Daily Archives: June 10, 2012

Tailor Made

One of the nicest things about living in China is access to hand made clothes.   I had my first experience of this on Friday.  One of my work friends took me to the place that she goes (and she is always dressed immaculately!) and I was over-whelmed with the choice and quality of the fabric.  I am having 2 trouser suits made, a pair of trousers and 3 shirts.  They are so skilled, that they will even make exact copies of favourite outfits that you want in new colours as well as copy from photos of designer outfits.

I have a favourite dress that I am going to have made in a different fabric as well as some unusual cuts of jackets.  I can’t wait to see how the first couple turn out.  Having never had anything made just for me (other than my wedding dress!) I was amazed at how many measurements they took of my body.  So many different places to get my statistics on.  I loved the fact that they also asked where I like my jackets to fall, how long my trousers should be and how long I liked the sleeves.  Completely tailored for me.  I will definitely post photos with the finished results, which should be in a couple of weeks after 4-5 fittings.

All that for the price of an average suit off the rail in America and Britain!!  (It helped going with my friend so that I got a good price – everything is a negotiation here!!)  I wonder why the likes of Chanel, Versace, Prada and Armani bother to have stores here when their designs can be copied so effectively and so cheaply.

20th Wedding Anniversary – night out at Mr & Mrs Bund

June 6th was Owen and I’s 20th Wedding Anniversary.  Quite a shock as I don’t feel old enough to be married that long!  What a ride it has been – lots of adventures, memories, travel, laughs, ups (many), downs (just a few) and all of it shared with a wonderful man.  We have 2 fabulous children that are the light of my life and the continuing best accomplishment of our marriage and my life.

Friday night was our official celebration.  It was also our first out without the kids since we arrived in China.  We have found a great babysitter so the kids were left in safe hands.  We went to Mr & Mrs Bund in downtown Shanghai.  The restaurant overlooks the fantastic skyline which is brilliantly lit up at night.  It reminded us both of 2 Urban Licks in Atlanta, very open, open kitchen and similar vibe.  They make a big deal out of you making the most of their menu, your way, so that is exactly what we did.  Owen started the evening off with a cocktail – an unusual margarita which was delicious.  We shared seared scallops with ginger and lime, and a huge tiger shrimp served in a glass jar with citrus.  The scallops were quite exquisite – a perfect combination of flavours.  The shrimp’s presentation was very original and the infusion of the citrus peel and juices made this dish.   Following this, Owen and I shared a huge Wagyu Ribeye Steak which was FANTASTIC.  I have never eaten steak that literally melts in your mouth.  We chose dauphanoise potatoes that were so finely sliced and mixed with brie and proscuitto – wonderful.  Steamed garlic spinach and a herb salad completed this course.

Wagyu Ribeye Steak - fantastic!

Wagyu Ribeye Steak – fantastic!

The menu was so impressive, we were spoilt for choice.  I felt full after finishing the steak, but was determined to have dessert!  Owen choose Tart Tatin and I had their signature Lemon and Lemon.  This is a time consuming dish to prepare as the lemon is cooked whole in sugar for 3 days.  It is then scooped out and filled with lemon sorbet, lemon curd and vanilla chantilly cream.  I was not sure about my choice when I was presented with a whole lemon on the plate, but once I had cut into the lemon and taken my first bite, I had to resist the urge to stuff the whole thing in my mouth!!

Lemon Dessert

Lemon Dessert

Inside the Lemon & Lemon Dessert

Inside the Lemon & Lemon Dessert

To say it was a 5 Star meal is under-rating our experience.  It was all super yummy!  The service was great and it was an all round wonderful night out.  Even the toilets had candelabra in them!  I loved the fact that kitchen was open and you could see all the chefs busily preparing the delicious food.

Fancy Toilets!  Love the Candelabra!

Fancy Toilets! Love the Candelabra!

Mr & Mrs Bund's open kitchen and very busy.....

Mr & Mrs Bund’s open kitchen and very busy…..

After dinner, Owen and I walked along the river front and admired the lights – at least until 11.00pm when they were all switched off!  We passed a British shaped postbox painted green, obviously a hang-over from British days in the early 20th century:

Almost like home!

Almost like home!

The Bund is the corner turn of the Huangpu River in Shanghai.  One side is the modern skyscraper buildings and the heart of the Financial district.  The other side (where we ate) is the older European influenced district with many original buildings in an old British colonial style.  There is even a mini replica of Big Ben!

Beautifully lit up (at least until 11pm)

Beautifully lit up (at least until 11pm)

The skyline is obscured in this photo due to the smog!  You cannot see the tallest building – the Bottle Opener, because of the pollution.  It has been especially humid in the last few days, so I do not think we will be seeing clear skies for a while.

A smog covered skyline.

A smog covered skyline.

A Medical Procedure in China

This week, Owen was in a Chinese hospital to have a back procedure operation which meant an overnight stay for him.  He came back with quite the story and I am quite sure that he will not be having any more procedures in China (instead, he will travel to Hong Kong, which is where most of the Westerners go to have scheduled operations and procedures).

Going through International private medical insurance meant that he had a private room which included dinner and breakfast.  Dinner was a pizza!  Served in the box from where it was ordered.

After a very sleepless night on a mattress that was 2″ thick, Owen was asked what he wanted for breakfast.  This was the first time that anyone had checked on him in 13 hours, after a general anaesthetic.  He requested coffee, orange juice and toast.  This is what was served:

Breakfast in Chinese hospital

Breakfast in Chinese hospital

Owen was also a little frightened in the operating room as everyone was speaking Chinese around him and he was actually awake for most of the procedure.  He believes that the whole procedure could have been done in his Doctor’s office and was an exercise in maximizing insurance payout.

He told me that his hospital room did not look or feel clean, the windows were wide open with no bug screens on them and a building site right next door with all the construction dust and fumes coming in.  All in all, not at all comparable to the British or American health coverage and care that we all take for granted.

Language quiz answers:

1.  san ke you fou re si wan de fou mi ou.

Thank you for this wonderful meal.

2.  kan you du san mu shao ping fou mi.

Can you do some shopping for me.

3.  ai dong te an de si tang de ying ge li shi e tao.

I don’t understand English at all.

4.  ai ou pei yin kai shi.

I’ll pay in cash.

5.  hai ou pu.  fu wai e.  rao bo rui.  se fu se fu.

Help.  Fire.  Robbery.  Thief thief.