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KennethT

Week in Beijing (and environs) Foodblog

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Off we go on another adventure!  I'm still here in NYC, about to get in a taxi to take us to the airport.  Unlike the past few trips, we are not flying EVA connecting through Taipei, but flying Air Canada, connecting through Toronto.  I don't know what to expect, since this is the first time we've flown to Asia during the day, rather than leaving around midnight or 1AM - but the benefit is that rather than taking about 20 hours to get to the final destination, it's a short flight from NYC to Toronto, then a 13 hour flight to Beijing...  the downside is that since we're leaving in the late morning, there's no chance of sleeping on this flight - maybe we'll catch a few hours before landing in Beijing, since we will be landing at 4AM NY time (4PM Beijing time) but I'm not counting on taking a sedative and sleeping for 6-8 hours mid-flight.

 

I don't know how much I'm going to post while I'm there, but I'll try to put some teasers up if I see something incredibly interesting.  Also, I don't think we'll be straying too far from the tourist trail this time - even recommendations from my wife's friends living in Beijing were similar to what I've read all around.  But, we'll be getting together with 3 of them on 3 separate nights, which should be a lot of fun.

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nice.  looking forward to your blog.

 

safe trip.

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@KennethT

 

I am looking forward to this. Your blogs are  always interesting and take me to places I will never go in person.

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How nice to go on another trip with you!  

Your comments about flights times, sleeping, etc. reminds me of this image from a trip I took to Beijing.  I figure it's OK to post it while you are enjoying your airline food!

 

I had to laugh the first time I saw it - I was barely awake, head down, waiting for the elevator, sort of wondering what day it was when the elevator door opened and I saw the answer, right at my feet!

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Yes indeed, the hotel had carpets in the elevators with the day of the week and changed them at midnight.  Not a bad idea for jet lagged guests!

 

To add a food-related note, it's possible that some of my confusion was due to sugar overload since this was the welcome gift the hotel provided in the room:

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Note:  apologies for hijacking your thread.  Just say the word and I can delete this.  

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@blue_dolphinno problem... I'm now waiting in Toronto to board my connection. Any minute now...

 

Years ago we stayed in a hotel in Hong Kong that had similar carpet in the elevators. I used photos of them to mark my photo set to know what happened on what day!

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Food for the next 13 hours... Air Canada economy....

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We flew Air Canada few weeks ago from Toronto to Beijing.  Try to get a few hours of sleep mid flight.  Overall I liked Air Canada very much.  Travel safely.  Looking forward to your blog.


Edited by chefmd (log)
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I think I'll try to take my sedative of choice (glass of wine + 2 Benedryl) after 'dinner' and a movie...

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Sooo

 

you tap in your 'dinner' order from the video screen on you upper neighbors back seat ?

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I haven't flown anywhere in so long...it looks like I'd need a tutorial O.o

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17 hours ago, rotuts said:

Sooo

 

you tap in your 'dinner' order from the video screen on you upper neighbors back seat ?

Nope, it's just the menu choices. You still get asked "chicken or fish" when they come down the aisle.  Air Canada was pretty good... But I liked EVA better... Seats were similar but eva comes around with water every 20 min. AC never came around but you could serve yourself some in the back. Food was decent but Eva us typically better... Very serviceable.

 

As expected I only got a couple hours sleep... So I'm running on fumed getting ready for bed. We had dinner in the hotel which was actually quite tasty if not overpriced... And we were basically the only ones there... 

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AC used to be good 'back in the day' .. over 20 years ago ... but like most western based airlines they have truly become cattle class transport machines in my humble estimation. The cost for what used to be economy service (but now is reserved for business and first class) is now prohibitive for most except for business travellers from large rich corporations, and the otherwise wealthy or influential. I recall being wined and dined very well, particularly on longer flights but even on shorter ones when there was enough time to get anything out of the galley at all, mostly in economy, back when I was travelling at least once a week on business (primarily in Canada but I also took several flights to Europe and a number to US cities as well).  

 

Anyway, happy to hear you made it to your destination, even if you are tired. Rest up and commence the eating as soon as you can! :) We are eagerly awaiting descriptions to drool by.

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Typing prose us a real pita on a cell phone.  So I'm going to limit post to just a few photos here and there. When I get home, I'll collate the photos from different sources (main camera, my cell and my wife's cell) and make a more comprehensive story.

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Is that a 'burger' in that neck of the woods? And I guess my other question is .. is it donkey meat?

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Yep, donkey meat... I wouldn't call it a burger- but the bread was awesome, flaky and crispy. The donkey meat was not as gamey as I thought it would be. It was mild and tender... And I think it was braised in some kind of 5spice liquid. Thre were some chopped mild chilis inside too.

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We had Xinjiang food for lunch... Awesome. Seemingly a marriage of Asia, Middle East and Russia.

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Mutton stew with potatoes and carrots (and a little bok choi)

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Mutton skewers - super tender with very interesting spices. The fat was slightly gamey in a good way.

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Xinjiang Nan

 

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Cucumbrr salad.. Nice and garlicky

 

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Rose tea

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Hotpot

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Yep, it's charcoal powered, not that that translated into flavor.

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Here's a teaser for dinner tonight....

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I've had a lot of Peking duck over the years.  But this was THE.BEST.DUCK.EVER

 

You 'll have to wait till I get home for the rest of the pics and descriptions.

 

Tomorrow we're off to see the Great Wall for a couple of days, so I dont know what kind of food we'll have there or how good the internet will be. Right now, when not on the hotel's wifi, I'm rocking 2G...

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20160704_124606.jpgDriving to the great wall now, well I'm sitting not driving... We needed to have lunch close to the hotel as we had limited time between checkout and when our car was picking us up. We were originally going to go to The Grandma's, which is evidently a very popular Shanhainese chain of restaurants. Their Beijing branch is in a mall a couple minutes walk from our hotel. Well, the queue was probably about 2 hours long so instead we went to an old friend Din Tai Fung...

 


Edited by KennethT (log)
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Our hotel near the Great Wall site of Mutianyu is located in Bei Gou village, which is apparently a fishing village, for trout. The village is tiny (we walked through it in sbout 5-10 min) and there appears to be only one restaurant thst evidently closes around 5 or 6 or whenever they feel like it. So we had dinner at the hotel whose menu consisted largely of western dishes, save for a couple varieties of fried rice and a plate of jiaozi... But they also had this trout:

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And I'm very happy to report that it was perfectly cooked! But unhappy to report that it cost 110 Yuan (about $17).. Talk about hotel prices!

 

ETA Sorry the price is incorrect.. It was 163 Yuan or about $25 - even worse!


Edited by KennethT (log)
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