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Everything posted by chengb02

  1. I will be in Manchester next week, staying in the city center (near the Convention Center but will be around the City of Manchester Stadium a lot) and am looking for some fairly cheap eats in those area. I've reviewed the posts on this forum and have a feeling I'll be having lots of Indian food (though no Chinese, as I'm coming in from China), but anything else that stands out? I'm looking for meals probably in the 10-15 quid range (though under that would be great) as well as one "splurge" (maybe 25 quid). I'll be dining solo most the time, so looking for spots that cater to solo diners and are casual. I've heard some mentions of Jewish delis, any really good spots? Also, what about classic English dishes (or even a good fish and chips?)? Would also love to know about any great pub food in the downtown area or around Manchester Regional Arena. Any suggestions you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.
  2. I have just found out that I need to be in Toronto this coming week and haven't had time to prepare much. I'm looking for suggestions for a "splurge" meal, which for me (young and in debt) would be in the $70-100 per person including a glass of wine or a beer. Would it be better to do this at lunch or do the nicer places open at lunch? If its a dinner, it would be midweek, so I'm thinking it shouldn't be too hard to get a reservation for that? Also, in my brief research, I've seen that Perigee has a pre-theater meal, any idea on the price of that and the difficulty (or need) for a reservation? Also, any downtown recommendations in the $10-20 range or must dine/local places and especially places that are good for people dining alone would be greatly appreciated!
  3. why bother writing the mayor? In almost every article I've seen it mentions that Hizzoner feels the city council is wasting their time on this when there are far more important issues that face the city. Many of them also mention that da Mayor enjoys the occassional foie dish.
  4. If you don't mind - prices for tasting menus/food/lunch? You would happened to have taken pictures? Thanks! u.e. ← I will try to go back and check the prices, this time I was only there for lunch. I believe that in the past the seasonal menu for dinner runs RMB 598 and the tasting menu is RMB 798. I believe the set lunch is RMB 180 allowing you the choice of 2-3 appetizers, 2-3 main courses, and 2-3 dessert options. I do have pictures from the lunch and will try to post them in the next few days. In the other thread you asked about concessions to the Asian palette, as far as I saw on the menu, there were very few.
  5. Yes, yes, last night I was up very, very late and so some of my posts may amount to gibberish or be without important details, sorry about that. Nanxiang is located in the area around the entrance to Yu Yuan (Yu Gardens). The queues can be insane if you arrive at the wrong time...
  6. 1. I'm far from an expert on Shanghai, but to me, you must go to Nanxiang for xiaolongbao, it is the tourist spot, but this is one that deserves its reputation. There is also a favourite spot of Shanghainese for the local "dim sum" that I believe is on Nanjing Xi Lu around the Shimen Yi subway station (though I could be totally wrong). 2. I've only been to Jean Georges and M on the Bund, JG is worth experiencing just for the room. The lunch price is surprisingly reasonable. I swear by the Qiao Jiang Nan chain (in both Beijing and Shanghai) and was surprised when they were one of the few places I could get a last minute Friday night reservation in Shanghai last month. It's not THAT "high end" (figure around RMB 100-150 per person) and stick with the Sichuan dishes. I don't remember which one I was at in Shanghai, but in Beijing the Wangfujing and Dongzhimen locations are the nicest. 3. sorry, can't help you much with this 4. Made in China, being the place that it is (and more importantly charging the prices that it does) should offer one hell of a duck soup. Most of the duck places focus so much on the quality of the duck that the soup is just an after thought. In the Beijing restuarants forum I did suggest BianYi, my last duck meal there (well it was over a year ago) I was pleasently surprised by all of the dishes and the overall quality.
  7. Courtyard is a favorite of mine for a splurge meal...I miss the days when they had the Sunday lunch for RMB150 (or something like that, its been 2 years since they've had that, I believe)...I had a few pictures in my folder when I used to frequent this site, but I'm not sure if they're still there...The Courtyard does do an excellent job of having little touches of "fusion" without taking it too far and going over the top. The best is if you can get the table for 2 thats in that little cubby area, right by the windows, overlooking the moat. I went to Made in China for my birthday a year ago and it was excellent, but you have to order wisely. I didn't dare bother with the Shaobing that were RMB65 (not that much different from the ones I get near my apartment many mornings for only RMB0.5). However, I do remember having a roast pigeon dish and a lamb soup that were just wonderful and left me more than happy paying the high price for them.
