We started our day at Starbucks, which (along with Costa Coffee & Coffee Bean) seems to be on every other street corner. A double tall cappuccino costs 35 RMB (about £3.50) – but it is tasty! The breakfast croissant was okay – more bread than croissant and the bacon was a bit weird. I had a green tea latte which was tasty but quite a lurid green.
With our java now in hand (and in veins) we were prepared for EXPO. The Chinese pavilion was impressive – HUGE.
We managed to find a bubble tea place – the little rabbit one that I like from HK! Bubble tea is a Taiwanese thing – made with large brown tapioca balls that have to have that just right Q factor (Q being a chinese term for the bounce back texture of noodles, tapioca, etc). Anyways, we found a place at Expo and filled up on bubble tea while we planned our moves.
We found the Canadian pavilion – and yes, poutine! The cheese was off (as in, not curds, but hunks of normal cheese) but fries were very good and the gravy was actually decent. It wasn’t Ben’s, the 24 hour deli where B would end up in Montreal, drunk (shock! horror!) and needing some good late-night post-drinking fare.
We then found Nanxiang Xiaolong Bao at the food court – a famous shanghai dumpling place. So we got in line, and ordered 2 baskets. The line was long, as the baskets were literally steamed to order.
Meal 5 Verdict: Good. But not as good as Day 1’s Ding Tai Fong Xiaolong bao which took the prize.
Sadly this was the day that I was hit hard with the flu. I had a throat tickle on Wednesday, couldn’t sleep then Thursday in the wee hours fever set in. Tylenol helped me function better but I felt progressively worse throughout the day. By dumpling time I was pretty miserable and really not looking forward to heading back to our hotel. It was boho chic, but without a heater in the room and a bathroom that was slightly tired, I really wasn’t looking forward to feeling crappy in a room that was less than pristinely clean. Also I desperately wanted a hot bath and really did not want to have a bath in our hotel bathroom.
B was supportive, though we both were dithering as we felt it would be slightly indulgent to change hotels… until B went to the loo. She came back and told me that we had a sign from God. A roach had slithered out of a corner in the loo and crawled on our toiletries. YUCK. That was the clincher: we decided an immediate room change was necessary for health reasons. And I have to say I thank my lucky stars we moved.
We present you the PuLi Hotel.
First thing you see on entering… shiny shiny pretty pretty!
Then our room! Wheeeeee!
Another perk for sickies: room service. We both had warming soothing food -I had congee, and B had shrimp wonton soup. Both yummy. Wonton soup had lovely broth, and the chicken congee was a great texture… and totally warmed me up from the inside.
I had a hot hot bath (with a view of the Exhibition Hall) and finally finally warmed up. Ahhhhhh. Whoever says 5 star doesn’t make you feel better has never had a fever made much more bearable by 400 thread count sheets and a pillow menu. We ordered a tempur pillow to join the other fluffy pillows we had 😉