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Fengyi

eG Foodblog: fengyi - Win(e)ing and Dining in Beijing

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Firstly, apologies for the teaser photos that led so many astray!

I was very hard pushed to find a location picture that wouldn't scream CHINA (cf. my atavar) so I ended up with a picture of Grace Vineyards in Shanxi province - we've also got lots of vineyards around Beijing (just beyond the Great Wall and to the south of the city) but the Grace pictures are the ones that came out best.

As for the picture:

gallery_28661_5821_50929.jpg

It's classic Red Cooked Pork (红烧肉) with eggs cooked with the pork that I had last week in Shanghai. Delicious!!!

I feel a bit of an imposter doing a blog here because I haven't posted a lot in my eGullet time, but my excuse is that moving countries and starting up my own business in China is a heavy load! But reading and enjoying eGullet posts has often been my lifeline for relaxation and enjoyment here in the Big Beige.

A Synopsis: About a year ago, my husband and I packed up our entire house in Cambridge UK, put it into storage and moved to Beijing with two suitcases and a half-formed business plan....

A year later, the house is still mainly in storage, a few more bags have been moved over and I have just received a business license for our wine consultancy/school here in Beijing after many months of red-tape!

If anyone out there is interested, the website is here (I hope that's not construed as advertising!!!)

Over the next few days, I would love to give you an introduction to food and drink here in China's capital as it gets thoroughly over-excited about the Olympics, eats more dumplings than can be measured and roasts a few thousand more duck!

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Wow, I'm intrigued by your story already. It's great that you're blogging this week. A wine consultancy school in China? Fascinating.

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I'm very excited to see more from inside China, not just Chinese residing elsewhere.

I also plan on moving myself and my business to China soon (Shanghai, April 2010).

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Thanks for the kind words!

Beijing is changing SO quickly - I've been coming here on and off for about ten years. Shanghai too! It's really crazy here, but really enjoyable. Everything is a bit of a challenge - but exciting!

However, breakfast was far from exciting...just a smoothie and coffee:

gallery_28661_5821_2828.jpg

We used mango and banana (I have no idea where they came from as they were brought in by my ayi (househelp)) and some yoghurt:

gallery_28661_5821_30658.jpg

This is strawberry and mulberry flavour - but they have really bizarre flavours too - like

corn and aloe vera. Yoghurt is HUGELY popular here - and it's a traditional street snack so I guess it didn't take much for it to take over the supermarkets too!

Our coffee is grown in Yunnan province - at only 24RMB a bag (about 7 RMB to the USD) it's the only affordable coffee option for us!

gallery_28661_5821_22730.jpg

But as I said, hardly an exciting breakfast....

For lunch, I was at the office so I had my usual lunch: dolsot bimbimbap (sp?)

gallery_28661_5821_14911.jpg

This is my favourite because a) it's only 16RMB for lunch and b) they deliver it to the door in the bowl and then come and take it away. So there's a lot less waste! :biggrin:

There's so much use of plastic here - that it's nice not to use more of it!

Now I'm off for Hot Pot dinner :biggrin:


Edited by Fengyi (log)

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I am looking forward to learning about life and food in China! What a move-from the U.S. (everyone's dream here) to China! Tell us as much as you can about wine!! I will go to your site! Thanks and I feel very interested!

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Beijing is changing SO quickly - I've been coming here on and off for about ten years. Shanghai too! It's really crazy here, but really enjoyable. Everything is a bit of a challenge - but exciting!

Please show us some of those signs of change about you in Beijing as you take us on your cook's tour. I suspect that many of us following along will not have the occasion to see the changes up close and personal-like soon, Olympics or no.

But if your opening photo is any guide, this will be a most delicious trip!

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Cool beans! I never would have guessed China from those vineyards. I haven't been to Beijing in several years, but from what I remember, "Big Beige" is a good nickname for it. :biggrin: Is it still so dusty?

gallery_28661_5821_14911.jpg

Nice bibimbap. Is it from a Korean restaurant, or have the Chinese adopted it as a dish? It's really popular here in Japan as well.

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Cool beans! I never would have guessed China from those vineyards. I haven't been to Beijing in several years, but from what I remember, "Big Beige" is a good nickname for it.  :biggrin:  Is it still so dusty?

Nice bibimbap. Is it from a Korean restaurant, or have the Chinese adopted it as a dish? It's really popular here in Japan as well.

