Song hua jiang dumplings
Tonight, John and I went to a famous jiao zi (dumpling) restaurant, Song hua jiang dumpling, in Yueyang. We were able to order with relative ease despite our limited Chinese! Thankfully the vast majority of our vocabulary is food-related (though this will make trying to speak Chinese for our friends upon our return to the States a bit difficult).
We ordered eggs, fried with onions (yang cong chao dan), niu rou jiao zi (beef dumplings), dan jiao zi (egg dumplings) and what the Chinese call “Chinese pizza”. Rest assured that Chinese pizza is absolutely literally nothing like pizza.
The restaurant staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, very patient with our limited ability to communicate. To our advantage, the menu has a few pictures, and we have some vocabulary written both in pinyin (for our understanding) and Chinese characters (for the native Chinese).
The tables are covered in plastic tablecloths – not like the red-checkered plastic tablecloths from picnic tables. The plastic is like the plastic from plastic bags used for produce in grocery stores. Our dishes come wrapped in plastic too – a precaution against germs and pollution. We have to use our chopsticks (quay zi) to poke holes into the plastic wrap to open them. And of course, our meal comes with the standard Chinese tea.
It was a lovely meal out! Especially since it was both delicious and a change from our standard choices of noodleteria, grilled cheese, or McDonalds (or KFC).
P.S. I forgot to take pictures of the dumplings. 😦