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Everything posted by chengb02

  1. I honestly was going to guess Fuse, with all of its difficulty since opening and, from what I've heard, not getting much of a draw, but I figured that it should be left alone as it already seemed half dead. So the Dish is following this, Chicago mag rep, make yourself known!!!
  2. This is a good point, it wasn't until college when I first heard "Asian" to mean people from "south asia" along the lines of the Brit usage of the word. To go back to my first post, I forgot to go into my own analysis as I guess I'm one of the biracial kids that could be referring to, though I think its obvious I love Chinese food (but also love all other kinds of food as well). However I grew up in China and so I have no problem with eating the more traditional food, my brother grew up in the US and wasn't as exposed to the Chinese culture (his favorite "Chinese" food makes me cringe, beef chop suey). He is a bit more daring than my father in trying Chinese or other Asian foods, but still avoids a lot of the "stranger" things...
  3. Sorry, I was just happy to see some talk of Indiana dining options for once...I guess there aren't very many Purdue alums out there, or those that are don't want to admit it!
  4. There is only one free event (a 2 week exhibit) as part of the biennial, all the others cost around US$800 to get in. This is a very important event, but not so much a "public" event as it is designed for the major architectural firms from all over the world to come in and offer their designs. China suffers from a lot of Soviet/Socialist/Utilitarian architecture, but the newer stuff is very interesting (like 88 Soho), but sometimes it does start to look a lot a like... Dumplings? in Beijing? This should be extremely easy to find as this is classic BJ food. It is hard to give a rec though, because almost any hole in the wall place in the city offers good, home made dumplings. As for southern food, I guess you are talking about Guangzhou? There is a place out by Kempinski that offers decent Cantonese food, in particular dim sum. Be Here, Be Square is a chain that also has decent dim sum offerings (if you're looking for something quick). Have you been to 3 Guizhou Ren yet? Pretty good food from a different area in the south. There is always the 2 Kong Yiji's (Dongsi and Houhai) but that isn't far enough south I'm guessing...Have you went to houhai yet? You could spend a week going through the houhai/xinjiekou area eating, as well as the area around dongzhimen. Go out to 798 art community in DaShanZi one day and get an excellent french crepe with brittaney cider, look at the modern art, and then sample Korean roast duck at the place (forgot the name) toward the exit of the area.
  5. my father is American and he had no previous experience with anything but American Chinese food, though he did have some trips to Chinatown where those around him were sampling more exotic things before meeting my mother. His one life lesson involving food was simple, never order a hamburger at a Chinese restaurant. But that's how he is, a very typical "meat and potatoes" American eater. He really hasn't gotten much of an "intro" to traditional Chinese foods and when he has he typically resisted them (outside of the BJ duck for Thanksgiving, etc)...However, in the past few years, because of health reasons, he has been forced to give up eating beef as much and has started embracing some of the more traditional foods my mother cooks.
  6. While I thought ice cream mooncakes (or frozen yoghurt ones) or starbucks moon cakes were the peak of moon cake creativity, you have shown (through the blog) how totatlly wrong I was. What those in the Chinese diaspora are doing with the humble moon cake is simply amazing!
  7. First, the bananas point...I am not saying you are wrong about this, but my point is that this will never be settled because it is impossible to find a consensus on this issue, and Chinese are intensely regional. I have eaten in almost every one of those cities you mentioned and don't disagree that you can find good, everyday Cantonese food. I guess the focus of my post was on Cantonese food in China. In any case, the good Cantonese offerings in these places doesn't translate to me feeling that Cantonese is the best of all Chinese foods, nor does it show it to be the most simple or complex, it just offers me a good cheap meal...
