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One of those random things that sometimes happen: we were lolling around in the hostel café in Hangzhou. I was still recovering from my sickness, the weather was a bit minging, and we were really just waiting until it was time to catch the sleeper train to Changsha. Then the café staff approached and asked us if we would be willing to appear in a TV show about their restaurant in exchange for free lunch.

And so it was that we were sitting in the restaurant watching the chef being interviewed as he prepared dishes, and then being interviewed on-camera ourselves as to the tastiness of the food. All of it was very delicious, so we could be quite genuine in our on-camera, English-language praise. The meal itself was probably the best we had in China. The dishes were individually great, and because we were sharing with the show’s hosts, the camera man, and a couple of others, we were able to sample a much larger variety than our typical dinners for two. A real highlight of the trip so far.

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