Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sunday Brunch at Shangri-La

The Sunday before we were to be separated for the summer, we decided to treat ourselves to brunch at another popular spot in Shanghai – the Yi Cafe at the Shangri-La hotel on the Bund.

What a treat!  10 different food stations with open kitchens, chocolate fountains, noodles and sashimi in a rainbow of colours.  Flavours from all over the world that is all freshly prepared and in many cases you can see them cooking in front of you.   We had a great table by the sushi station – the only thing separating us was a huge fish tank filled with colourful tropical fish and of course, the kids thought that was great!

This is one of the few places in Shanghai that serves Mexican, so it was a real treat to see a chef from Mexico City that made fresh, yummy guacamole.   Isabelle thought it was yummy and went back for 2nd’s of that!  There was also a fabulous Indian station with an authentic tandoor oven, fresh naan and chicken tikka.  Both kids loved the noodles that were being made by hand in front of our eyes and in the blink of an eye – what a skill to be able to do that at lightening speed!

The food was fantastic, the service was fantastic and the whole experience was fantastic!  It was great to have attentive servers that ensured our glasses were always full, without being intrusive.  They all spoke excellent English and made a fuss over the kids – a guarantee of a tip!

Saving the best for last – the Dessert Station was AWESOME!  All of us were over-whelmed with the choice, but had to go back for 2nd’s here.  At the end of the meal, Owen filled little boxes with sweeties at the candy station.  There was a lady hand-making marzipan figures – again, another skill.  The only down side here was the amount of people being so greedy and filling so many boxes with the free candy.

This is one place that we will be returning to.  A 3 hour brunch experience that we all enjoyed.

Fab table by the Fish Tank!

Fab table by the Fish Tank!

All of the beautiful coloured noodles are made by hand......

All of the beautiful coloured noodles are made by hand……

The Tandoor Oven in the Indian Section

The Tandoor Oven in the Indian Section

One side of the the Seafood Station

One side of the the Seafood Station

Another view of the Seafood Station

Another view of the Seafood Station

The kids were mesmerized by the dry ice at the Seafood station

The kids were mesmerized by the dry ice at the Seafood station

The Marzipan Lady - wonderful creations.....

The Marzipan Lady – wonderful creations…..

Isabelle & Oliver LOVED the Candy Station!

Isabelle & Oliver LOVED the Candy Station!

Kids (!!) at the Dessert Station!  Chocolate Fountain, here we come.....

Kids (!!) at the Dessert Station! Chocolate Fountain, here we come…..

Chocolate Fountain - milk and white, with marshmallows and fruit to dip with.

Chocolate Fountain – milk and white, with marshmallows and fruit to dip with.

"I can squash your nose, Daddy"

“I can squash your nose, Daddy”

We Love you Daddy - You are the Best!!

We Love you Daddy – You are the Best!!

Travel Woes – update

We finally took off and arrived in Beijing at 3.00am.  However, none of the passengers on our flight had their luggage, including me.  I had travelled in jeans, t-shirt and flip flops – not the attire for business meetings!  I thought that my bag would make it the next day, but no such luck.  I was in Beijing for a large customer conference and many of our very Senior Executives had travelled to China to attend this.  I had met some colleagues in the convention hotel bar and to my dismay, most of these Execs were in the same bar.  I am now at the end of Day 2 wearing the same outfit (and flip flops) and not exactly dressed for Executive interaction.  However, after explaining my predicament, no-one held it against me!

Still no sign of my bag and Cathay Pacific were so unhelpful with no opinion on where my bag was, never mind when it would be delivered.  So, off to the mall for some shopping for me.  Everything was so expensive and I needed so much for just a few days – make up, toiletries, underwear, shoes and a couple of outfits.  The worst thing was not being able to find any shoes that fit me and I do not have big feet!!  I ended up spending 3 times more than I have ever spent on a pair of shoes.  Even worse…… they are so uncomfortable and I am not sure I will wear them very much!!!!

Finally, on Day 4 (at 2.00am, so just about Day 4) there is a knock on my hotel door to let me know that my bag has been delivered.  Thank goodness, my feet would have some relief with my favourite comfy shoes.

Perhaps this is a lesson to not check a bag when travelling. 🙂

While the mice are away……..

It has been a very lonely existence for me in Shanghai all by myself.  Owen and the kids left at the beginning of July to spend the summer in the UK and I will join them at the beginning of August.  Work is so busy for me and I have so much weekend work during July that I would not have seen very much of them had they been in China.  BUT, this weekend was my 1 weekend at home alone and it was a horrible feeling.

I would like to send my sincere thanks to Steve Jobs for inventing FaceTime.  I hope he can feel my gratitude beyond the grave.  FaceTime is what keeps me sane – I can actually see my beautiful children and feel like I am in the same room as them when I check in each night.  (Not forgetting my gorgeous husband either!)  The other great thing about FaceTime is that it is free over wifi!!!

Back to the weekend…….  Friday night was supposed to be a casual dinner with a group of people from the office (ex-pats and locals).  We went to a Japanese restaurant for Teppanyaki and Sushi, which was a great choice as I love Japanese – especially the Saki!  The thing about Saki is that you do not feel any effects while you are sitting down and drinking it – it is only when you stand up that you realize your legs do not work any more…….  Which is exactly what happened to me!  I quickly realized that I probably needed to be at home before I made a fool of myself so made a fast exit.

5.00am came banging through my dreams – I knew I had been drinking Saki the night before and needed pain relief!  6 hours later, 4 Tylenol Extra later and I felt much better!  After several weeks of overcast, cloudy and rain, this weekend was perfect – glorious blue skies and sunshine.   I spent the afternoon at our compound pool before getting ready to see Shrek the Musical with a group of friends from the office.  The Shanghai Cultural Center is a modern, great acoustic theatre that has an intimate feel to it, despite seating seating about 2000.   Normally a great facility for experiencing a musical, however, “This is China” and things are a little different.  I should have been warned when I saw people walking up and down the aisles with signs saying “quiet please” in Mandarin and English.  The show starts and it is in English with big screens either side of the stage displaying Chinese translation.  Only issue with this is that most Chinese kids in the audience cannot read Chinese so their parents are loudly explaining what is going on in each scene.  As the show progresses, the kids are getting more animated, louder and more fidgety.  No-one cares about the noise level!  We get through the show – not bad, but not in my Top 10 of musicals.  I probably would have enjoyed it more with Isabelle and Oliver.

After the show we all headed out to Zahapats Mexican for dinner and drinks.  After a little dancing on the bar (a la Coyote Ugly!) it was time for me to call it a night.  It was a fabulous night out with a lovely mix of locals and ex-pats who all had fun together.  As this is 1 of my only weekends in Shanghai while the family is away, it was nice to have some plans to be out and about.