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  1. hi! Picture 1 is Category two - 酸菜 Pickled mustard greens from Vietnam, Picture 2 is 榨菜sichuan preserved veg, Picture 3 doesn't say - you've taken a picture of the brand name, not the description. But it's written in complex characters, so not from mainland China, Picture 4 is japanese pickled veg - so won't fit into the categories at all! Hope this helps!
  2. I am expecting pictures of the noodle-dancing!!! :-)
  3. Hmm yes -it's really hard to get a global fix on this sort of thing. I recently had a disagreement with my office manager about Huo Wang, one of the hosts of Shiquanshimei. I think he's really fun - apparently though everyone under the age of 30 thinks he's a joke. It made me feel very old...... BTW, there are no Western language cooking shows that I can get legally here. Though some black-market guys can hook you up with satellite from the Philippines to get Discovery T+L.... the closest I get is my legal Nat Geo Asia channel....
  4. Ken's right - I make the soup out of the duck bones and it goes a lovely white colour easily... just ask for the carcass - they expect that most foreigners don't like the soup that much anyway so they won't be surprised. I usually get mine when I'm bringing out visitors - as the rest of the time I'm with a Chinese posse. . . I was at the Tsinghua Quanjude on Wednesday - and it is funny how much their duck skin differs in mouthfeel from Da Dong's... though I must say that for a branch of Quanjude, they're not bad (I made the waitress laugh when I was telling my friends how bad some of the other ones were). Incidentally, I was having dinner with ten 'food and wine experts' the other day (it was the opening of a wine and dine concept cellar) among whom were such people as the chief editor of Food and Wine magazine, and we nearly all agreed that currently Da Dong was still above the rest.... though someone mentioned a place on the west side that is very good too (Forgot the name right now! Though if you fundamentally prefer 'closed-door' roasting it will never be for you....
  5. Fengyi

    Beijing dining

    Also - there are now 3 Da Dong's in Beijing - so you'll have to decide which one is most convenient for you!
  6. Fengyi

    Beijing dining

    Hi Erin! I will give you the low down on the omakase if you want - I can text you the address and then guide you in by phone if needed. I'm writing this in Shanghai airport, after amazing visit to Australia to participate in the Landmark Tutorial which, though completely wonderful, has left my brain in a completely non-functioning state (I blame it on the beauty of the 1928 Morris Muscat we were tasting!). I will see if I can PM you and you can contact me by e-mail for more info. Cheers!
  7. Just came back from a trip there and am back down in another week. But the ticket prices- OUCH! Anyway, our of my wine students this time was the manager of a ABSOLUTELY lovely restaurant: Madison. Seriously great food - and the wonderful chef is really seriously dedicated to the ideas of Slow and Local Food. It's basically fusion-style food, but for once, done well. I was very impressive - and we were there during the soft opening period. Good sensible short wine list, and the food was delicious (and the chef introduced us to the provenance of each of the foods we were eating. The abalone cerviche was particularly lovely... Madison: No 18 Dongping lu 021 6437 0136 - it's in the Xuhui district (between Wulumqi and Hengshan road). Erin - I think you'll like it!
  8. Yes - I cannot find any egg noodles - not that they're my favourite, but sometimes it's nice to make a proper HK style chowmien here (it's hard to find here - all the Cantonese restaurants are high-end). second point: too true - though mistaking Mianbao for noodles is a pretty big mistake!!! When I go to Shanxi, I delight in the number of noodles - I especially love kaolaolao! My local Shaanxi delivery place has started to do spinach chemian 扯面 and also biangbiang mian (sorry my computer can't manage it) - it rocks!!!
  9. yes - I alwasy thought chow mien was 炒面 and lomien was 捞面 - BOTH of which have noodles. And I don't know what planet your "wait people" live on but I live here in Beijing and I have NEVER seen Mapo doufu on top of noodles!!! I've seen mapo flavoured instant noodles, but that's not the same. How weird!!
  10. Fengyi

    Beijing dining

    Also, I think I forgot to mention - if you're in the area of the Summer Palace ever, you MUST go to the Bai Family Courtyard restaurant and order the dish 'Concubine's Smile' . Never have flowers ever tasted so good...
  11. Fengyi

    Beijing dining

    Last night we had a gastronomic revelation in Beijing.... A tiny, tiny hidden place somewhere off Chaoyang north hides a master craftman. A Japanese chef who's sort of 'retired' to Beijing (he was flown in for another restaurant project that failed) who brings in everything from Japan and even has the tap water treated to make it taste 'better'. It only holds about 20 people and we had a gorgeous omakase. I've eaten in Tokyo high-end quite a bit (courtesy of my great-aunt Molly and other relatives and friends) and this was seriously good. The grilled Kobe beef was amazing, the sashimi gorgeous and the tempura was as good as anything I've had in Japan. only sad note was no fresh wasabi. For Beijing, it was truly fantastic. We shared a bottle of Mosswood's Mornington Pennisula Pinot Noir (Stellar!) and a Petales d'Osoyoos (surprisingly better than I had hoped) and they matched the food very well. If you are ever in Beijing and in need of a break from Chinese - just PM me and I'll tell you how to get there. It's a bit complicated and hidden!
  12. High-end Chinese food in China - I think it's got a LOOOONG way to go yet! After all, even in the mid 90s the situation was fairly dire - I remember trying and trying to find good places to eat at... but even the laozihao restaurants were pretty dire. Post-2000, things improved and now it's much, much better but I would still say that there is almost nothing in the mainland running at a 2/3 star level. I'm pushed to think of restaurants like this in Shanghai and Beijing. Hong Kong, yes - but that's not China (well, technically, but not in reality). Also, what makes a great Chinese restaurant? It's so hard to say, there's so many regional differences and expressions and do you want Old Skool or New? I like Nanmen hotpot for instance, but you even have to eat in your overcoat...!
  13. How northern is northern? Are you sticking to just Dongbei or are you including Shandong? If the latter, you shouldn't forget the classic Songshuyu 松鼠鱼 (squirrel fish). Also, if you're going to do baicai, do baicai chao fensi 白菜炒粉丝, it don't get more Dongbei than that! You're using the wrong word for leeks in the first dish - it's 葱爆羊肉, 韭菜 are not used for this dish. But speaing of jiucai, where are the jiaozi? The Mantou? and isn't zhajiangmian 炸酱面 the classic BJ dish? Nix the chicken and cashew nuts dish too - a. not very classic at all and b. you shouldn't have two 爆 cooked dishes in a row. and 京酱肉丝 woudl be more on target. Remember that with noodles - what type of noodles depends on the area... And if you want a real northern dish - you've got to have millet zhou (just had some yesterday - which twigged me). I hate it, but it's a staple you can't ignore. (having said that, the Shanxi version cooked with pumpkin is rather OK). WRT the other menus, I'm afraid that we're closing for New Year here and I haven't much time - but be careful with differentiating Central and Western - they are so so so so so different, that I would hesistate to put them together. Cheers!
  14. Hi! Those aren't 'noodles' that's one LONG noodle. Just one... It's usually green from spinach/spinach-like green. Very cool to watch them doing it. BTW, if you're ever in Beijing - there's a lovely private Kitchen, Black Sesame which will give you noodle pulling lessons. The chef there used to work in a noodle shop - he's very nice!
  15. In my local supermarket, duck breasts are cheaper than duck necks! Needless to say, we feast on the underappreciated duck breast very, very regularly!
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