These two stalls are actually just opposite each other. I tried the pan fried dumplings and it was DELICIOUS! I chose the combo platter which included six juicy dumplings with three different flavours. GOSH, IT WAS HEAVEN! A far cry from the dumplings that I had in Shanghai YuYuan on Day 1 (they claimed to be the best but it was crap. TOTALLY CRAP).
I went to try the other stall when it was opened 30mins later. I thought I was the first customer. The dragon lady took my order and money and passed instructions to her team of staff. A small but energetic team of aunties were busy in the small back kitchen steaming dumplings, chopping vegetables and mincing meat. Morning gossip about someone’s daughter or someone’s son was the talk of the day. I went to a table of my choice and waited. Very quickly, the famous steamed dumplings came to my table and I tucked into it greedily.
A sudden unexpected turn of events took place as a male customer scolded the dragon lady. Apparently the dragon lady thought he wanted cooked dumplings instead of frozen dumplings (you can buy the raw ready-made dumplings to steam at home). The guy was so furious he retorted that the dragon lady was TOO BUSY CHIT CHATTING to remember his order. Turned out he was the first customer. What amazed me was there was a steady stream of customers coming in and the argument never ceased! Shanghainese women are really really fierce!
Some of the latter customers were Japanese and Taiwanese, each family/couple holding a guidebook (so like me, we all knew about this place through guidebooks and online blogs). I proceeded to move on to my highlight of the day – West Lake in Hangzhou – with a full tummy.
West Lake is HUGE! I have underestimated the size of China and thought I could complete it by walking within a day. I cannot. I got BLISTERS on my sole. But, I find West Lake is overrated. It is a lake with nice scenery but it is just a lake. The scene is average nice but not those gorgeous type of nice. I kinda regret spending one day here. Should have pick a few spots and leave for Shanghai by early afternoon.
I went back to Shanghai by 9pm and had my dinner at Lujiajiao, the financial CBD of China, and saw the big Pearl Tower by The Bund. At this point, all I feel about China is everything is BIG, HUGE and GIGANTIC. Hahahhahahhaah..