Yes - it is still as dusty as ever (and polluted of course!). We are all awaiting the first dust storms of the year... I hope they don't happen this week!

The bibimbap is Korean - Koreans are the largest immigrant population in China. They are particularly present in Northern China. We even have a proper North Korean Restaurant here in Beijing (haven't been yet as I've heard it's sort of scary).

Korean food is very popular here - particularly bulgogi. Dog is quite common in the Korean restaurants here too (I was debating whether to go and have that this week, but it's kind of expensive and I don't particularly like dog- to eat, that is!)

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Woohoo!

I'm excited beyond measure that this has come up.

Plus, now I've got a reason for falling behind in my posting!

I want to see all the home cooking, plus, where are you going to get out to?

Cheers,

Peter

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OK - I'm back from Hot Pot!

I will posting some pictures of Beijing and how it looks for all to see (I hope you don't mind if at least a few things aren't totally food-related!!!).

Meanwhile, here are some food pictures!

We have Three hot pot places within stumbling distance: one very cheap, one mid-range, and one VERY posh (they do wagyu and foie gras hot pot - I've got the pictures!).

So in the spirit of compromise, we went to the mid-range: Taipei Hot and Cold, so-called because you can not only do hot pot, but you can follow it up with 'stir-frying' your own ice cream flavour.

Needless to add, I've never made it to the ice cream stage, though I mean to go one leisured afternoon!

First you get your dipping sauces:

gallery_28661_5821_56839.jpg

Sesame, shacha sauce, and the ALL important pickled garlic (an essential part of Beijing Hot pot).

Then beer arrives (Yanjing Draft) and the food...

gallery_28661_5821_8782.jpg

You can just see the fatty lamb...

Then more food comes:

gallery_28661_5821_85947.jpg

The golden enoki mushrooms and plenty of beancurd

Then more food..

gallery_28661_5821_75184.jpg

This is Youmaicai 油麦菜 ("oaten lettuce") and green bean flat noodles (my fave!)

The duck breast (which is VERY cheap here - about 6RMB each at my supermarket)

gallery_28661_5821_54905.jpg

and then shrimps..

gallery_28661_5821_13047.jpg

[yes, I know there's only two of us but, but, but...]

Then into the hot pot with it all!

We always try and get the 'mandarin duck' style hot pot because I find the 'Mala' (麻辣 numbing and spicy) style TOO much to take!!! as you can see, the left hand side is completely chiles (and that's a mild version!!!).

gallery_28661_5821_96433.jpg

Of course, we didn't manage the ice cream (again!). The good thing is that this place is in the mall which we live above, so only a short distance to stagger home! :biggrin:

These fancier hot pot places are getting very popular here. Hot pot is such a staple in Beijing - and the ice cream service adds a welcome frisson of exoticism!

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Hi Fengyi, I am looking forward to your blog! I lived in Beijing for three years before moving to London last September.

In which neighbourhood do you live in Beijing? I was at Jianwai Soho, just across from Guomao (World Trade Centre).

I have really fond memories of eating in Beijing and look forward to reliving the experiences viscerally through your blog!

Speaking of yoghurt, have you tried the chilled milk desserts in Nanluoguxiang, prepared by the decendants of dessert cooks in the imperial palace? They come in different flavours and are light, smooth and yummy, especially on a hot summer's day!

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Woohoo! 

I'm excited beyond measure that this has come up.

Plus, now I've got a reason for falling behind in my posting!

I want to see all the home cooking, plus, where are you going to get out to?

Cheers,

Peter

I really hope to live up to your high standard, Peter!!

As for home cooking....what's that? :raz:

Actually, it's now appalling how little I cook at home. It's just so much easier to go out (and not really much different in price!).

It's SO different from living in Cambridge with the three choices of:

restaurants (most of which made pretty horrendous food and charged horrendous prices for it!),

college eating (which was OK at my college, but the particularly "Cambridge" atmosphere could make me want to stab myself slowly to death with my butter knife)

and cooking at home with the good quality ingredients that one could find in the UK.

It's positively joyful to be here in a culture which is slowly finally getting the money and leisure to revel in eating and going out again!

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Hi Fengyi, I am looking forward to your blog!  I lived in Beijing for three years before moving to London last September.

In which neighbourhood do you live in Beijing?  I was at Jianwai Soho, just across from Guomao (World Trade Centre).

