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basquecook

China, a Year of Dining

149 posts in this topic

Tell me about the duck web. What part of the duck is that? I have a guess, but I don't want to look silly lol.

Or, rather, sillier than normal ;)

You can buy duck web (uncooked) here in stores in NYC. They are like chicken feet except boneless.

I have no idea how they manage to remove the bones.

dcarch

So it is the webbed duck feet! Thank you :) I had the right guess. I bet I will never ever get a chance to try those.

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Thanks so much for sharing Basquecook, this is making me want to go to mainland China so much. It's 5am in London and I'm starving thanks to this thread. Luckily I'm off to Hong Kong in a few weeks so I'll get my Asian food fix there.

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Hey thanks.. It was certainly fun sharing this with most of you. I kind of got distracted and ran out of steam.. Thanks for coming along with me. If I ever got motivated I will finish this up.

Thanks again.


“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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fantastic work. really fantastic.

BTW, going back soon? :biggrin:

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Thank you. I go back three times a year or so. I am in the middle of a pretty interesting work project on the home front so, I may only go back twice this year. I just picked up a new customer in Qingdao so that is cool, I may go up to Beijing for a little bit. I really want to try to get over to Yili to see the Lavender fields. But, we shall see what this year has in store.


Edited by basquecook (log)
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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Sooooooooo you still have a 'bit' to post from the past Year ? :biggrin:

is Qingdao the former 'german' area that makes the beer? :biggrin:

i enjoy it with spicy foods. maybe you can take a Tour with some jpgs?

I do appreciate the great amount of effort it took not just to take the snaps but to share them and the commentary with us (ME)

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Yes thanks basquecook! And I for one would super pleased to read more if & when you have time to post it.

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Given the abundance thereof, wouldn't that be "souper" plesaed? (Runs away, fast.)

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"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Ahh, you don't understand how this adds up to a year.  Perhaps, look at the title a different way.  I am posting about three trips, so, that would be "my" year of a eating in China. You know, Jan, May, October.  Three seasons.   I did not mean 365 days. sorry if my title was or could be misinterpreted.  One of the dangers of communication. I am sure though, with some thought, one could have figured out the title's logic.   i am there for work.  My hotel meals as you point out, are my lunches.   You can see from such things as me eating at a 500 year old Dim Sum place, all of the local dinners, or the local lunches I have posted about, that in fact, the Hotel meals are very limited to lunches with one particular customer.  So, when you say, "this is ALL so far hotel meals"  you are in fact, not speaking correctly.

 

All of the restaurant meals, I have gone with life long residents of these places and was invited into the restaurant and local places they gather with friends and family.. Perhaps you are in not familiar with Yangzhou or Zhangjiagang and their cuisine.  Either way, i assure you, the places I visited are all local places and the hotel meals, were limited to my lunches.  

 

I don't know if your intention is to be adversarial but, a more sensitive person might think so.  Perhaps you just skimmed the photos and noticed a salad or two and thought all the meals I posted about was hotel food  But that is clearly not the case and I would invite you to read the threads.  I was hoping for positive input from you and I still hope to. 

 

Hey Basquecook,

 

I've been on these boards off and on for a few years and I don't he was trying to be adversarial.  All of your meals don't necessarily look like they were ordered in a hotel, but "hotel food" in China is a word I've heard used to mean basically anything that is served in a private room that has been decorated with gold, glass & leather. I think this is more of an expat saying, and Liuzhou has probably just been in China too long and has unwittingly included this bit of jargon.

 

I will agree that, with the exception of the Pinghu pictures, all of these look like very fancy restaurants that common Chinese people either couldn't (or wouldn't be willing to) afford, or would only go to on special occassions. Especially, the seafood hotel - I went to one just like it in Xiaoxing, and while the prices seemed more than reasonable to me, they would have been hilariously extravagant to my in-laws. You were definitely being treated as a guest, and were taken to places meant for showing off. While smaller, more simply decorated specialty places (like a place that serves tripe hotpot and very little else) might have better dishes, the places you went usually do have some awesome, well-prepared and presented food. Also, fancier places in China are were you're going to see more experiemental dishes, whereas the small neighborhood places tend to stick to what they're known for with almost no deviation.

 

The only sentence I want to point out is, "...depressing trip down incredibly poor alley..." You were in Jiangsu province, which has very little real poverty compared to other parts of China (try Anhui or Ningxia), and especially other countries (or how about Detroit?). That alley is what most of urban China looks like, and probably housed a restaurant better than the one you were on your way to. Those areas are incredibly safe (compared to the US), and would not be considered poor by most Chinese folks. If you meant the traffic situation was depressing; well then, I totally agree.

