Kevin Gao
Kevin Gao
China 2017
My parents always said we were from the land of the Dragons and we will never be far from it. Time has changed and now this is my journey back to China, the Land of Dragons, where everything started for my family. Read More About Kevin →

吃饭了吗?Have you eaten yet?


I have officially been in Shanghai for 24 hours now and it has been a blast thanks to Projects Abroad, which has been a great help as I land in China. I am deprived of sleep but full of good food. Food is essential to Chinese culture, and Shanghai is the hub of good food, from Michellin stars to local food stands. In Chinese, a common phrase to greet friends is not “hello” but it is 吃饭了吗? “Have you eaten yet?” While I recover from my jet-lag and prepare for my work placement tomorrow, I indulge myself in the local delicacies. The first thing that you notice is the price. The food here is of course heavenly delicious but also super cheap!

My first meal is a vegetable and rice dish with the local specialty, a soup filled dumpling called Xiao long bao. (Soup dumplings, dragon dumplings, basket dumplings) It was a relatively large portion and very VERY good! And the whole meal was only 19 RMB!!! ($2.75).


Breakfast time is my favorite time to explore the city because people from all worlds come to dine in local spots. Right under my flat is a busy center full of people lining up for a nice breakfast. I lined up for a small food stand with the longest que, and it was for sure worth it. Again, super affordable and delicious. One Shao mai (rice filled wontons) and four fried dumplings (Sheng Jian Bao) only costs 6.5 RMB which is not even $1!


This heartwarming meal is the perfect thing for a “welcome to Shanghai” feel and a great cure for jet-lag and home sickness. As I grow used to the metropolis of China, I become indulgent in the food that is served. I think this connects me more to the Chinese culture and the Shanghainese community, because as the locals say, “Food is divine.”

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