I have been here in Shajing, Shenzhen for only six years. Some of my memories of Dongtang Street are from personal experience and some from hearing.
In my memory, the daily life of Dongtang people starts with a meal of rice rolls in the morning. Among the nearly 100 shops of all sizes on Dongtang Street, the one that opened the earliest was the rice roll shop. Most of the people who sell breakfast are from the west of Guangdong or the north of Guangdong. The authentic rice rolls need to be freshly ground and sticky. The seasoning is accompanied by ginger garlic, soy sauce, mushrooms and other thick juices. On Dongtang Street, the old-fashioned breakfast restaurant can operate for decades, and the rice rolls are also sufficient. If you add a cup of warm soy milk, it is the best start of the day for people.
I usually go to Dongtang Street at night, where I can buy relatively cheap clothes and shoes, with all kinds of grades. At that time, in the evening, Dongtang Street gave me the impression that it was crowded, with many people and cars. As an out-of-towner, I often feel that I love the street more than the locals. Here, you can buy everything we need in our lives, eat snacks of different flavors, and experience different cultures. No matter where you come from, you can hear familiar local accents. There are almost no foreigners who have lived in Shajing who do not come to visit Dongtang Street. It’s not a long street, but it’s often congested, and sometimes every step forward requires a pass. At that time, there was no Jingji or Xinsha Tianhong. As an important industrial town, there was a particularly large number of migrants. Even local children would often come here to read books and buy fruits. I once compiled a manuscript for a local student, saying that at that time there was a Xinhua Bookstore on Dongtang Street. His parents were busy making money to support the family. Learned a lot.
In Dongtang Street, it is difficult to find particularly famous big brands in terms of food and daily necessities. Everything seems to be prepared for the public and looks so good and cheap. At that time, most people’s incomes were not high, and their lives were relatively simple and simple. People didn’t like to compare and pursue famous brands as much as they do today. I remember that the clothes I bought with my fellow villagers on Dongtang Street rarely cost more than 100 yuan a piece; the food we ate was rarely more than 20 yuan per meal. I don’t particularly like to buy clothes, but I like to eat. Therefore, what impressed me the most on Dongtang Street was the restaurants. On weekends or evenings, almost every restaurant is full. Come to a bowl of sugar water, a snack, and then everyone talks about the world, there are always all kinds of topics that can’t be talked about.
In those years, standing on Dongtang Street, and only standing on Dongtang Street, can you really feel what is the market life and what is the unique atmosphere of Shajing. Whether it is a clothing store, a boutique, a milk tea shop, a breakfast shop or a video store, just mention a name and you can find the traces of the years. For example, Hong Shaoming Herbal Tea Shop, which has been in operation on Dongtang Street for nearly 30 years, is the oldest shop in Shajing and has been drinking for two generations of Shajing people. Although the existence of Sihai Niu Zawang in Dongtang Street is not long, people who have eaten it have a lot of aftertaste. Of course, you must remember that when you were a child, the roast meat in Dongtang Street was the best in Chenji; the clothes on Dongtang Street must be the most popular styles on the second floor of Wenhua Pharmacy, and there is also a billiard city on it. Woolen cloth.
Of course, the reason why Dongtang Street was so prosperous back then was inseparable from the geographical location of Dongtang. Near Dongtang Street, there are hospitals, schools, post offices, bookstores, cinemas, banks, police stations and the town government compound. Next to the park not far from Dongtang Street, it is everyone’s favorite place to play and blow water. Under the banyan tree, there are old craftsmen who shave their hair, elderly people watching people fishing through the barbed wire, and tables and tables of men and women playing cards. In the southeast of Dongtang Street, there is Shajing Street, where there are long alleys, ancient villages, ancient ancestral halls, ancient temples, ancient wells, and ancient trees dotted with each other, which are very rich in humanistic characteristics of Shajing.
People take food as their priority, so let me focus on the restaurants on Dongtang Street. Dongtang people like to go to food stalls to eat oyster and chicken porridge at night. It is said that a porridge shop opened under the banyan tree is very popular. The porridge shop is basically closed during the day, and the aunties don’t open the stall until seven or eight in the evening. So, after the evening, the surrounding neighbors arrived on time like going to a market, just to eat an old taste. At that time, there were not many kinds of food in the porridge shop, but each dish was the memories of Laoguang people, such as potato porridge, oyster chicken porridge, pig red porridge, chicken feet, duck feet, etc. It cost less than 20 yuan per person and was delicious. Inexpensive. The signature dish is naturally oyster and chicken porridge. When you turn it over with a spoon, it is full of oysters and chicken, which is smooth and delicious. When paired with crispy peanuts, salted rice dumplings, raw sweet potatoes and fried rice strips, it’s really sour and refreshing.
