Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Taking my Shanghai experience to a new blog


where I will expand not only on my foodie experiences in Shanghai, but also on life there in general. I will continue to blog here but if you want more insight into my new life that is where you will find me.
Hope to see you passing by sometime for a snapshot of my new life.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Just had the worst Indian food of my life, but the experience did make us laugh, so all was not lost.

As soon as we saw the menu we should have done the sensible thing and run............ However the staff were so friendly and welcoming we felt we should perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt. Wrong.

We were brought water, choice of hot or cold, strangely here they drink hot water as it is said to cool the body, cold foods are bad in summer, yes sounds weird to me too.

Anyway a quick glance at the menu soon had us laughing, sausage curry, really? That was only the start of it. The appetiser basket contained, chicken drumsticks with no hint of curry, crispy fried tentacles and chips with ketchup. Was it too late to make a speedy exit? No we really had to stay and experience it.

We made our choices, we needed to order the appetiser as proof! I went for a pork and vegetable curry, how bad could that be? Well basically pretty bad, a fried pork cutlet with some veg covered in the same generic curry sauce as my husband's curried meatballs. I thought he had made the bad choice, but soon realised there was probably no good choices. In spite of this the restaurant was fairly busy.

We made small gesture towards eating it. Drank our Japanese beer, again a weird thing as this was the only alcoholic drink available, and believe me we needed some alcohol to see us through the experience!

It took me back to those awful Vesta curries which was my first taste of foreign food. Some of you may remember them with fondness, I did until my memory was jogged as to just how awful they were. Oh how our tastes have moved on from early days experimenting with new cuisines from around the world.

As we left, and paid what was around £9.00, a worthwhile price for the experience, and the photographic evidence.

So if you ever in any place in Asia come across COCO's Indian Cuisine run for your life, I've taken the hit for all of you lol.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Sometimes it the little things that count. This was a presssie from my grandchildren before we left UK.

Will think of them every time I drink from it. Can't wait for them to visit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It is peach season here in Shanghai and the markets are piled high with them. Although it has just begun already they are deliciously sweet and juicy. Eating them is a messy business as the juice tends to run right up your arm. Also the smell from them is so good, you can just tell a delicious juicy experience is lying just below that soft suede like skin.

I got a bit carried away buying them, and soon found I had more than I could eat. As I am trying to stay away from puddings at the moment peach crumble was off the menu. So I wondered what else I could make. We were having chicken salad for dinner so something to go along with it. Sometimes I just slice peaches on to the plate, but today I decided to make a peach chutney. Not a familiar sight on the supermarket shelves of Shanghai!

I found a recipe in Bill Granger's Asian cookbook, and knew this was what I wanted to make. Also I know everything I have cooked from his books has been successful simple and delicious. I would recommend any of his books.

As I have a limited kitchen at the moment I cooked it in a frying pan, I have one wok, one frying pan and a pot. A wooden spoon and spatula are my only stirring implements, so I can say for sure you don't need anything fancy to cook this dish.

2 Tbsp light flavoured oil
1/2 red onion. diced
2tsp mild curry powder
600g peaches, skinned,stoned and chopped
1 tsp finely chopped ginger, julienned
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice.

Heat oil in pan over a medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 mins until it starts to soften. Add curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add peaches, ginger, sugar and lime juice and stir until sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins or until peaches have softened. Leave to cool.

As I said easy and fast but more importantly delicious.
Once again my serving dishes are somewhat limited, my shipment should arrive in 3-4 weeks, so when looking for something to out chutney in to photograph it the best I could come up with was an egg cup lol.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Two weeks into my Shanghai experience and everything okay.
I am loving the shopping trips. The supermarkets are busy, colourful and very noisy. It seems around every corner there is someone, often in some kind of costume, with a loud speaker calling out, what I assume, to be daily deals and offers. However, it often makes me jump as I wander around and suddenly my ears are assaulted by this. Might not be so bad if I knew what they were saying!
I spend twice as long as I did at home filling my cart. Problem obviously being that I have to either work out, using pictures on products, or in some cases I am lucky and find a translation on the pricing labels on the shelves.
When I find a translation I am really happy, that is until I get home and find I have shelves of products that I can't read what's on them lol So I spend a lot of time smelling and tasting. Once contents are identified I write translation on bottle or jar.
I though I had bought fish sauce last week, purely because there was a picture of a fish on the bottle. Makes sense doesn't it? But no the fish apparently is the trademark of some company or other. Back to the drawing board.
It is all fun, well most of the time, sometimes it can be a wee bit frustrating, fortunately I have lots of time to wander, scrutinise and just marvel at the wonderful opportunity this is to soak up another culture. I plan to make the best of every minute of it, frustrations included. Small price to pay for the rewards and experience.
I also enjoy shopping at my local food market but that is a blog on it's own. Watch this space.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Well have arrived safe and well here in Shanghai.
Arrived to hot and sunny days, and one of the first things I noticed was the smells and aromas of a new country. With so many restaurants around you are never far away from food smell
In the markets where live produce is in evidence,0there are other smells which are alien to me. Not unpleasant smells, and I'm sure within a few months, or even weeks, I will not be noticing them.
I have enjoyed shopping at my local market, although so far have not ventured into buying the live products on show.I am told they are fresh and safe to buy, and I'm sure one day I'll be walking back to the apartment having been brave enough to purchase the fish and prawns from the tanks. The frogs and turtles, well I don't really think so. Sometimes not sure if I'm in food store or pet store lol.How different is it from buying the live lobsters I buy at home? No different really I guess. Everything will be dealt with in the market it's not as of I'll be carrying live fish home in my basket.........
The young man on the vegetable stall seems to have taken a liking to me, and happy to report I am eating lots of free samples, and also leaving each time with a free bag of goodies! Yesterday it was garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander. Not bad, the makings of a nice Thai meal.
So I think I'm going to enjoy the challenges of living here. I look forward to keeping you up on all my adventures.
I am planning on blogging not just food stories, but taking the blog a little further by reporting on all aspects, travel, experiences etc. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Today's photo is evidence of live produce in the supermarket, not the local market. Yes it really is frogs!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Today the packers arrived to start the journey to Shanghai. We fly out on Friday, so it's all systems go here.
Cupboards are now totally empty and food is whatever or wherever I can find it!

One cup of tea (Twinings Detox) and three chocolate mini cream eggs.

I am hoping the detox balances off the chocolate, what do you think? If you are wondering why only 3 eggs, well I have to save some for tomorrow's breakfast of course.

Crisps, sandwich and "hotdog wrapped in rosti potato! Oh and a coke to wash it down.

Ok I know it's not exactly gourmet but a walk to the local garage (gas station) didn't have too much to choose from. I was going to stick to the tuna sandwich and crisps but who could resist the chance to try a hotdog wrapped in crispy rosti?
First of all "crispy" was a lie......... It was, as I had expected, a disgusting creation, but I had felt it my duty to try it out and report back lol. Don't ever be tempted.


This sounds like it will be the best meal of the day. We had planned to eat out but a kindly neighbour has taken pity on me and invited us for dinner. A home cooked meal is just what we need. I know it will be delicious, the company will be good and a nice soft chair to relax in. At this moment they are wrapping my sofas.

So glad I begged a coffee for aforesaid neighbour as it has led to what will be a nice relaxing evening.

Tomorrow moving in with friends for a couple of nights so things will improve drastically.