 

Regardless of everything else, you definitely had some awesome food on your trip, and that's what's great about China - great food is literally everywhere! Next time you're there, tell your hosts you're looking for something a little less fancy and more local. Or tell them you want to go to a night market and eat some food from street stands - you will have a blast and walk away with even better pictures.

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I will agree that, with the exception of the Pinghu pictures, all of these look like very fancy restaurants that common Chinese people either couldn't (or wouldn't be willing to) afford, or would only go to on special occassions. Especially, the seafood hotel - I went to one just like it in Xiaoxing, and while the prices seemed more than reasonable to me, they would have been hilariously extravagant to my in-laws. You were definitely being treated as a guest, and were taken to places meant for showing off. While smaller, more simply decorated specialty places (like a place that serves tripe hotpot and very little else) might have better dishes, the places you went usually do have some awesome, well-prepared and presented food. Also, fancier places in China are were you're going to see more experiemental dishes, whereas the small neighborhood places tend to stick to what they're known for with almost no deviation.

 

 

Sorry but, I will bite.. Your reasoning is highly flawed..  Firstly, you said, with the exception of the Pinghu photos, all of these are very fancy restaurants.  So, while I was eating dumplings on the street, or the food on the street in Xian, you found these to be fancy restaurants?    Or the restaurant I described where the people I went with go once a week with their family. 

 

When I am in China, I hang out with wealthy people.. I hang out with people who own factories, hotels, businesses. I hang out with government officials, I hang out with the Chief of Police, I go to dinner and lunch with people who are very wealthy.  Sorry, those are the people I am doing business with.  

 

I told my one Chinese friend that I ate off the street and she almost died.  She was like, you can't do that.  I don't do that.   

 

So, I understand that you have been to China or lived in China but, not everyone is squatting in an alley over a bowl of rice.  

 

That would be like someone coming back from a trip to New York who has eaten at Per Se, who has gone to Peter Lugers and a Mario Batalli restaurant and then over to a Le Bernardin and then maybe to the Meatball shop and then over to Maialino and hearing from someone, that is not how real people eat.   Well, that is how some people eat, that is not how everyone eats but, that is certainly how some people do eat.

 

There is a large mix of restaurants, I understand that my business dinners or lunches were what they were, business lunches and dinners.. But, there is a large mix of street, family places and fancy places.. And if I hadn't been interrupted and rudely challenged, you would have seen the entire scope but, I chose not to continue.  

 

But, I have been going to China for many years and I have been from everywhere from a thousand dollar meal to a 35 cent meal.  I truly know what I am talking about.  And it''s a big place and everyone's experience is different.   But, if my trip doesn't fit into one person's narrow minded view point, I apologize. 

 

Please let this thread die.  


Edited by basquecook (log)
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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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""  I hang out with the Chief of Police  ""

 

""  those are the people I am doing business with.  ""

 

like this part   :biggrin:

 

very sorry you got frustrated.   I loved this thread

 

sorry you chose not to continue

 

Id be very happy to have dinner w the C of P.


Edited by rotuts (log)

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It's like really.. What the hell is this conversation even about.  Unless you are sitting in an alley way swatting away flies and watching people die of malaria, you aren't getting the true experience.  

 

Going back in a couple of months.. I will try another thread.  


Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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I'd enjoy reading more, if you are willing to post more! Your experiences are your experiences and lots of people are interested in sharing them. And so great to see so many photos. 

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Somehow I had missed this thread in the past and I love seeing all these dishes in their natural environment

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Back in China for a quick 11 day trip... Was in Beijing for the night, then over to Qingdao, then to Zhangjiagang and now in Yangzhou.. Internet is not really letting me use fickr or imgur so, it's been hard to upload photos.   

 

Here is my first meal..After a long trip, i ended up at my hotel in Beijing right by the airport.  i was able to walk to a restaurant right near my hotel as i wasn't downtown but, in  like an isolated complex. 

 

chicken in an oniony brown gravy.. the entire bottom layer of the pan was onions.  I was able to point at photos on the menu and do a a little charades..  it's amazing, even though it's cold here and most places aren't heated, they still manage to keep the beer warm. 

 

 


HJvsbAJl.jpg

 

Cold dark noodles in a spicy and garlicky vinegar sauce

 

JPQ1I2r.jpg

 

We ordered some sticks.  There was lamb, lamb kidneys and chicken wings. 

 

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A plate of dumplings

 

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they were interesting as they were filled with egg, mushroom and scallions. really nice. 

 

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We also had a plate of greens and a few beers. a smashing start.. Dinner was 172 rmb. Or, like 20 bucks with a few beers.  

 

pXcuJNHl.jpg

 

 

 

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Qingdao is right on the water.. it is known for it's seafood.. There is a spectacular selection in the city and I am a seafood guy.. Big fan of Qingdao cuisine. 

 

I love celery.. This dish was cold celery with sesame oil and these little shrimp.  really awesome. the quality of all the seafood in Qingdao is pretty awesome.. 

