I’m currently in Shanghai
, chronicling the culinary tales of Pei Wei’s top chefs
I was selected to blog about Pei Wei’s menu inspiration trip in Asia, and we’re about halfway through our epic journey. Our Shanghai guide, a Florida native himself, wanted to show us a slice of the nightlife, which I was especially interested in seeing. Being a South Beach resident, I was curious to see how the Shanghai scene compared to our world class clubs.
We went to a nightclub called 88, which was packed to the seams with young, trendy kids in their 20s. An Usher sign was hanging from the main stage, flanked by two dancers. We were almost trampled by the constantly moving, shoving mass of club goers. As I was crushed by scores of people passing by, I yearned for the ridiculous guest lists and strict bouncers of SoBe. Groups of friends were huddled around tables, and it seemed as if everyone had bottles of Chivas Regal
served with cold green tea. There were giant metal platters of ornately carved fruit, which came as free additions to the bottles.
The music was interrupted multiple times by the Chinese DJ, who kept shouting “throw your hands in the air!” And when LMFAO’s “I’m in Miami
, Trick” started blaring on the sound system, I couldn’t help but feel the 305 pride. Everyone went wild: the Saudis partying next to us, the Shanghainese girls on the stage, the European businessmen still in their button up shirts, they all were singing along. Talk about an incredible Miami moment.
We jetted out of the club after a brief stint to check out the late night food scene. Our guide took us to a tiny shop where they only made hand-pulled and hand-cut noodles. There were only two guys running the place, and there were maybe four tables for the late night revelers. The noodle maker cradled a hunk of dough in his left arm and used a peeler to shave off individual thick, flat noodles directly into a vat of boiling lamb broth. He then moved inside and began to pull and twist, pull and twist the dough, transforming it into what first looked like Syrian string cheese, and then inexplicably became about 50 long, skinny round noodles.
After a quick cook in the pot, the second noodle man threw a few sprigs of cilantro, green onions and chili paste on top. Our $1 bowls of piping hot noodles were ready to go. It was good to see that late night food on this end of the world is just as satisfying as it is at home. It’s far from Pizza Rustica, but it fit the bill for the night.
Published at 9:20 AM EST on Mar 8, 2011 | Updated at 9:30 AM EST on Mar 8, 2011