Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Fengyi

  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!
  16. Wooh! I had Lost Heaven food too!!! It was very very nice! Actually, they were some of the nicest restaurant people I've dealt with here - the friends that I was staying with and I were just too tired to go out (try teaching wine solidly for over 8 hours!) but I wanted to treat them. So they got me to ring the restaurant and I had the funniest conversation with the lady on the phone which started with 'well, my friends are foreigners and they really love your food, but we want to take it out so I'd like to order it in advance over the phone. However, they don't know Chinese and only know the English names for the dishes, can we try and order?' Well, normally this is not received well - but the lady was awesome!! she went and got a menu and patiently wen tthrough all my options while I tried to translate the dishes that my friends wanted with such vague names as 'spicy chicken'... Wonderful, patient and professional help - my god! It blew my mind! Ten minutes later they phoned to give an exact pick up time and my friend went off in a taxi and came back with heaps of the MOST delicious food, including a lovely Burmese style curried crab. The only let down were some greasy vegetarian noodles.... all the rest were smashing. And one of the wines we had it with was a Clare Riesling too - SNAP! Finishing with coffee and biscuits from MARKS AND SPENCER (WOOOO0-HOOOH! I blew over 400RMB there on crisps, tea, cookies and other stuff which I schlepped home to the Beige) - a meal to remember! other than that, I oddly ate loads of Provencal cooking while I was there - courtesy of my French pal! BTW, if you're back in Shanghai, nakji - the SOGO grocery store is a great source for certain non-Chinese Asian stuff...
  17. Tell them I sent you! Discount time :-) actually, if you're in Shanghai anytime from the 7th to 11th, stop by Pudao wine shop - I'll be leading an advanced WSET wine course there Marcus (the manager) has set up tasting stations about the shop for the Decanter Award winning wines - come and taste them with us! I personally don't think that domestic wines pair better with Chinese food at all. To me, they generally pair best with very little - trouble is that they are, for the main, trying to make Bordeaux style wines in a climate that is NOT Bordeaux....yick! Also, I must add that I think this local wine with local food idea is a load of bollocks put about by (mainly) the French ...I once had the horror of drinking young red bordeaux with raw oysters (in Chateau Lafite of all places) just cause 'they were both local' - well it was a pile of horsemanure, both in the mouth and in theory . Maybe because I'm a half breed myself, but I think that the best combinations are with the best of both worlds. Last night we had a lovely off-dry New Zealand Pinot Gris with the leftovers from a trip to the Sichuan government canteen. The pickled pepper cuttlefish, huiguorou and huajiao noodles all went very well...or maybe I'm just greedy
  18. Most places here will (if you speak Chinese...) give you a choice of ways to cut it - either skin and meat separate (which I personally don't like that much despite having grown up with it) or together. They make a big fuss of the 108 cuts (but I've never know anyone to count so....). Even where they do most of the cuts with meat and skin together, they always should start with the breast skin only. Here, the rule is to dip this prime bit in sugar and crunch it down. If you get shaobing with it, garlic instead of the Tianmianjiang is good :-) and I'm a fan of the 'watermelon' radish threads myself... The low carb version with lettuce leaves is kinda nice too - if you're up to that kind of thing. When I first came here (many moons ago) I was REALLY disappointed by the roast duck - didn't seem a patch on the ones I used to eat in HK. Now, I can say that the BJ duck is firmly back in its seat of glory. Anyone serving it with plum sauce should be taken outside and spoken to very severely and preferably spanked for a crime against "duckamity"... BTW, if you can live without the soup - get the carcass!!!! gosh, I've had some good meals out of the saved carcass...
  19. Quanjude can be good - but all the restaurants are franchises run to completely different standards. The best one I've been to has been Tsinghua Science Park one, most of the others are terrible - greasy and indifferent. I do like Dadong...BUT I've hear tale of another place that I must go to (but haven't had time so far) that far exceeds Dadong, or so I'm told. Jiushan in the west is also pretty darned good. Not a fan of Bianyifang, and the last time I went to Made in China (recommended by many guides) the poor duck was BURNT! dry as a bone
  20. Xintiandi's Wine and Cheese will happily keep you in very good cheeses (fresh milk) - though your wallet won't like it. Always, always, keep an eye on hotel events and sign up for as many as these lists as possible. For gluttons like me, there are good chances like the upcoming wine and cheese party at the JW Marriott where it's a free-for all cheese and wine fest (with excellent cheese) for only 200RMB a head. Also, many of the 5 star F and B are Belgiums and they ALWAYS know where to score good beer!! Wine shops are not difficult in SH, but you don't need to go to them in person - delivery's the way to go. But I do recommend: Globus, Ruby Red and Pudao - all of which are well run and trustworthy. And you should make one trip to see the cool Ruby Red nuclear bunker shop.... Now, I hear from all my SH friends that SH has a City SUPER!!!!!!!!! But I think it's in Lujiazhui. Not so convenient for Xuhui! Carrefour, Walmart, Tescos et al are all aiming for the Chinese market - so it's better to hit a properly 'Western-target' store for your special shops. Here in Beijing we have an amazing fresh market for restaurants where I get all fresh herbs, Thai stuff, cheese and cream, stuff like avocados, etc.. but I haven't heard of one of these in SH. Interestingly enough (because here in the big Beige, the ex-pat scene is not as 'powerful' as the SH one), I was meeting with a specialist in food products here who's been in China dealing with Western foods distribution for about ten years and he said that BJ was far better for fresh Western products (like sour cream and fresh herbs) rather than Shanghai, despite the fact that SH ex-pats are wealthier and more numerous.... I never thought of it like that, but he was in the pizza industry and pointed out that BJ has several cheese factories (because of the nearby cattle industries) whereas SH has none. It made me value my BJ mozzarella and plain yoghurt! Also, one thing I do recommend - if you do a lot of Indian cooking, do bring spices in your luggage. I still can't find stuff like Kalonji for love or money... Mind you, I reckon that you can probably find ANYTHING in City Super (at a price!). . .
