Monday, 30 November 2009


It's been hard work trying to finish off a couple of posts I've got on the go (OK - I ended up watching both Everton v Liverpool and Arsenal v Chelsea yesterday). Hopefully the blog-block is temporary and I'll get my mojo back soon. In the meantime here's one I made earlier - I've always wanted to use that line!.

My standby post takes me back to a trip to Guangzhou earlier this year. This dirty old town - better known as Canton - is home to one of the great cuisines of the world. Treats like dim sum and bbq roast meats are rightly famous but Cantonese cuisine comes into its own with its way with seafood. The Cantonese love their seafood fresh and it doesn't get fresher than the fish market.

These photos remind me of one of the best meals I've had this year as next to the market is the Jingang Haixin Jiujia which means 'Golden Harbour Seafood Restaurant' in English. It's a BYO restaurant but you're expected to bring the catch of the day rather than Chardonnay!

I wasn't blogging then and for some reason I was more interested in taking photos of the market rather than the fish. But I do remember the Golden Harbour converting our carrier bags of live seafood into a veritable feast of steamed crabs, chilli salt prawns, eel hotpot, steamed fish and braised crocodile amongst other delights.

Guangzhou is a great foodie city but not even its proudest citizens would big it up as a tourist destination. You also really need to be able to read Chinese as there are few bilingual menus here (I was in the capable hands of relatives). But if you're holidaying in Hong Kong, it's worth popping over to Guangzhou for a day or two – there are direct train services that take less than 2 hours.

The food is arguably better than Hong Kong (and cheaper) and once there, you could do worse than kick off with a dim sum brunch at the Garden Hotel; snack on wonton noodles whilst walking through the old city streets before rounding off the day with a seafood banquet.


  1. My grandmother is from Guangzhou but I never made it over there. The BYO catch of the day is a strange concept...!

  2. Hi mate,

    Great writing and posting as always! I have never been to Guangzhou but am now curious... I try to go to Asia at least once a year but haven't been to China for a few years now. Anyway, hope you are getting over your blogger's block pretty soon...

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. Lizzie - with a Cantonese granny, you were destined to be a top foodie and blogger! I see what you mean about BYO being strange but its only one step removed from picking your own fish from the tank.

    LF - I wouldn't go out of your way to get to Guangzhou but you'll definitely eat like a king if you do end up there. Blog block should be over soon but this time of year is so hectic!!

  4. I went to Guangzhou in 2000 and loved it. This was pre-blog. I should check and see if I have any of the food photos--I remember we went to this one dim sum place where all the dim sum was shaped like little animals...little rabbits and mice. It was awesome. Would go back in a heartbeat!

    Also--wanted to drop you a note because I went out to Chilli Cool with An American in London and Gourmet Chick last night; we had your szechuan beef recommendation. I brought home the leftovers--lucky me--and just had them for dinner again tonight. Delicious!

  5. The dim sum animals are great with amazing attention to detail e.g. they even draw the eyes in.

    I'm also glad you all enjoyed Chilli Cool - like any foodie, I'm nervous if a tip doesn't meet expectations.