So last week was Christmas and some of the other foreigners and I went out to dinner. As I said in the last post, the original plan was to go to Nellie's but there would've been just too many people. But before we went to dinner, a few of us did go to Nellie's first just for to hangout for a bit, and have a few snacks and drinks.
I brought along the Christmas episodes of Futurama. Man, that was a great show.
Anyways, when we went to dinner, we all ate at a western-style (meaning western food) restaurant here in Huzhou. I had eaten there once before with Wayne actually, and made the bold mistake of ordering the pizza there. Ketchup with pizza is not very good.
So this time I ordered something different: the steak. I was actually pleasantly surprised, it was really good. So, now I know where to get a tasty steak in Huzhou :D
Anyways, since I didn't end up having a potluck Christmas dinner, I didn't get a chance to make the baked ziti, but I still had all the stuff to make it. And I wanted to make it and make it soon since acquiring the ingredients was kind of expensive and since some of them wouldn't last much longer. The ricotta cheese I bought actually had a date of December 19 on it, but I figured, it had never been opened so it might be ok. But, to be safe, I would taste and smell it when I finally opened it. If it was good, I'd use it, otherwise I'd trash the whole thing. So, on December 26, (a week after the ricotta's date) I made the baked ziti before bringing it and heading over to Jean's in Hangzhou.
The only thing it was missing: meat. Originally since I had planned to make it for our small Huzhou group, two of the girls I know are vegetarians, so I didn't buy any meat to add to the ziti. Even though I wasn't making it for the group anymore, I didn't think to get any meat until I began cooking the ziti. Despite that, it actually turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself! Ellis tried a bit before I left for Hangzhou, and she said it was good too.
Jean also really liked it. She agreed that it would be better with some meat, and also perhaps just a small amount of chili peppers to add just a bit of kick. I'm actually looking forward to making it again for some other occasion and serving it gooey and hot.
Also in Hangzhou this weekend, Jean took me to an "Italian" restaurant in Hangzhou. It wasn't one that caters to westerners, but rather Chinese. The advantage of this is that it wouldn't be as expensive as the former. The disadvantage is the risk that it may not be very good. In terms of Italian food, it was ok. The spaghetti was just ok and the garlic bread was fine. The pizza however was actually not bad, certainly no worse than at the Pizza Hut in Hangzhou, and yet at a third of the price. The best pizza I've had in China so far was still at the Papa John's, but this place's pizza, at only 20 yuan (about $3), was pretty fair.