Sushi, Sashimi, and Shrimp at the Shangri La

Plate of sushi and sashimiOutside of the Shangri-La restaurant

Because Chinese New Year officially begins on 2.18.2015, many of our new friends are preparing to fly home for the holiday. As a treat and a thank-you from the YMCA, we were invited along with the rest of the staff for dinner at the Shangri La Hotel. The hotel boasts a 5-star all-you-can-eat buffet and tons of seafood!!!

Inside the Shangri-La restaurant

The Seafood

For the record: my favorite food in the world is shrimp!

I was pretty excited to see that the buffet had its own seafood bar, filled with sashimi, sushi, shrimp, crab, and more! The one thing food-wise I miss about home is the sushi from Fuji Sushi and Steak House. There might not have been any Yummy Rolls, but there were…

Plate of seafood, filled with prawns and crab. Jerry, a staff member at YMCA

Clams! And wouldn’t you know it, they were escorted by their tasty friends, Shrimp and Crab! You probably haven’t grasped how deeply my love of crustaceans is yet, so I’ll continue to tell you! I have never eaten a crab with its shell on like this before, but you tear off each of its legs and then open the inner shell. The legs were very tiny so they did not pack a punch, but the insides of the main shell were spot on! I have also never eaten shrimp like this before, but you just bite off the head and peel the shell off like normal.

The guy on the right is Jerry, one of the YMCA staff members. He may look innocent as he enjoys the buffet, but do not be fooled! He constantly tries to feed Hannah and myself very spicy foods to get a reaction out of us. He’s also a pretty wicked dancer, if you can believe it!

Blake Bailey holding a crab

Disclaimer: Do NOT eat crab in this manner.

We stayed at the Shangri La Hotel’s buffet for almost three entire hours, eating and socializing.  Unfortunately, many of my pictures did not turn out because it was dark. Our table was set apart from most of the restaurant under netting and we had a lot of privacy compared to most of the other tables.

The Dessert

Desserts New Moon holding up a cupcake

After the main course, I almost fell into a food coma eating sweets from the buffet. The image on the left may not look like much, but it was not my only plate. I think I had like four plates of dessert…and they say those who travel to America put on the pounds! The dessert in the bowl in the left image is not vanilla ice cream topped in caramel, sorry to disappoint. It is actually a famous dessert here in Chengdu called “sun da pal.” It tastes kind of like a rice ball covered in a bland powder that is offset by an insanely sweet topping. If you ever come to Chengdu, it is something that you’ll have to try!

At one of the food bars, employees let customers come into the “bakery” and decorate their own cupcakes. The image on the right depicts the lovely cupcake I made for my friend, New Moon. She chose her name because it is a direct translation of her Chinese name, but I know what you’re thinking and yes, she also happens to like the Twilight saga. Behind her is another one of my new friends, Sherry! She and I just bonded over our love for Tim Burton films and Johnny Depp. Having friends makes me feel much less homesick.

Fondue sticks with something dipped in chocolate Blake holding a gelato cone

Once I laid eyes on the fondue fountain, I could not help but go to it two…or three times. Then, I finished the meal with a sweet mixed berry gelato cone. Mmmmmmmm! I thought I could call it a night when New Moon brought over another plate. Um… remember how I told you how I love crabs???


Yeah, well, they had friends.


For more information on how you can get an English instruction internship in China, contact Felix Muzza at or visit our International Internships page.

About the author

Blake Bailey

Hey, I'm Blake, and I'm concentrating on political science with my Liberal Arts & Sciences: Social Science degree. This semester, I'll be teaching English in Chengdu, China, as part of an internship program. After graduating with my associate's degree, I hope to transfer to UB and get my bachelor's degree so I can pursue a career of interpreting. I'm currently learning Mandarin Chinese and American sign language, but I hope to learn Cantonese in the future! I recently resigned as Student Senate's Vice President for this internship and I participate in Anime Club and work as a student ambassador.