Friday, January 30, 2015

Yunnan Food - Dali and Kunming

I arrived in Dali on a Sunday morning. Muslim food stalls were lined up at Renmin Street near the local mosque. On the second day (Monday), there were none. Muslim men and women were a common sight in Dali.

A Muslim stall selling pastries and sweets at the west end of Renmin Street
Beef rib rice noodle soup was my first meal in Dali. I had tasted a few rice noodle soups in Lijiang and Lugu Lake. There wasn't anything special about this dish even though it was more expensive. I was beginning to get tired of rice noodle soup now.

The beef rib noodle restaurant, Dali at Yangrenjie (Foreigner's Street)

The menu

Beef rib rice noodle soup. Rating = 5/10
While looking for dinner on my first night in Dali, I came across a picture of Mei Cai Kou Rou on the advertisement board outside this restaurant. It was a dish that I could not miss. Though it was a little dry, nevertheless, with its sweet and savory taste, I really loved this dish. I had it again for dinner at another restaurant the following night. For both restaurants, I gave it 8/10.

The Mei Cai Kou Rou restaurant. The advertisement board was in red on the left of the restaurant

Mei Cai Kou Rou. Rating 8/10

Mei Cai Kou Rou at another restaurant. It was prepared slightly sweeter. Rating 8/10

As I strolled along Fuxing Street to South Gate in Dali, I saw a few food stalls on the way but I did not try the snacks there.

The street food stalls at Fuxing Street, Dali

 The snacks on display at the stalls

The usual breakfast food in Dali was similar to Lijiang. I had Baozi, which was again average.

The Baozi shop

Inside the Baozi shop

Baozi (steamed buns). Rating = 5/10
For lunch on the second day in Dali, I picked a spicy looking dish. It was similar to the spicy dish I had in Lijiang. It consisted of pieces of bony chicken with hardly any meat.

The restaurant

Spicy bony chicken. Rating = 6/10

At Kunming, I saw this tofu been grilled over some charcoal at a hawker stall. It looked good but I was unsure whether it was going to give me Delhi Belly. In the end, I decided that I had to try it. It was not bad and it was safe to eat.

This little eatery did not have running water ...

I would not normally take food from such an unhygienic eatery but because the tofu was grilled, I decided to take a bet to see whether I was going to get Delhi Belly. I won.

Grilled tofu. Rating = 6/10

While walking around Kunming looking for dinner, I saw this shop. It had Jiaozi (dumpling) and Xiao Long Bao (soup steamed buns). I had to try them.

The Jiaozi and Xiao Long Bao shop

Inside the shop

Jiaozi. Rating = 6/10

Xiao Long Bao. Rating = 6/10
While exploring Kunming, I noticed a few stalls selling street food scattered around the city. They were selling similar breakfast food. I was not sure what they were called. Was it Er Kuai?

Is this Er Kuai? A thin piece of fried flat bread spread with some spicy sauce was used to wrap the You Tiao (fried bread stick), fish nugget or hot dog, etc. Rating = 5/10

Another stall selling similar breakfast food

Another Er Kuai? This has egg. Rating = 6/10
I finally gave up on Yunnan local food. The same stuff was offered at every restaurant. I was so tired of the noodle soup that I went for KFC and McDonald in Kunming. Unfortunately, the KFC and McDonald were not as good as the Malaysian versions.

The crust was too thin


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