofu. Changsha is a province in China and black tofu is their specialty. The verdict? It only smells terrible when you’re far from the store or if you’re lining up to buy it but really when you’re eating it, it tastes brilliant and you're left wondering "What smell? There is none!". I absolutely loved this and if it weren’t for the fact that we bought so much other food, I would happily have another serving. Go to the store pictured here, it is by far the most popular store on the entire street and despite 2 other stinky tofu stalls you have to queue up here and that can only mean one thing- the locals love it! Warning though, a chilli based sauce is added to the tofu when its being fried and so it is mild to hot (more so hot). That said, even if you can’t stand spicy food you must have a bite of this. It’s black and crunchy on the outside but silky soft on the inside. 

This is probably a very Chinese snack/light meal because from a Western perspective the thought of eating pig intestines, and tenderloins isn’t all that appealing. I thought this was passable but not all that great. The store a few metres away looks even worse.

Pig feet

A very distinct but very Chinese taste. To me, it’s slightly medicinal but still tasty. Beware the big slices of ginger.

Milk egg custard (so apparently I deleted the photo...)
So I’ve tried making it at home many times and still I have yet to perfect the recipe. It is pretty simple actually, egg mixed with sugar and milk and then steamed and yet you wonder why so many people buy this- it tastes freaking amazing, that's why. Well the store’s one was impossibly light, I wish I could just hide inside the kitchen so I could steal their technique. You can have this hot or cold but it is usually preferred hot. 11 RMB: Option 302 is for hot an 303 is for cold and 301 is if you want it hot with ginger sauce. Bought from the store below: Name to be announced once I chase down my relatives but this place is pretty famous

Cantonese fried pancake 
Slightly crunchy, sweet- 3 RMB same store as that from which I bought the milk custard but from their outside stall. Have it as a street food that you eat on the go so you don't pay the premium for the luxury of sitting down. 

China really is made of two worlds though, the skyscrapers and the slums of old China

My cousin's turtle which I like still remember from when I was 4


  1. Those buns and cakes, omg!! The pig intestines is something to try if you say it's excellent. But otherwise...Now back to those cakes, mmmm!!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx



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