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cwyc

Beijing dining

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We just returned three weeks ago from a China tour. While in Guilin, we experienced the most artfully presented meal of the entire three weeks at a "Tea and Drink House" across the river from the downtown area (site of Sheraton Hotel, etc.). Their telephone is 5812852, but as a non Chinese speaker/reader, we cannot decipher the rest of our souvenir chopstick wrapper. We particularly recall the soup, brought to the table in a large bowl which had been carefully poured to reveal a "yin" and "yang" symbol comprised of the white egg in chicken broth component along with an accompanying green pureed vegetable stock. Other items were presented with exquisitely carved vegetables and various fruit and flower garnishes.

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We particularly recall the soup, brought to the table in a large bowl which had been carefully poured to reveal a "yin" and "yang" symbol comprised of the white egg in chicken broth component along with an accompanying green pureed vegetable stock.

I have this in my recipe book! It's called "Thick Jadeite Soup" and the green stuff is made of spinach. Although the book says it's a Beijing dish? .

There is even a story associated with it in the book, which goes:

"A beautiful young girl was about to be married to a handsome prince when their tribe was invaded by foreigners. Before he departed to lead his army into battle, the prince gave the girl a piece of jade as a token of his love.

The girl gazed at the piece of jade night and day, thinking of her prince and could not eat or sleep. Her worried mother made this soup in which the bright green of spinach contrasted with the white of the chicken to represent the piece of jade she so coveted. She ate, regained her health and married the triumphant prince."

In the recipe book it's a chicken breast and spinach soup, so maybe it's not the same one. Would you like the recipe anyway?

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Pan -- That Sheraton Hotel that others have mentioned, has a section called "Guilin Food Street". It is a little place, (and it is inside)--- in the back area of the hotel. (I walked outside to get to it.) It has a buffet that features Cantonese and Guilin food, and when I was there, they offered:

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Sauted Peppers and Eggplant (spicy hot)

Stir/Fried Celery

Beef Slices Stir/Fried with Whole Fresh Chili Peppers

Deep/Fried Crispy Pigeon

Sausage Patties

Deep/Fried Battered Water Chestnuts

French Pastries.

As I recall, it wasn't expensive, but that was in '96. The place is still there. (I googled that Sheraton)

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My parents and brother seem to have decided not to spend more than a morning in Guilin, because of the horror story they read on the previously-linked page and such-like. Keeping in mind that none of us speaks much Mandarin and none of us can read much Chinese, is it very likely for us to be able to avoid having a very unpleasant time in Guilin? My brother, especially, is very down on Guilin, based on all he's read about sharp business practices there.

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Re earlier post on Guilin restaurant, price was included in tour, but I would think cost of lunch was in $15-20 range.

We certainly thought Guilin and expecially Li River were among the most scenic areas of China.

Although it was a side excursion, we visited a tea farm and had an educational experience learning the Chinese tea varieties and niceties of formal tea drinking.

For my part, I was less impressed with the Flute Cave, but a night time excursion to see the cormorants catch fish was interesting. And you can see cormorants along the Li River as well.

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Thanks, kayswv.

It now seems like the trip's time will be reduced to about 2 weeks and center around Beijing and Changchun, because we aren't sure my parents will be strong enough to deal with a longer and more strenuous trip.

I may have to go back on my own or with a significant other some time to see the southern part of China.

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Update: It looks like we'll spend 9 days in Beijing, starting on August 12, and 6 days based in Changchun. I'm looking at possible day trips from Changchun to Jilin city, Shenyang, or/and Harbin. Any recommendations of eateries in those cities would be most welcome!

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Hi Pan - I lived in Beijing for three years but it was in the late 90s. Things change fast...

I haven't checked rates but Chinaworld is a top notch hotel where we used to put visitors. From what I remember Chinaworld had a fabulous French restaurant - but that's not what you're there for...

edit to add that the Traders Hotel attached to the Chinaworld complex is a good hotel at lower prices than Chinaworld.

Another centrally placed hotel in the Chaoyang district is the SciTech hotel, which was certainly passable, a lot less expensive but certainly alright for a family visit, central to the subway and one stop from Tiananmen, easy even by foot.

9 Days is a good length of time to stay. Early in the trip, try to get to Ritan park which is near the Embassies, where in the park there's a fine little restaurant that serves traditional dishes. In that same area is an Indian place with aircon that we used to frequent often at lunch.

As my memory is refreshed I'll offer more, but so glad to see you're going to be spending a good 9 days in Beijing.

Edited to ask if youw ant to eat exclusively Chinese or are you interested in also trying the Korean, Japanese, Russian, German, restaurants ?


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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Pan -- While in Beijing, see if you can find JianBing, on the streets. I mean -- it is not on the street ---it is street food. The vendor will have his own cart with a big griddle on which he pours a batter, covers it with egg, scallions, hot stuff, then rolls it up. Wonderful!! (cheap!)

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Pan -- While in Beijing, see if you can find JianBing, on the streets. I mean -- it is not on the street ---it is street food. The vendor will have his own cart with a big griddle on which he pours a batter, covers it with egg, scallions, hot stuff, then rolls it up. Wonderful!! (cheap!)