  8. This will not help at all (I'm searching desperately for the details/trying to track down my friend) but if you are looking for seafood, there are a few unbelievable places out in Shunyi. I will get the name and address soon (hopefully), but it will require hiring a car for the day. An hour or so outside the city to the northeast, there are a few fish farms that also serve as restaurants in the summer (many of them have the option of you catching your own fish if you want). I remembered at the one I went to, we had a number of excellent fish dishes, but the ones that have stuck in my head was the sashimi dish, the freshest I have ever had, and a grilled fish dish where they used the same spices as on yangrou chuanr, unbelievably good. A lot of times companies use these places for field trips (and there probably will be a lot of those as we get closer to the holiday). By the way, not sure if you know, but you are on the verge of seeing BJ taken over by tourists from every corner of the country (10/1 is national day and is a week long holiday, BJ and SH take the biggest hits). My advise, like most Beijingers do, lock yourself in your room for the week (or alternatively go off to Inner Mongolia, Beidaihe, or Qingdao).
  9. I fear this is getting a bit off of the original topic, but I'm happy to find someone interested in discussing btown dining options. The landscape of Bloomington dining has changed a lot the past few years and continues to change. My daily lunching options are basically Falafels and Yats (with a few other places thrown in), both are excellent for something quick and cheap. I'm not a fan of Mikado, too overpriced, but every now and then it satisfies a sushi fix, but desperately waiting for the $1 sushi place to open up (any day now). The ethnic places are of mixed quality, I've been disappointed too much by Casablanca to place it high on my list of places to go back and Little Tibet, while having terrible (and nowhere near authentic Tibetan food) has even better Thai food (in my opinion) than the place across the street (Siam House). I have never been to El Nortino but have often considered visiting, is it a sit down restaurant or grocery store that sells food or both? I am also very interested in trying the new Peruvian place and the rib shack, finally, ribs in bloomington. I love Restaurant Tallent and have visited a number of times, the chef is doing things not seen anywhere else in Bloomington and it made me rethink ever going back to Scholars Inn. Every now and then will go to Uptown Cafe, but parking is very hard on the weekend. I am very interested in trying Le Petit as well, but don't know too much about it... The place that has me blown away is tutto benne, it has quickly become my favorite place in Bloomington. I really wanted to go to the big dinner they are holding on the 27th, but alas cannot be there. haha, and for the best bar food in btown, nothing beats wings and buffalo chips from yogi's (though irish lion's food and trojan horse's gyros are close behind).
  10. Perhaps similarly getting jealous of all the talk of Madison dining options? At least I'm in a similar boat, a bit south in lovely Bloomington the dining options are lacking (but improving)...
  11. I am very uncomfortable with this whole debate period, but it just doesn't seem to die. I think this is just an issue of personal preference and there is no end in sight. If you brought together people from each province in China and asked them what they thought the best Chinese food is, I am sure that in every case they would answer with their province (or their "region"). As for complexity of cooking and flavors, this is another issue...Cantonese cuisine uses ingredients that are typically more expensive and "higher class" and thus there is a propensity of high-end Cantonese restaurants in China. I think this is part of the issue, I couldn't imagine many people going to a high end Sichuan (or for that matter Xinjiang) restaurant, because this is everyday food, it can be found everywhere and is good whether spending 5, 50, or 500 RMB. However, too often (from my experiences) Cantonese food, at least in cities outside of Guangzhou/HK is only good when you go to the higher end restaurants. I don't know necessarily where I'm going with all of this, there are a couple of different paths to go down, but I'll just leave it at this...
  12. Shanghai is a very international city, but it is quickly becoming the center of Asia, if it isn't already and is an important city to visit, to witness, just like if somebody was coming to the US, I would advise them that they should go and just see NYC. Plus, Shanghai offers a nice jumping off point to a number of popular destinations (though from his original post, it doesn't look like there is much interest in seeing things). I went to the Shaolin Temple this summer, it was a very regrettable trip, really nothing worth seeing, it left me very disappointed. Zhengzhou is an altogether forgettable city in itself and Kaifang (which is nearby) doesn't have much to offer, but xiao long bao, which Shanghai does better. Harbin and Dalian are both decent suggestions, but again, I am not sure what exactly jokhm is looking for...I would advise Qingdao as a great destination for many of the same things you would go to Dalian for... If jokhm is just looking to stay in one place, it seems Beijing would be the place to stay, there is more than enough great food to be had in the city and perhaps as your Chinese improves, you will be able to order better.
