Last night this correspondent and Back of the Ferry’s North-East Asian correspondent – Tony from Toowoomba teamed up to give the French Concession a going over. More about that later, but on the way home we experienced a wonderful piece of what I love about China. 100m from our hotel, which is directly on the Bund, was a “pop up” “food truck” grill that was just going off. On the corner of Sichuan Middle Road and Guangdong Road a well oiled machine was shovelling out freshly grilled meat, fish and veggies to the masses and it was magnificent.
The boys have converted an old farmers bike into a full on grill. On one edge they’ve hung a kind of gutter to which they constantly add coals. Grill plates go on top and they simply cook to order whatever you want and gees there’s some variety. Mushrooms, cauliflower florets, fish, lamb, pork, beef, octopus – it’s all there. Each stick is constantly basted and spices are added from an array of tins from a shelf hanging off the bike. As you can see from the photo, there’s no dress code at this restaurant. We arrived a midnight, had half an hour there and the stream of customers was constant. We paid about $14 Aussie for a couple of longies of Suntory and 10 sticks of spiced heaven.
After over 4 years, TfT’s mandarin has developed well. We had a terrific yarn with these blokes that have run this for a couple of years now. They offered us a couple of seats and then pulled a couple of longies of Suntory from a bucket and we had our most enjoyable feed since I arrived. We watched in awe as the head griller had to constantly douse his forearms in a bucket to manage the heat. OH&S par excellence. All of this was conducted in the open air on what during the day is a busy street in one the ritziest parts of Shanghai. The friendliness shown to us was warm and the sense of community as regulars showed up was palpable. As good as some of places I’ve been on this trip, the Sichuan/Guangdong Corner Grill provided the highlight. This is what I love about China.