Last day in Shanghai

July 11, 2009 § 2 Comments

My last day in Shanghai was bittersweet.  I spent most of the day finishing up last minute prep like confirming my flight and calling the hostel, among other things.

The highlight was definitely meeting up with one of my sister’s best friends, Ella, and her boyfriend Sam.  My sister and Ella have been friends ever since they were little so I grew up knowing Ella.  I didn’t remember meeting Sam when I was younger but he said that the last time he saw me was when I was in middle school and I had just gotten into a fight with my sister and I stormed off. lol.  They’re currently living in Shanghai because of work.

We went to an Italian restaurant called “Salvatore Cuomo: The Kitchen,” located across from the Bund.

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The restaurant overlooked the river and had a great view of the Bund at night.  For those of you that don’t know, the Bund is a row of buildings along the riverfront.  It is the financial district of Shanghai and showcases several different styles of architecture.

I never knew Sam and Ella were such foodies and I’m so sad I didn’t contact them sooner! That is definitely one of my big regrets for the Shanghai portion of my trip.  The original plan was to stay with them a few days before I left but because of the trip to Wuhan, I just ended up staying at Da Jo Jo’s place for the last two nights.  They knew of so many fun and interesting things to do in the city that appeal to my age group.

Anyway, the restaurant was really good.  It was like a nice restaurant in San Francisco and the prices mirrored the atmosphere.   The restaurant was very “foreigner-friendly” because the staff spoke fluent, comprehensible English.

On to the food!  Sam really likes their prosciutto, spinach, and tomato pizza and said that I would dream about it after leaving Shanghai.  Although I can’t say that I’ve dreamed about it yet, it was really good.  Their prosciutto was soft and not too salty.  Their pizzas are reminiscent of real pizzas, made in Italy, that are thin and allow you to taste the separate ingredients without getting too full on the bread.  Sam and I got into a slight debate when I told him that it was not the best pizza I have ever had and that he needed to try Chez Panisse’s (in Berkeley) pizzas.

There are lots of good pizza places in Berkeley and if you go, you should definitely try Zacharys (Chicago-style deep dish) and Cheeseboard (thin crust, vegetarian, focus is on the cheese quality).  Ella also told me of a place in Shanghai that sells pizza topped with Beijing duck.  I really want to try that next time I go back.  We also ordered another simpler pizza, bruschetta, pork shank, and a salad.  Everything was presented very nicely and the food was great.  Ella and Sam also gave me some great suggestions for Taiwan, including this small lane that serves snake and kills it in front of you, draining the blood, venom, and something I forgot, right in front of you into shot glasses that you later drink.

*After arriving in Taiwan I asked my Berkeley friends (two grown boys) to go with me to the snake place and they refuse to participate.  They say that they will watch me but don’t want to eat the snake or drink the shots.  -_-

Other than the food, it was really nice just spending time with Ella and Sam.  I thought it might be weird since I’ve never actually hung out with Ella or Sam without my sister also being there, but it wasn’t awkward at all.  It was fun getting to know them in person and connecting them with the funny stories my sister would tell about her escapades with them.

Ella and I also reminisced about a hilarious story which involved me, my sister, Ella, and I think one other friend of theirs.  Before I left for college my sister said that I needed to find out my alcohol tolerance with people that I could trust.  She and her friends took me to the BJ’s on Huntington and started ordering drinks.  I refused to drink anything that tasted bad or “too alcholey” so they ordered me some fruity drink that I sipped while eating and drinking water.  Two hours later I was the designated driver.  lol.

After a great dinner they dropped me off and I packed my things for the third time.  Luckily Amy was going to California so I was able to send back some souvenirs and clothes with her.  Thanks again Amy, if you see this!

And so ended my time in Shanghai…

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