When it comes to snacks on Dongtang Street, we have to say Tangshui shop. Like other places in Shajing, it has long been a habit for people in Dongtang to go to the sugar water store for afternoon tea. Most of the traditional candy shops are opened by people in Huazhou. They mainly sell snacks such as mung bean paste, white fungus and lotus seed soup, and Qingbuliang. The method seems simple and the price is relatively low, which is especially popular with girls. On Dongtang Street and even the entire Dashajing, when talking about the Tangshui store, we have to focus on the Dianpinji. It is different from the traditional Tangshui store in that it is very trendy from decoration to sales. At that time, as soon as it was noon, the snack set was full of people, and sometimes there were long queues outside the door. There are many kinds of sugar water here, and snacks are also very famous. Three people can order a full table and it will not exceed 90 yuan. Candy, mango smoothie, sago, cha za, and garlic chicken wing tips… all are the most familiar flavors of Dongtang people. Among them, mango smoothie and sago dew are super delicious, with a fresh taste and special sugar water, the mouth is full of coolness in summer. In addition, raw potatoes, duck feet millet, Tanghuazhiwan, and dried glutinous rice dumplings are especially popular with diners. Among them, eating raw potatoes is very interesting. First, a bowl of fresh shredded sweet potatoes dipped in ice-cold sugar water is brought up, and then fried vermicelli, fried peanuts, fried ash zongzi, etc. are all soaked together, and stirred evenly, it has a unique flavor. Dried glutinous rice dumplings are dried and fried, and those who have never been to Dongtang must have never eaten it. This kind of diet feels a bit unfamiliar and seems to be quite local.
Maybe you still remember that Wang Leehom once filmed an advertisement about Meizhou pickled noodles. Diagonally opposite Dianpinji on Dongtang Street, there is an authentic Meixian pickled noodle. The owner and the proprietress are naturally Hakka Meixian people. Every day at 6 o’clock in the morning, the boss gets up to make noodles, and for more than ten years, he has been working from morning to night. This hand-made noodles is definitely not something you can buy outside. The Hakka people’s “marinated noodles” method is exquisite. The high-gluten raw noodles must be scalded in water. The noodles are rolled up and down to gradually loosen, and then picked up with a large slotted spoon. . Their hand-beaten noodles are chewy, springy, golden in color, refreshing and smooth. Eating salted noodles, naturally, a bowl of Sanjidi pork miscellaneous soup is indispensable. One mouthful of salted noodles is one mouthful of soup, which is both greasy and appetizing, delicious and nutritious. Sanjidi soup is light and healthy, clears the liver and improves eyesight, and the wolfberry leaf boils pig offal, which can remove the fishy smell. The pickled noodle shop also sells snacks, such as Hakka lemon chicken feet, sour, slightly spicy, appetizing to cool off the heat in hot summer, which is very popular among girls. Salt-baked chicken feet and chicken wings are all from Meixian free-range chicken, the meat is tight and chewy. In addition, the bitter gourd meat soup, meatball soup, pickled cabbage meat soup, etc. here are also very distinctive, and the store is large, clean and bright, which fully reflects the diligent, practical and simple attitude of the Hakka people.
Walking on the streets of Dongtang, you can see wonton noodles, sangzi noodles, beef ramen noodles and beef offal noodles everywhere. At the intersection of Dongtang Street and Xinju Road, there is a Fuying Fresh Wanton Noodle Shop. It was a chain store with many branches in Dongguan. At that time, the price of beef brisket noodles or wanton noodles was five yuan, which was quite affordable. However, the noodles are not the traditional Guangzhou Yinsi noodles, but ordinary noodles without alkaline water, which is not smooth enough. Opposite the Dianpinji, there is also a beef noodle shop. Although you can eat beef brisket, beef louver, beef intestines, etc., the noodles are instant noodles. Among these noodle restaurants, Hualong Ramen may have been in business for a long time. The level of ramen masters seems to be unstable. When it is delicious, the noodles taste close to Ajisen ramen, soft and glutinous. Hualong is a place in Qinghai, and many people come to the south to make ramen, and its status is similar to that of Shaxian in Fujian. This kind of small shop is generally run by a family. It is not standardized. Whether the taste is good or not may really be related to the mood of the diners. However, the vitality of this store is particularly strong. I passed by Dongtang Street a few days ago, and most of the stores were closed. It is still open and business is good.
In the middle of Dongtang Street, there is also a unique Qishan Sauce Noodles. It looks very simple, with only a few tables, but northerners especially like to patronize. The saozi noodles there are sour and spicy, with thick oil and a lot of saozi, and the price is also cheap, and there is a nice name: a mouthful of incense, then a bowl can be sold for ten yuan. Anyone who has eaten a mouthful of incense knows that you can eat saozi in every mouthful of noodles. Surprisingly, this kind of noodle shop with heavy taste is also particularly popular with local people in Shajing, who are known for their light diet, especially some middle-aged and elderly local men. They often store double-steamed rice wine in the noodle shop, one bowl of noodles and two glasses of rice wine. , Drunken is a meal.
Dongtang Street is adjacent to Shajing Street, and oysters are naturally indispensable in the diet. But in Dongtang Street, apart from a few grilled oyster stalls, it is not easy to eat a good meal of oysters. Starting from Dongtang Street and walking along Xinju Road, there are many stalls selling oysters on the way. There are many ways to eat oysters, such as pan-fried, stir-fried with onion and ginger, steamed with garlic, braised with vermicelli, deep-fried, boiled in mineral water, and barbecued. Of course, if you want to eat authentic Shajing oysters, it is best to go to Lao Cai.
All in all, this Dongtang Street has both the thickness of local history and the fusion of foreign cultures. It looks very mixed, but its connotation is very rich. There is no doubt that in Shajing, Dongtang Street is the most authentic look of Shenzhen. Today, it has been included in the urban renewal planning, the relevant demolition work has already started, and the shops are gradually disappearing, but those memories will not fade, those “demolition” labels on the streets are still bright red, those upstairs The room and the shop downstairs still have traces of all living beings.