Continuing from Part 1…
So The Bearded Giant heard your feedback loud and clear. The yelling. The screaming. The flaming bags of dog poop. I got your message. Who cares about tables and chairs and entryways!!! Show us some fooooood!
Since you insisted.
But first, here’s what you might find on your table at a small family restaurant when you sit down.
Shrinkwrapped packages of the bowls, plates, and glassware you might need for your meal.
I haven’t been able to ascertain if this service washes and returns the specific items from each restaurant, or if it’s just like ordering napkins and chopsticks. “Yeah, give me 6 bags of rice, 20 cases of Tsingtao, and 180 sets of bowls and cups.”
Now that that’s out of the way… Here’s some food.
These garlic shoots are just 1 RMB per skewer (around 16 cents).
Some restaurants have these potato slices for 2 RMB per skewer, others 3 RMB.
This plate was 7 RMB, I think?
When it comes to Dongbei (Northeast China) cuisine, the single biggest complaint is that everything is salty and oily. Also, the aspect of Dongbei cuisine that draws the most praise is that it is salty and oily.
No matter what you are eating, it’s probably going to taste salty and oily. If that sounds good to you, trust me, it’s better than good. It’s AWESOME.
Pictured above might be the saltiest, oiliest thing I have eaten yet in Changchun. Grilled mushroom caps. They were so salty I was rushing for a sip of Sprite after eating just one. And after eating three, I pronounced that they were just too salty and oily even for me and I wouldn’t be having any more.
I ate seven.
A pair of some sort of knuckle, hip, ball and socket joint bones of some sort of animal. Meat was tender and flavorful but challenging to eat. The bones were so dense and retained so much heat I couldn’t even hold them five minutes after they arrived at the table.
These were a delicacy, and around 25RMB ($4.20).
A fairly commonly offered cucumber dish. Seasoned with a little cilantro and vinegar (and a bit salty and oily). This dish is typically 6-9RMB and enough for two people to share.
A plate of 15 handmade dumplings. These happen to be pork and cilantro. The Bearded Giant orders them often. 10 RMB ($1.65) for the plate.