Vintage Beijing soda on a mountain

My family members took me to Fragrant Hills area of Beijing, where we visited a temple complex. The Fragrant Hills are a popular destination for Beijing residents, because they’re a way to get away from the city and into nature without having to drive for more than an hour. We took a cable car/gondola ride…

“Eating Bitterness” art exhibition

Last week I attended the opening of a new art exhibition at Chashama in New York. The exhibition, which includes modern art installations using a variety of media, as well as performance, deals with the contemporary Asian-American experience, intensely marginalized and misunderstood. “Eating bitterness,” or 吃苦, is a frequently  used saying in Chinese. “She deserves…

Jin Ding Xuan, again

The first time I went to Jin Ding Xuan was after a day of exploring the hutongs near the Lama Temple. I didn’t know the hutongs were also home to the Beijing Temple of Confucius. I went back a few days later, stopping at Jin Ding Xuan first for lunch. We started with a cold…

Jin Ding Xuan

The ding is a type of vessel which is one of the symbols of Chinese civilization in the Chinese consciousness. The ding is associated with power and domination, and the number of ding you could own was restricted by rank. The Shanghai Museum is even shaped like a ding! However, the ding cauldron did have practical uses, such as storage, ritual,…

Blue Frog

Blue Frog Bar & Grill is a slick American-style pub chain known for its accurate preparations of western food. I went to the one located in the prominent Guomao shopping mall complex in Beijing, with a view of the CCTV building. However, the food was definitely the best-looking part about going to Blue Frog, and…

Stewed frogs

For more coverage of Yunnan food, check out my posts from my trip there last year. I went to a restaurant called “Sea of Clouds” food (Yun Hai Yao) which served Yunnan cuisine. The modern interior tastefully incorporated Yunnan styling. We started with sweet glutinous rice with raisins and goji berries, topped with a candied…

Chinese Pizza Hut

Chinese Pizza Huts are pretty nice, and really different from the American Pizza Hut experience. The menu is always changing so whenever I’ve been in, I end up with something new. This summer, Chinese Pizza Huts were serving a pizza topped with langoustines (like very small lobsters), Chinese chili peppers, roasted peanuts, and Buddha’s hand,…

Mille-feuille cake at a Chinese Starbucks

Y’ALL. This mille-feuille cake I got out of the pastry case at a Chinese Starbucks was SO GOOD. It was rose-flavored (official name: Rose Mille Crêpe). Not only was the cream in between the numerous crepe layers wonderful, so was the rose-flavored jelly layer on top. The flower petals were very delicate and easy to…

Bibigo

Bibigo is a health-conscious Korean food brand. I’ve been a huge fan of their Chicken & Cilantro Mini Wontons (from Costco) for years so I was happy to try some of their other stuff at one of their sit-down restaurants. For 58 RMB, we got the Bibigo Rice, which had a scoop of rice plus…

Strawberry cheesecake bingsu

I’m not the biggest fan of bingsu. Probably because I don’t think it’s fun to eat alone and I’ve been in too many situations where I’ve had to face down the whole thing alone. Bingsu (or bingsoo,  설빙) is a shaved ice dessert popular in Korea. Syrup, condensed milk, fruit, mochi, red beans, and roasted soybean…

Lunch in Beijing’s Muslim quarter

After visiting the mosque from my last post, it was time for lunch. We went into one of the casual restaurants lining Niujie (literally Oxen Street or Cow Street, likely a reference to the halal diet of Muslims). I ordered liangpi (“cold skin”). Liangpi are noodle-shaped but aren’t starchy or doughy like noodles, but gelatinous. They are served cold…

Peking duck + more at Shang Palace

I just returned from a trip to China, where I ate a lot of good and bad food. The Shang Palace restaurant at the Beijing Shangri-La Hotel was good. Previously I’ve written posts on the banquet-style of eating for more formal occasions in China here and here. This one has the best photos 🙂 We…