Sunday, January 08, 2017

My First Meal in Xiamen, China – Grilled Lobster and Scallop Rice Noodles

Exactly around lunch time I arrived in Xiamen city centre. It took the taxi driver some time to locate my hotel which is a 200-year old traditional Chinese mansion, which I will be blogging about soon on a separate post. I cannot remember how much exactly I paid for the taxi but it was I think between ¥30-40 (€4-5.50). The area where my hotel is located in Xiamen is near Zongshan lu which is the most popular pedestrian street in the city.

After freshening up I set out to explore the city, but first things first – Lunch!

lobster xiamen

My lunch! The lobsters they have in Xiamen were quite small in size.

Not too far from the hotel I came across a very lively food street, Tauping Lu which is hustling with activity. Food hawkers screaming at passersby and doing their best to lock them to buy their food or eat inside their stalls. The whole bustling scene really stimulated my senses. I love the energy of the street and the smell of the different kinds of foods coming from the food stalls. I must eat here.

In no time I saw a seafood stall. If it was my free devil-may-care choice, I would have tasted every dish they have on offer. Unfortunately, I know my limitations so I decided to pick only 2 dishes. I must say that the decision was difficult, haha.

Location of Taiping Lu (Taiping Street):



It is close to Zongshan Lu, the main pedestrian street in Siming District where everyone goes to.


The seafood stall where I ate. This what they have on offer. Delicious!

You can find a lot of fresh seafood (for grilling) in Xiamen.

I have read that there is a strong surge of Taiwanese food influence in Xiamen. After having been to Taiwan on this same Asian trip I can conclude that there are indeed a few similar foods. But just a few!

So I picked the lobster which set me off ¥100 (€13.60), and which I actually found quite expensive. I initially thought the stall was ripping me off. That’s almost 14 Euros! But then I thought a lobster like this would cost twice or more in Europe. Additionally, it is difficult to negotiate with them because nobody speaks English. The food hawkers communicate with you in Chinese or with a paper and pen, well sometimes with a calculator. I reckon that it’s my first meal in this trip so I should treat myself.

lobster xiamen

Lobster not yet cooked. This is what I ordered. ¥100, way overpriced. I felt ripped off.


The cooked lobster looked somewhat different from what I ordered?

The other dish I ordered was the scallop with rice noodles which was going at ¥15 (€2) per piece. I settled for only 1 piece to taste. The shell actually looked like mussels but the meat on it were scallops?

Both dishes were grilled so I had to wait. I shared a table inside with other local girls. Nobody spoke to me because nobody can speak English, but they all smiled and acknowleged my presence =)

scallops

Scallops in mussell shell with rice noodles, uncooked. 15 CNY each.


Cooked scallop rice noodles.

The scallop with rice noodles was really good. I wish I ordered more. The grilled lobster on the other hand was a big disappointment. I am not sure what kind of sauce they added on to it but it tasted differently. The meat was also very tiny, so I was still hungry after eating the whole thing.

I left this lunch feeling a bit ripped off and still hungry! Argh.

But rest assured I had better lunches and meals for the rest of the trip.


Sharing the table with the locals.

Travel Period: December 2016
Destination: Xiamen (Fujian), China

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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