Monday, November 12, 2007

Street Meat


Barbecue, Shanghai Style

Neal (Shanghai Sound Guy) came over to our corner (a/k/a The Dark Side) as we were packing up to leave last night.
"Hey- you up for some barbecue?" he asked me.
Constant Readers who know me will affirm that I'll eat a half-cooked mouse if there is enough cumin and coriander on hand.
"Sure." I said.
I checked with SpongeMark to see if he was interested-
He said he'd take a pass. He and Olivier headed back to the Mayfair as I left with Mal, Michelle and Neal, heading to what was being billed as "Street Meat. You know, Meat on a stick."

We drove up into the neighborhood near Hongqiao airport around midnight...
There was a sweatshop where little Chinese women were cranking out Michelin Man parkas, and right next door on the sidewalk there was a large refrigerated case full of skewered goodies.
(To tell the truth, I was a little surprised to see the refrigerated case. I'm used to seeing the piles of kebab meat just sitting on a plate on a table, exposed to the elements and/or worse.)

The "restaurant" was a 10' x 10' room off lit by a TV set showing a Hong Kong police drama. There were 4 tables inside this space each holding 4 to 6 Chinese diners.

The Larder

The case of...things to eat.

Neal & Michelle picking out our dinner.

Eggplant, fungus, potato & lotus kebabs.

More goodies-
Corn on the cob, fish on a stick and mystery meat.

You give your bin of groceries to the girl...

...and she puts it in the queue to be cooked by the GrillMaster.

The Grillmaster slathers on chili oil or some dry spices as he cooks the Street Meat...
Everything gets the same treatment...Enoki mushrooms get the same treatment as potatoes, the same for fish or lamb or any of the other items.

A table inside the "restaurant" cleared out and the four of us moved in to await our dinner. We ordered 2 large bottles of "Snow Beer" and waited for our food.

Dinner begins to arrive.
Shrimp, lamb, chicken wingtips and octopus...

Cauliflower, eggplant, bread & potato chips.

Mushrooms, eggplant and potato chips.

One thing about the food... Since it is all cooked the same way, and the spices are used the same way for everything, it all pretty much tasted the same...
The only difference between the lamb and, say, the mushrooms is the texture...

I had a great time... and since I'm at work with no ill effects, I'm either starting to get immune to the Shanghainese food-poisoning bacteria, or maybe the restaurant was just cleaner than the average hotel kitchen and dining room.
(A distinct possibility. Unlikely, but possible.)

TBG out-

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