Sunday, 9 June 2013

China: The Food Edition (photo heavy)

Chinese food is one of my big passions in life, well actually any food in general. I do love Chinese food though, and not the standard takeaway stuff we have over here in England. We dined in many places when we were there, not jut home cooking, but 5* hotels, to what I would call a right dingy dive. The only weird and wonderful item I tried, well, licked was a cricket stick thing the husband ate in Beijing.

We all know the Chinese are famous for eating weird and wonderful things, although I think this is mainly in the south, and thank goodness we were in the north. I don't honestly think I would have been able to face seeing someone eat a dog. 

Whilst in Jinan, the MIL thought I might be feeling a little homesick for western food so they booked us a table at some kind of western steak house place. And it was weird. 

Our first course. Well everything seemed to be in reverse so we got out dessert first. Ok well we might as well embrace it. Some kind of jelly and cocktail with ice cream. Second of all, and might possibly be the most disgusting was the fruit salad, with actual salad cream. Oh and to top it off, I ordered orange juice, and it came warm. Bleugh

So the second part of the meal arrived. Popcorn. Yep, with bread. And some weird cucumber soup. Oh and pumpkin cakes (bit of dim sum for us there). I forgot to show the pizza. 

And the final course, the part we had been most waiting for in anticipation was, the steak. Which arrived, no doubt the smallest piece ever with some weird cold mashed potato item covered in toffee sauce. This meal was on the whole, very weird. And judging by Chinese prices actually was quite expensive. 

(I couldn't find the photo of me making them, so have the husband instead!)

I did have the honour of being taught an age old traditional trick of making dumplings, which, I suppose went alright really. I can't remember how to make them since being back in the UK but I'm sure if push came to shove I would do an alright job. 

Cake, well we all know I love cake. And I must admit, in China, they do it better. Covered in some kind of fresh cream concoction and layered with cherries, this was the most delicious cake I had ever tasted, and best of all, it was free. The local bakery, aptly named Holiland, must regularly do offers when you can pick up around £4's worth of cake for free. I was happy to get couponing for this bad boy!

We did obviously head off to Beijing for the remainder of our honeymoon, and that's where the tourists hit the weird snacks. Obviously the husband had to eat them, as he likes all weird and wonderful creatures. The closest I got was licking a grasshopper. But I did love the candied fruits on sticks! So many strawberries were eaten over those three days!

Yes, the scorpions were still alive... 

The best place I think to go for food overall, are in the shopping malls. They are sort of gourmet streets and you pay for a sort of debit card which you top up and pay for your food with. These are popular in Thailand as well so luckily I knew what I was doing, unlike the husband!
The best meal I had was in a gourmet street food court in Beijing. The whole meal cost around £2, and trust me, you got a lot. The bowl was bigger than mine and my husband's head! Full of gorgeous lamb soup with noodles and vegetables. I couldn't have wished for anything better, and I'm quite often trying to replicate it over here as I would love to have that meal again. 

To top off our trip to Beijing, on the last day before we flew home we were lucky enough to find the best duck restaurant ever. We saw this featured on a BBC TV show with Ken Hom and Ching He-Huang. We were also really lucky to meet the head chef, who was more than happy to chat to us and let us take photos! This particular duck restaurant is situated in a small hutong village which even the locals didn't really know how to find, it's quite a western place now as it became so popular on TV. I know I had many more photos of the actual cooked duck itself but unfortunately as everything got mixed up I can't seem to find them now!

The whole situation may look extremely odd, and in some lights really dingy and not very hygenic, but I found myself feeling better after eating in most of the worst looking places!

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing interesting food from far away places! There is no way I would lick a grasshopper though :S xx