Here's a mini-tutorial/demonstration of jian bing-making in Beijing:

"Chinese Crepes"

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Thanks for the info, Lucy, Joanne, and Gary!

I suspect we're likely to stick to Chinese food while in Beijing, but it wouldn't surprise me if we have some Korean food when we're in Jilin province.

My brother has apparently taken care of the hotel, or so I hear.

What is the whey that's served from carts on the streets of Beijing called in Mandarin? (I'm guessing the whey is still served from carts there?)

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Pan -- While in Beijing, see if you can find JianBing, on the streets. I mean -- it is not on the street ---it is street food. The vendor will have his own cart with a big griddle on which he pours a batter, covers it with egg, scallions, hot stuff, then rolls it up. Wonderful!! (cheap!)

Here's a mini-tutorial/demonstration of jian bing-making in Beijing:

"Chinese Crepes"

Thanks for that, Gary! Is that Ditty Deamer's site? It's been a long time since I visited her pages. They are wonderful!

I never had the you tiao on the jian bing, but just the plain with egg, scallions, & chili was wonderful. (wrapped in paper, of course)

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Thanks for that, Gary! Is that Ditty Deamer's site?  It's been a long time since I visited her pages. They are wonderful!

It sure is.

It's been a long time since she updated any of her pages. I have no idea what she's up to these days.

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Pan, if you ask your brother what hotel you;re staying in in Beijing, I can think about the places we used to go in the vicinity of the hotel, if I know the area.

L

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Thanks, Lucy. Would you believe he booked the Novotel Peace Beijing at 3 Jinyu Hutong

WANGFUJING? We're staying in a French hotel in Beijing! :wacko: Not my choice, but if that's what they want...

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Early in the trip, try to get to Ritan park which is near the Embassies, where in the park there's a fine little restaurant that serves traditional dishes.

I strongly second that. It's at the NE corner of the Ritan park: the Xihe Yaju restaurant.

I was invited there by a Chinese/Spanish couple living for 10 years now in Beijing.


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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1997, sigh. But when I saw Lucys recommendation, I couldn't resist. I liked this place very much, not only for food, but for atmosphere as well. And Beijing aside, I visited the southwest :smile:


Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Wangfujing is a nice place to be, Pan, centrally located. It's historically a marketplace, and they've recently done a lot of development in the area. You'll be between Tian Tan, The Temple of Heaven (where I used to walk a lot and one of my favorite parks in Beijing - I lived in Fang Zhuang just on the south side of the inner canal south of Tian Tan) and the Ancient south gate of the Emperor's palace, located in Wangfujing itself. To the north of the "gate" is Tiananmen Square. You'll be right in the middle of everything, very nice.

I have fond memories of exploring dirty little hutongs in Wangfujing and small alleyways within which are located many little shops and places to find bargains. From what I can see in some of the recent pictures, they may have razed the area and rebuilt - because a few years agon it was not the modern shopping area it's being showcased as now. Oh well. :unsure:

I've been thinking that you'll want to visit the Lao She teahouse. It's a place where you can get classic chinese tea snacks and see a Chinese opera performance. I liked it very much.

Lao She Teahouse

Address: Qianmen Xi Dajie, Bldg 3, 3rd Floor

Phone: 63036830, 63046334

I'll post more as I think of it. :smile:

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I've been thinking that you'll want to visit the Lao She teahouse.  It's a place where you can get classic chinese tea snacks and see a Chinese opera performance.  I liked it very much. 

It's somewhat ironic that the teahouse is a tribute to Lao She, who was driven to drown himself in a nearby pond by the Red Guards.

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Guilin is famous for thin rice noodles (in soup). They are very close to Vietnamnese Pho. (I think it's because of the geographical proximity). Noodle soup vendors are everywhere along major streets, but some of them did not look as clean and tidy.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I'm looking at possible day trips from Changchun to Jilin city, Shenyang, or/and Harbin. Any recommendations of eateries in those cities would be most welcome!

ShenYang: I was in ShenYang in January of 87, just once. ShenYang is a industrial city with many heavy machinery plants. Not much to tour and look at except the old Qing capital (before they settled in BeiJing). Air quality is terrible... comparable to Detroit.

I remember there was a major street near the train station where at night, all kinds of food vendors set up their kiosks selling their food. I bought some Braised Beef (dry). They sold them by whole pieces. I bought some (in 0F weather) and brought them back to my hotel and sliced them up and ate as snacks around midnight... hmmm, best thing in the world... along with some Snow Flake beer (sorry, no Tseng Tao that time)... The hotel didn't provide refrigerators, so I kept my bottles of beer just outside my window and let the real snow flakes chilled my Snow Flake beer!

Also, there was (hopefully it's still there) a big old hotel (forgot the name, ShenYang Hotel maybe), the one and only that had old Russian architecture, about 1 mile from the train station... I was very impressed with the hotel decoration. Ate at their restaurant on the ground floor. Very impressed with the food (Chinese, northern style).

Also ate a lamb hot pot at 0F weather in a small mom-and-pop restaurant (4 tables only) randomly chosen while walking on the street. Very nice.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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