15748579686_7df1090f54_z.jpg

 

greens with garlic and clams or some sort of clammy guy.. such intense garlic.. i loved this dish.  i could happily eat this dish everyday. 

 

15152866303_a1b9b334ed_z.jpg

 

I feel like this is the unofficial dish or maybe the official dish, i don't know, of Qingdao.. I have had this dish at pretty much every meal. 

 

15587477900_85fc7180c9_z.jpg

 

steamed shrimp with a vinegar dipping sauce.. When i first came to China, maybe 15 years ago, i was taken aback by how my hosts would eat shrimp with chop sticks.. removing the head and the expertly holding the shrimp in their chopsticks as they deshelled the shrimp with small bites..  I would just pick up the shrimp with my fingers, squeeze the tail, remove the head with my fingers and eat them with my hand.. i am proud to say, i can eat shrimp like my hosts now

 

you know,it's the little things i am thankful for. i also ate one before taking the photo

 

15587475320_871ea4dc66_z.jpg

 

I had this dish in Rizhao City the last trip.. It is fried pork with lots of cumin and some pepper.. It is wrapped in that wheaty hard pancake.  Love the dish. 

 

15748580346_34fac18437_z.jpg

 

Then came out these mushrooms with pork and some chili peppers..

 

15586866268_6c17b88ecc_z.jpg

 

 

 

n Beijing or Qingdao, the end of meal dumplings tend to be a lot more loose and less filled... So, its almost like eating a noodle.. These dumplings were shrimp, of course with some scallions.. But, it was a loose dumpling with a lot more skin than filling..  

 

After this huge meal, everyone at the table had like 4 to 8 dumplings. Normally, i would eat an order of 6 dumplings for a meal.. but for some reason, it's just not the filling.. Sure, i skipped dinner last night but, i didn't feel overly stuffed, despite stuffing myself.. 

 

15152321304_5a5dd22db9_z.jpg

 

With every meal there is normally a soup as well.. You can see on the table, there is an egg drop type soup with clam in it.. It was a little under flavored by my standards but, there must be something to it.. As, i often find the soups to need salt or some additional umph.. But, it's consistently like that, no matter the restaurant or the region, so, it must be done on purpose.. i added some vinegar and it was good. 


15586449659_2df61fa12f_z.jpg

 

Noticed this puppy on the way out.. I asked about it.. the lady i was with, a new supplier said, well, this is good for older people but, maybe might make younger person sick.. I figured it was something to make a man more virile but, apparently, this is good for older people. so, i have something to look forward to.. Some hard alcohol with a buch of snakes and herbs and bark soaking in it. 

 

15152317304_462f1d9f9a_z.jpg

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Breakfast, 7 am Qingdao
 
We found this place that looked similar to the food I had in X'ian.  It was just opening and it looked decent enough and more importantly there were photos of the food.. The photos were located high up so, there was a lot of pointing and charades going on.   i wasn't confident of what were were getting but, it worked out. 
 
This soup was really nice.. seamed like a tomato and meat broth. There was a really nice, sesame oil back note. There was egg and noodles in it.  
 
15759321106_e56de1f54a_z.jpg
 
This was a meat and noodles.. a little spicy. the shredded cucumber added an interesting cooling and brightness to the dish. 
 
15597847317_0524d66938_c.jpg
 
Also ordered a pork burger a la X'ian.. This was really lovely..  as good as the ones in X'ian
 
15781310162_f1837c0ef2_c.jpg

15159767834_e2be1d04b0_c.jpg
 
what visit to a restaurant would be complete without a cultural issue..  These were the glasses they provided for the beer.  Mind you it was 7 in the morning but, still you would think they have some glasses for us

15759334096_30a002a0b4_c.jpg
 
on the walk home it looks like i found an ex pat bar of some kind.. also opened early in the morning
 
15777925731_b715a9f073_c.jpg
 
15777914361_eb795c95d2_c.jpg

Edited by basquecook (log)
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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Always bite into the head of the shrimp before removing it. It is the most delicious part. 

 

I remember well Qingdao clams (ga la in the local dialect). I ate them every day. And the squid on sticks sold on every beach.

 

Long time ago.

 

When I lived in Xi'an the "hamburgers" were nearly all beef. The best were in the Muslim quarter where they don't eat pork.

 

I still make them regularly.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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It has gotten to the point in Qingdao that I have even had lunch delivered to me at an office and the clams were served from a plastic

Take out carton


“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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So a burger is nothing like a western burger?


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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many thanks !

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See here.

Thank you. Don't especially like burgers so stir-fried beef/pork on a bun is much more appealing.

Edited to add

Can't help a little cross cultural thinking here. The perfect vehicle

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/149192-the-bread-topic-2014-–/?p=1995255


Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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