  8. Jean Georges is excellent, I've been there a number of times. The one thing I was most happy about was that the menu the last time I was there (about a month ago) was far more complex and on par with what you get at JG elsewhere in the world than it was a year ago. Xintiandi is overpriced for the quality that you will get. If you're going to be in Shanghai for less than a year, its not worth bothering with XTD unless you have someone else who is paying. The food will be good, but far below what you'd get anywhere else for a similar price. froggio was absolutely right about the gap between the few near the top and all the rest, there is very little middle ground when it comes to western food in Shanghai. However, there are a number of Chinese places that sort of fit in this gap, like Qiao Jiang Nan, which isn't quite at the high end but also pays attention to many of the details that you get at a high end restaurant.
  9. I love Beijing and love its food and there are plenty of great places to go (with some of the best being the tiny places in the hutongs or away from the main tourist areas). However there are also some very passable touristy/trendy places around the city. As for duck, Quanjude isn't worth it, a total tourist trap and rip off. My best recent experience was at BianYi which is in the Hadamen Hotel, at the Chongwenmen subway stop.
  10. which one did you go to? The one in downtown Indy is a bit devoid of any atmosphere, but I've never been to the Carmel one...
  11. Basically everywhere you go will have fish options, but vegetarian may be a bit harder...One of my best recommendations for a fish place is Xi Hai Yu Sheng (phone: 10.66180466). Its located right on Xi Hai and there are even some "boat restaurants," its a lot of fun and a very popular place, so I'd say a reservation is advisable. Sort of hard to find, but there is a sign as you're going down Xinjiekou that will lead you down the hutong to find it. Other than that, doing a search (sorry, to lazy to link it myself) will find a few previous discussions of BJ dining (this may be a bigger help to BCinBC as they doesn't give any restrictions). I'll think about it and perhaps be able to offer some more... edited because I couldn't get the Chinese address to show up...
  12. I don't know my Chinese geography as well as I should, but I sorta considered everything north of Fuzhou as being "northern" ← haha, interesting! I consider everything from Shanghai down as "south."
  13. Thanks for that, I stand corrected. There is certainly very few Tibetan restaurants in this country, but where I'm at now, thereare 2 Tibetan restaurants (including one ran by the current Dalai Lama's brother), however neither serve yak. I assumed no place in the US would serve yak momos considering that most who return from Tibet complain about the yak meat and how unavoidable it is. I wonder how people at this restaurant enjoy the yak momos.
  14. I'm interested in what a common Manchu would eat on an everyday basis. But then again I'm a nobody. ← Hehe, sorry about that...Its just that, to my knowledge, scholarship on this subject is lacking at best. When the discussion turns to Manchus, the focus is typically on what the ruling class ate, as that became the Qing dynasty and the creation of Man/Han Imperial cuisine. Today's members of the Manchu minority are basically indistinguishable from Han Chinese, including in their eating habits, so this sort of study would be looking at history and almost nobody, even Manchus still read or speak Manchu, making scholarly studies of this even more difficult.
  15. Momo's are just large dumplings, like the ones in the picture. They are a "Tibetan" food and the traditional version is with yak meat, though you won't find those kind in the US.
  16. I love sesame paste, in Beijing its common to put it on nearly everything...well, maybe thats going a bit too far, but it is a near daily necessity for many simple, homestyle dishes like noodles or even just dipping slices of cucumber into sesame paste as a snack. I live in an area where there is an abundance of oriental markets, but whenever I've bought sesame paste from them, I've always been disappointed with the flavor. Even when doctored, the flavor is just too much. I've used a number of different brands and asked friends and family members in China as to what they do to turn the paste into something so wonderfully good and nothing has really helped. So now I turn to the experts of egullet for any tips and tricks that you have to offer. Any suggestions on brands and how you "doctor" the paste will be appreciated!
  17. hmm...you learn something new all the time, hehe...To me, dan dan mian was always a Sichuan dish, no peanut butter going anywhere near. Always would include minced pork and always hot, in a fire red broth...
  18. chengb02


    As has been said, it is commonly found in northern dishes, often paired with lamb or especially in soups. Even in northern hotpot, cilantro will typically be found in the pot, in the dipping sauce, or both. It definitely plays a much greater role than just being a garnish.
