I'm back in Asia and I'm delighted to say I managed a quick jaunt to Shanghai with Mr. P. So, whilst Mr. P was hard at work, I decided to do what I do best, eat!
A quick search on the internet led me to UnTour Shanghai and after a few straight forward email exchanges, I was booked onto their Oodles of Noodles tour the next day.
I met up with Carla - our guide - at Fuxing Park along with two other delightful foodie fanatics. Well, one of them was a journalist, sent to write a piece about the tour for one of the local papers.
We set off walking through the park, with Carla giving us a brief history of it. Our first stop was a little noodle shop where we got to sample a bowl of their signature sesame peanut noodles. With peanut sauce on top, they were quite claggy, but at the same time, delicious. Simple, but very effective.
Our next stop took us to another little laneway noodle shop where we sat upstairs and our guide ordered us two bowls of noodles; a pork and caramelised scallion noodle and a spicy pork and preserved cabbage noodle. The pork and caramelised scallion noodle was out of this world delicious! I loved the sweetness of the scallions mixed with the salty pork. These noodles don't look like much, but it's packed full of flavour. They were in fact my favourite.
The spicy pork and preserved cabbage noodles weren't so much spicy but more oily due to the chilli oil. These didn't really do much for me, but it's all down to individual taste.
Our next stop took us to a fish noodle shop, and Carla ordered us a bowl of their signature Yellow Croaker fish noodles and a bowl of hairy crab noodles.
The croaker fish noodles weren't anything to write home about and the hairy crab noodles were quite sweet.
And so we took a light break and wandered to a wet market where there were lots of vegetables, fish and seafood, dried goods and lots of other interesting foods. Walking through the French concession area with a guide was fabulous. We walked down little laneways, saw a couple of really interesting antique stroke café shops and listened to Carla telling us fascinating tidbits of the area.
Alas, the afternoon drew us onto our last noodle stop, a muslim eatery near to an underground station. The noodles are handmade on the spot in front of customers and all I can say is that it must take some skill and many months, if not years, to become a seasoned noodle maker. We sampled a beef noodle soup noodle and a hand cut stir fried noodle in a tomato sauce with beef and vegetables. Both were delicious and the hand cut noodles were nice and chewy.
I loved this tour, even if I was a little noodle'd out by the end of it. It was informative, delicious, relaxing and such a great way to spend an afternoon in Shanghai. I'd recommend Untour Shanghai in a heartbeat. I just wish I had had the time to do their breakfast tour!