  21. Your friend is probably best off bringing some with her next time she goes home... it will be hard to find in HK! Lee Kum Kee has a lock down on the market - and yes, their douban jiang is a far cry from the real thing. Good luck - if all else fails, I'm going down to HK next month and can bring some from the Sichuan government store here.
  22. I just found this posted on "The 50 best things to eat in the world, and where to eat them" on the Observer. it sends shivers of horror up and down my back... 22. Best place to eat: Peking Duck Quanjude, Beijing Beijing's most famous purveyor of Peking duck is nothing if not well-endorsed: more than 115 million ducks have been dished up in the restaurant's 145-year history, and China's first Premier, Zhou Enlai, personally chose the location for the seven-storey Hepingmen branch. Quantity hasn't affected quality: the duck, with its crispy red skin and melt-in-the-mouth flesh, is sublime – 400 versions of the classic dish are available: opt for the classic kaoya. Hepingmen Dajie, Xuanwu District, Beijing, China, 0086 10 6552 3745, www.quanjude.com.cn AND they're suggesting Hepingmen branch which managed to be crappy even 12 years ago when I first went.... Sublime?....more like slime....
  23. OK so it's sad, but my lunch today is a 7-11 cold noodles (munched at my computer). I've got the wrapping in front of me and the first ingredient after noodles is sesame paste - no peanut butter! Actually 7-11 food here isn't that bad - they do set meals of two stir frys on rice for 11 RMB which seem popular with the lunch crowd...
  24. Ha! By coincidence a friend of mine - who used to be BJ manager for Torres China, one of the biggest importers around,has moved to Suzhou as well! I'm a wine consultant here in China and having written a lot about Chinese wines know a bit whereof I speak. I helped organize a tasting of Chinese wines last year to find some good ones and I'm due in Shandong later this month to judge a Chinese wine competition. But to be honest: DON'T buy Chinese own wines... (exception: Changyu make a 1.5L sparking cider which is quite fun though a bit plastically). The only drinkable PN I've had from China is from Mogao winery - but it will be impossible to source in Suzhou. And the good Chinese wines (Grace, Silver Heights) that I have had are as expensive as imported wines. My advice as someone who writes many, many articles about this is to sign up to a service like Yangjiu.com who offer China-wide delivery and some nice wines (even at cheaper prices). To confess, the latter is run by someone that I know who used to work for one of the importers here - he's a nice guy and providing a good service. Another is to take a quick trip to Shanghai for a bit of wine shopping - I can heartily recommend a few wine shops there. Actually, they can deliver to Suzhou too! There's a brilliant place called Ruby Red which is located in a Bomb shelter - really fun! And Globus have a beautiful series of shops. The big companies ASC, Summergate, Torres can all deliver to your house as well. Delivery is GREAT in China - Everyone delivers :-) [warning: self-promo!] If you check out our website, every month we publish at least 5 recommendations for wines available in China and how to buy them - both in our blog and in our magazine articles. And if you need any help, just PM me! I would NOT ever buy wine from Walmart though....
  25. I thought that 'momo's referred to Tibetan dumplings..... Where are the people that run the dimsum place from? I've only ever heard Tibetans call dumplingy things momos....which would make sense for India-immigration. Anyway, quick answer: so-called 'dumplings' in China are myriad and can be steamed, boiled or fried. The wrappings can be wheaten, rice-flour, even beancurd skin.... Think of the difference from Nan to Idlis in India -they're all 'bread' but not! The same sort of thing happens here in China. Most of the threads are talking about northern style wheat based boiled jiaozi - what southern Chinese call "jiaozi" is very different. Also, if you're talking about classic Cantonese dimsum, I'm with Kent....go to a restaurant!!! In all my years learning Cantonese cooking from our maids in HK, I never learnt more than 1 or 2 dimsum recipes - we just all went out to eat them...
  • Create New...