  19. Beijing has a bit of everything. Obviously, because of all the government offices in BJ and the forced efforts of representation, there is a larger population of Hui than in many other cities. However, again, the Hui aren't very noticable as an open community. What I mean is that the Uighyrs and other Xinjiang migrants to BJ are far better known (a la BJ's old Uighyr village around Niu Jie). Due to their migration, your more likely to find Xinjiang Muslims in Beijing and Shanghai than you are Hui Chinese. As it is, the majority of Hui are to be found in the West (but not quite as far west as Xinjiang).
  20. Pan, there are many legitimately "authentic" Sichuan/Hunan restaurants in the US, my point is not that they don't exist, but that the traditional Chinatown residents from Guangdong and Fujian were looking for a way to get more people in restaurants and so they added some spicy dishes and called them Sichuan/Hunan dishes and that is what started it all. As I'm not very familiar with a lot of NYC Chinatown places, a lot of pretty "authentic" offerings can be found but much of what is currently on menus is not.
  21. Dongbei food is typically more "heavy" then other cuisines, in many ways. It is "heavier" with flavors and also with kinds of dishes, usually a lot of "casserole" type dishes with thick sauces. Typically, there will be noodles or mantou instead of rice at the meal. Obviously, the main cooking tool is a wok and there isn't anything that is used that is out of the ordinary with other parts of China. As was mentioned, there are typically a number of pickled dishes that are served. One of the most common "Dongbei foods" are of course jiao zi. While they are popular all over the country, Dongbei jiaozi are considered especially famous. As for manchu foods, ugh, I'm really going to have to go back to the memory banks. Hehe, through all of my returns back to Shenyang to visit relatives and numerous tours of the Shenyang Gugong, I have a faint feeling in the back of my head about reading something about Manchu foods, but can't recall it now. I think its really hard to say because the Manchus of today are really no different from Chinese. Everyone knows the Man-Han Imperial cuisine, but I'm not sure how much is known (or if anyone cares) what a "common" Manchu would eat on an everyday basis.
  22. This is not an easy topic as I doubt many of us have had much real contact with Hui minority members, as their numbers are relatively minimal and can only be found in certain areas. Xinjiang food is what is more well known around China and while they do use some spices that aren't found so much in Chinese cooking (spices like cumin are still found in a number of Chinese dishes), their food (at least what I've had) is hard to differentiate between regular Chinese food. The taste is a bit different, but it still is more like Chinese food then say Middle Eastern food or something like that. Its hard to say, because my dining experience has been limited to cities far away from Xinjiang.
  23. The famous dishes out of Shaanxi are typically the handmade noodles, even in China thats really the extent of Shaanxi food that you see. Yunnan has more interesting foods, but in China its only recently catching on. There are a growing number of places in Beijing and Shanghai, the most famous is Cha Ma Gu Dao or "S'Silk Road". There is absolutely nothing special about Anhui or Hubei province, let alone its cuisine. The main reason these haven't picked up in the West is because it is rare that people from these provinces make their way to the US. Sure, immigrants from Sichuan weren't the ones that started the Sichuan/Hunan food craze in the US, but these foods are such bastardizations of real Sichuan food anyways. It seems that some enterprising Cantonese or Fujianese probably were looking to offer something new and so added some spicy dishes and thus created the craze. Yunnan, Shaanxi, and many other provincial Chinese foods don't lend themselves easily to adaption like that of Sichuan/Hunan and thus only someone really committed to authenticity could pull them off. Further, as I said, even in major cities in China, these cuisines play very minor roles...
  24. as mentioned, lamb is a central ingredient in Chinese Muslim's cooking. The most common two dishes to anyone in China would be yangrou chuanr (lamb skewers) and kao nan (nan bread). The dishes typically are far more hearty and with thicker sauces than what is found in Southern Chinese cooking (this is true of any Northern Chinese cooking, though). Many Chinese "muslim" restaurants will also feature hotpot. There are some regional specialities, like the lamb soup with broken up pieces of flatbread yangrou paomo(u?) that is the famed dish of Xian (which has a very large Muslim population). I have yet to travel to Xinjiang so haven't had truly authentic Chinese Muslim food, but hope to one day soon. In my gallery found at the ImageGullet section (sorry, I had no clue how to link it) I have a photo of a common meal at a Xinjiang style restaurant.
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