Well. I am finally going to post again on this blog. And about one of my favorite topics…food.
Last night a friend of mine – Lawrence – and I went to eat at a new Vietnamese restaurant located next to a canal in a tourist / refurbished part of the city called “ShanTang Street” (for those of you who live here is China and secretly read this blog…you know who you are…it is located where ShanTang streetï¼canal å±±å¡˜è¡—ã€€goes under å¹¿æŒ¤ road, near Club Seven and the Suzhou club GuanDi…and I forgot the name of the restaurant or didn’t notice it) ShanTang street looks like how most of Suzhou used to look like 100 years ago, but given a few coats of new paint, and the mold scrapped off. It is pretty cool…
It actually looks cooler at night.
The restaurant was had nice decour. Its in a remodeled replication of an old style canal-side house (I don’t know if anything in China is new, old, or relatively new-but aged quickly). Prices were in 25-40RMB / plate range. Service was pretty good…better than the average Shanghai restaurant, but not as good as one of the small local restaurants we sometimes go to, where the owner is also the waiter.
Both Lawrence and I have lived in California and know at least a little about Vietnamese food. However, we didn’t have any expectations, as most foreign food in China usually is not very good, and definitely not authentic. This restaurant was, however pretty good and authentic (at least by San Jose standards). Of course, not quite as good as the stuff we get in California, but then what is?
The Chicken salad was pretty good…tastes alot like the Chicken salad Haga makes.
Spring rolls were OK, but the shrimp were a little small. Vietnamese spring rolls are not fried…they consist of rice noodles, thin pork, shrimp, cilantro and bean sprouts wrapped with thin, soft rice paper.
I ordered Pho, which is beef soup, with thin, rare slices of beef (it cooks in the soup), with rice noodles, cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, and other stuff. Overall good, although when I order it in the US, I can get beef tendon and brisket added as well. Lawrence ate the same thing, but with chicken instead.
After dinner we went to a canal-front bar next door and talked about business ideas, relationships, children, dumb customer stories, stories of corporate backstabbing, and how much I hate GWB. Lawrence is a Taiwanese HR manager for an American company…he is really cool, nice, and seemingly gentle. Actually he is more like Kaiser Soze…an evil super-genius.