  13. I think this is a very good way of showing the tastiness of all Chinese food and can sort of bring an end to all of this...
  14. I don't think they offer short visa extensions, but basically just a whole new visa, and if you have a tourist visa, then it should be pretty easy to extend. The main place to go is the PSB branch just east of YongHeGong (Lama Temple). The problem will be that you won't be able to travel because they need your passport for the week. No matter what, don't skip Shanghai, I don't like it very much, but it is something that everyone visiting China can't miss seeing. Plus, they will have some pretty good seafood offerings. If you are looking for seafood in BJ, have you tried Xi Hai Yu Pian in the Hou Hai area? Excellent place. Hehe, it seems you have interesting plans, but your post was a bit confusing, if you can clarify what you are looking for, perhaps I can offer more suggestions.
  15. In retrospect, I should have clarified things a bit...I was using my friend's cooking as an example, but for the most part, at home or in a restaurant, I find cantonese food to be a bit bland for my taste at times...That isn't to say that I would never eat cantonese food or even try to avoid it all the time, its just to say that if we must have this debate about regional cuisine, there will be many arguments for all regions foods. in any case, I don't think this is necessary to discuss, people from different regions will all have different viewpoints on what food is the best, the regional pride in China runs very deep.
  16. but this is just pushing us toward the debate...that's why I hate cantonese food, its BLAND! Well, maybe not in Guangzhou, but I have a friend that insists on cooking cantonese here in the US, and to everything she cooks, I must add la jiao or jiang you or something so that it actually has flavor...
  17. I think, hope, that the statement that cantonese food is the best was sarcastic and a demonstration of the "smug, self-satisfaction bit."
  18. there is quite a good possibility that I'll be in DC at that time, and if so, I'd like to join in (with companion).
  19. It was one of the dishes that I think makes South Beauty special. It comes out in that clear container in a very liquidy format, then they put the cover on and come back in a few minutes and it has sort of congealed together. When they take the lid off, they have one of the chefs come out and speak in Sichuanese dialect and a waiter/waitress translating...basically, they claim this is a very common, everyday street food in Chengdu (chengdude, can you help out with this?). They then ask if you want it sweet, salty, or spicy (it seems the people always go for the sweet after the extremely spicy meal) and mix the necesary things to give it that flavor.
  20. I did the mini bar experience in May and it was unbelievable. The novelty of it is exactly right. After eating there, and a few other places, over 3 days in DC, it really impacted my thinking about food and what is possible, it also gave me a much better impression of the DC dining scene (I'm from out of town, but regularly come to the DC area). The mini bar was the first real experience I have had of this type of cuisine and it was also very accessible, the 1 chef to 2 people ratio makes the experience extremely interactive and informative. There are some dishes that, if bigger, I would be back there all the time for, like the meat and potatos, but there were also those dishes that just aren't rave worthy, that looked pretty, tasted good, offered a different perspective, but just didn't do it for me (I guess one example would be the corn 3 ways). If there is significant change in the menu (and it does sound like a number of new things were added) maybe I would go back, but until then, I'd just go to Cafe Atlantico for the regular food.
  21. It is an interesting issue because yoghurt and milk are readily found and often come from Inner Mongolia or the Beijing "suburbs." Yet despite the popularity of these things (and their existence is nothing new), cheese hasn't caught on. I do know of a friend who adds cheese when making Chinese style curry, it shocked me at first (especially because I found out after eating her curry a number of times).
  22. Haha, thank you Qing for bringing this album feature to my attention...I had too much difficulty in the past figuring out a way to share my pictures, but now in the albums section, you can find some of my better pictures of food, it makes me regret not taking more pics of the food though, hehe...
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