"Real" Chinese Food

"Real" because we learned authentic local chinese food would destroy our systems. But this was still very different then any chinese food I've has state side. Slices of duck, quick pickles, roasted asparagus, and large flakes of duck skin all assembled onto small pancakes (like a softer, slightly sweet tortilla), then covered in hoisen sauce. Not corner store beef and broccoli, not genuine chinese food, but amazing. Our cup of tea was power brewed thanks to metal tea pot with a four foot long spout wielded table side by our waiter.

The next night we went out with a different set of locals and had a huge spread of dishes. Pork, fish, shrimp, noodles, dumplings and sea cucumber? Easily the weirdest looking item on the menu meant we had to order it. My coworker and I each received a small bowl of this strange spiky dish. Shockingly tasteless, just very squishy, all the flavor was contained in the broth. This is very chinese we're told. Food is all about texture and the process of eating it. Sea cucumber is very healthy and the squishy, chewy texture makes it perfect for the chinese.