I have really fond memories of eating in Beijing and look forward to reliving the experiences viscerally through your blog!

Speaking of yoghurt, have you tried the chilled milk desserts in Nanluoguxiang, prepared by the decendants of dessert cooks in the imperial palace?  They come in different flavours and are light, smooth and yummy, especially on a hot summer's day!

I live in Dongzhimen, and my relatives here are in Chaoyang (Tuanjiehu). I know Jianwai well (there's some very nice restaurants there!).

I haven't tried the desserts in Nanluoguxiang - but I need to head back there soon (left all my business cards in a fish and chip restaurant there after hosting a particularly lively wine and fish and chips tasting!) so I will keep an eye out! :smile:

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It's positively joyful to be here in a culture which is slowly finally getting the money and leisure to revel in eating and going out again!

Reveling is good. I can work with reveling.

Plus, after the Korea trip, I consider ordering food to the house as being "home cooking"!

:biggrin:

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Ooh, at last we get to see what the neighbors are up to!

I like the peanuts on the table - if nobody is eating peanuts, it's not China, I've heard, but I somehow didn't think of Beijing as following that rule.

Wide green-bean noodles....this needs further investigation! How else do you eat them?

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I think that's the first time I've seen raw sliced duck breast! That meat makes old-fashioned pork look lean.

Now I see why some people complain that duck tastes greasy.

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Captivated from the teaser pic---that pork looks scrumptious. This promises to be an interesting week.

I always look up our bloggers on the "World Clock" and I see that you're exactly 12 hours from my time---easy to remember. Looking forward to spending the hours in your fascinating city.

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Outstanding!

Man, we are all over the place so far this year - hat's off to foodblog czarina, snowangel for serving up some fascinating weeks of travel and food! :biggrin:

Fengyi,

Even though you are not cooking at home much this week, do you get a chance to see some produce/meat/fish markets in your typical week? I bet I echo many here in hoping for a look at some authentic Beijing food markets.

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Your pictures look delicious! I've never been to Beijing before, but I plan to go some day! I went to Shanghai a few years ago, and that was wonderful. I haven't seen it in awhile though; everything was still being built last time I was there.

I actually wanted to go to China this summer, but I think that'll be impossible with the Olympics and all...

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I've never heard of someone picking up your dish after they deliver it!!! Do they wait about 20 minutes or so and then come back around to pick them up?

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The hot pots have me salivating! I live no more than 5 blocks from two great Szechuan hot pot places, but we don't have all those goodies that you do!

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Firstly, apologies for the teaser photos that led so many astray! I was very hard pushed to find a location picture that wouldn't scream CHINA (cf. my atavar) so I ended up with a picture of Grace Vineyards in Shanxi province - we've also got lots of vineyards around Beijing (just beyond the Great Wall and to the south of the city) but the Grace pictures are the ones that came out best.

As for the picture:

gallery_28661_5821_50929.jpg

It's classic Red Cooked Pork (红烧肉) with eggs cooked with the pork that I had last week in Shanghai. Delicious!!!

I'm dorkily pleased with myself for more-or-less correctly identifying the content of both your teaser photos, even though the vineyards did throw me off of my original guess of destination. Though I did remember learning somewhere along the line that China does do grape-based as well as rice-based wines. Looking forward to learning more about that--plus some more great Chinese food-porn! :biggrin:


Edited by mizducky (log)

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The duck breast (which is VERY cheap here - about 6RMB each at my supermarket)

gallery_28661_5821_54905.jpg

Oh mommy! Dat's purty.

I liked being able to buy roast chestnuts hither thither and yon on my [winter] trip to China. I'm thinking they're not available in spring, except perhaps still in the vacuum packs.

Wine & China - rock on! Name names and brands, please!

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hat's off to foodblog czarina, snowangel for serving up some fascinating weeks of travel and food!

Well said! One after another they never fail to be interesting and new things are introduced every time. The last one was only 8 hours from where I live in western NYS.....but what a different life Lindacakes showed me. City, a neighborhood, two kitchens, a bird and veggies in a box. SO interesting.

And now, a huge city in China, a maid who does the shopping, a new business having to do with wine, and eating out all the time. Great!

J

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I look forward to reading your blog this week! I was in Beijing last December and was quite astounded by the construction going on all over the city. The weather and the air was dreary though -- hopefully the air will clear up before the olympics.

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