So it was time to get moving, this time by train. We were not ready for what we got though, being not seats, but a bed to share with four others. It was a cozy seven hour ride thats for sure.
Off the train, onto a bus and into Dali. Dali is a small walled city set between a lake and some cloud catching mountains behind. It is also the most western place we have seen in China with plenty of Bob Marley coming from the bars and cafes trying to lure and trap backpackers like flies (I cant believe it still works).
But that doesn’t mean the food was bad though.
Luckily we ran into a Chinese backpacking girl by the name of Cathy we had chatted to at the hostel, and she agreed to accompany us to dinner.
So with Cathy in charge we ordered ourselves a feast. The restaurants in Dali have all there ingredients on display out on the footpath and in glass fridges to allow you to pick the exact things you want.
Our first choice was a particularly striking mushroom by the name of Boletus. Well after some post meal research it becomes apparent that Boletus is a large family of mushrooms, but the mushroom we were after was very particular. The mushroom we wanted was a striking yellow colour, but when you dug your finger into it, it changed colour to blue where you touched. The mushroom was also not cultivated and had to be collected from the wild.
The mushroom was only one of a number of dishes, that I will tell you about later, but it eclipsed all the others completely.
It came cooked very simply with garlic and greens, but that where the simple stops. The flavour of the mushroom is intensely full bodied and nutty. I have only tried truffles once or twice, but this was right up there, this is one of the best things I have eaten in years. Now I just need to find them somehow in Australia.
The other dishes were good Chinese, but were all playing second fiddle this night.
Another mushroom dish, also very tasty.
Some simple greens, which are always good. This one was pumpkin vines.
And this was spinach.
We also got another local speciality, lake fish stew. This was only okay, I ate most of it as the others weren’t too keen on the muddy flavour of the fish, but not something I mind at all.
Some sweet and sour pork. We have had some amazing sweet and sour in China, but this one wasn’t one of them.
Fries zucchini blossoms. A little oily.
All in all a fantastic meal, thank you Cathy for the help in ordering. And happy birthday.