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On a recent visit to Shanghai we got to try a strange combination of flavours – a Japanese spaghetti restaurant in China.
This chain, originally from Japan, has spread to China and Singapore, serving spaghetti in both Japanese, Chinese and original Italian style.
The idea is “spaghetti with chopsticks” and even though we tried it at random we were quite positively surprised by the quality and taste of the food.

The spaghetti are served on beautiful blue-patterned plates and the portion size is Eastern style – about one and a half portions are enough for a Western stomach. We bought three dishes and shared the last, which also gave us the possibility to sample both a Western, Japanese and Shanghainese flavour pasta dish.
My favourite was the Japanese “Carbonara” with fish eggs, nori and egg. There was a little much cream in it but the flavour was fantastic! This is definitely one to recreate at home.
The picture shows a similar dish with added clams (Spaghetti Vongole being another of my all-time Italian favourites) and the Italian dish, spaghetti with eggplants. Hardcore Vegetarians beware though, as I suspect even the vegetarian dishes to be made on a meat broth basis in China’s cavalier attitude to Vegetarianism in general.

Eating pasta with chopsticks is fun! The Chinese bolognese is not vegetarian but I was assured it tasted great (and it did smell great!).
One little problem is that the menu is in Chinese and Japanese only, though there are pictures and the dishes are on display outside the restaurant as well. I still got to practice my katakana skills as the personnel was very nice but not extremely good at English.

Spaghetti Goemon
169 Wujiang Lu
Jingan district, Shanghai
(near Metro station Nanjing Road West)

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Bio-Bengelchen Betthupferl-Tee/Cheeky Cherubs Bedtime Sweets Herbal Tea Blend: Lemon Balm, Blackberry leaves, Elderflower, thyme, verbena, calendula, sunflower leaves, bluebottle blossoms.

Cheeky Cherub Merlin kindly agreed to model for this tea promising just the right amount of sweetness before bedtime :)
It is, as tea #9, quite similar to our regular teas from Sonnentor and rather lovely even in bagged form. Definitely one to keep, even if the ingredient list made me consult the dictionary and wiki a few times :)

And what does our model think?

“Zzzzzzzz…”

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Grüner Glückstee/Green Fortune Tea Spice-Green tea blend: Green tea with jasmine, coriander, fennel, lemon balm, ginger, licorice, aniseed, connamon, peppermint, bluebottle flowers, vanilla.

Niiiice try, Sonnentor. Yeah, not gonna try that one after the last aniseed/fennel disaster. I guess I’ll give it to someone who needs the fortune more than me.

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Basen-Ausgleich Kräutertee/Base Harmony herbal tea blend: Lemon balm, blue malva, blackberry leaves, curly mint, lime tree blossoms, elderflower, bluebottle blossoms.

“Base Harmony”? Is that something like base cowardice? (And who makes up the names of those teas anyway?)
But after a round of silly comments on the naming, the tea is actually quite pleasant. It starts out a deep green (not that you could see it in this picture) and is quite close in taste to our regular Sonnentor looseleaf teas.

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Wieder gut! Eine Mütze voll Schlaf/It’s All Good! Sweet Dreams herbal tea blend: yarrow, lemon balm, blackberry leaves, lavender, orange peel, fennel.

The strong lavender note quite overpowers all other flavours in this tea. If you like lavender, this is definitely a nice tea. If it reminds you of your grandma’s pillow cover, maybe not. :)

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Bio-Bengelchen Schnupfnasen-Tee/Cheeky Cherubs Breathe Easy herbal tea blend: Curly mint, sage, chamomile, thyme, elderflowers, lime-tree blossoms and licorice.

Quite a nice tea, though I can’t tell about the breathe easy part of it. The chamomile and herbs are nice and the licorice not too intrusive this time. Definitely useful.

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Advent-Tee/Santa’s Secret fruit tea blend: Apple, hibiscus, rose hip, cinnamon, pear, quince, orange peel, cloves and vanilla.

A fruity tea with a very very christmassy smell. The body wasn’t as strong as I would have wished but the smell – indescribable. It just hits christmas time perfectly!
I think this would be nice with some sugar or honey to counteract the tartness of the various fruit and bring out the spices more.

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