One final post on Guangzhou, which is noteworthy for the fact that this was the first time we actually cooked our meals while 'on holiday'. One of the reasons we decided to stay in a serviced apartment, other than the fact that it is cheaper than a hotel and that it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and plenty of living space, is the convenience of a kitchen to cook foods for the baby. Porridge and soups, quick, easy, nutritious stuff. Good for us adults too, as it can be tiresome, not to mention rather costly to eat out all the time.
We brought along a sturdy saucepan, some chilli condiments and herbal medicines as well as baby foods and bottle steriliser. The apartment came equipped with a microwave which we used a lot for steaming, also some pots and pans but not a wok. A nice range of water and wine glasses and other cutleries and crockeries were also provided. At first we lugged big bottles of water from the supermarkets every day but soon we found out that we could rent water dispensers at about 8 yuan a day. Watson's water from Hong Kong is more expensive than the local brands like C'est bon, but it tasted far better, and what a convenience it was to have the dispensers, we were getting through almost a jar a day, it even dispensed boiling-hot water.
There is a small wet market within walking distance from the apartment, and we soon found ourselves enjoying the morning walk with the mostly elderly residents in the neighbourhood. The market is bustling and colourful, everything was really fresh and cheap- see chicken in the middle picture which later became our dinner; we could even buy eggs still warm from hatching, and even 'the best soya sauce in China' which is not available at the supermarkets (so the vendor informed us). At the supermarkets, we found the next most popular soya sauce, Master's, which is much like our Maggi seasoning.
My favourite find were little jars of crab roe sauces, retailing at a most reasonable 24 yuan; a spoonful of it transformed plain congee into bowls of luxury and provided oomph to simple steamed omelets.
As we didn't want the small apartment to smell too much of cooking fumes we limited ourselves to making soups, refreshing herbal drinks, congees, steamed fish/ chicken/ omelets or braised dishes. For variety, we bought supermarket fen pi (pea thread noodle) salads, roasted meats or cold cuts.
We really appreciated the convenience of being able to cook whatever and whenever we want, even in a foreign city. It was for us, a little home away from home, being able to sit down and enjoy a simple family meal by ourselves, it just made the 10 days we spent in the city pass a lot more pleasurably.
And that brings us to the end of our GZ postings. I'll be going to KL for the next week or so, for work and visiting with family, a break that I am really looking forward to after these few hectic weeks. In the meantime, I wish my readers a good week ahead and happy eating! Cheers!