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beijing food rundown

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waiting for my friend to come into shanghai so i've got some time to kill.
im gonna run down some of the places i ate for your and my own benefit before i forget!

starting backwards:
i ended my beijing visit with lunch at a super local style donkey meat (lu rou). the menu had a picture of a dancing donkey on it which was pretty funny. donkey meat came into conversation a couple times so i was like what the heck, give it a try... what was delivered was a smorgasbord of donkey meat.

place is called bao(3) ding(4) hao(3) zi(1) wei(4)
on jiu(4) gu(3) lou(3) wai(4) da(4) jie(1) #60.

i wouldnt say it was the most delicious meal ever, but they certainly had a lot of donkey meat! we had donkey hot pot, donkey sausage, sliced up donkey genetalia parts, sliced up other donkey parts. we ate these with very freshly baked bing which to be perfectly honest was my favorite part of the meal... we kept it real with the little shot sized jars of 80 proof bai jiu that cost 2 kuai. the rest of dishes were oily and forgettable...

actually the place i wanted to try was a taxi driver spot out by the airport. oh well...

penultimate meal and the previous nights late night snack after going to babi club opening was at bellagio, which is in gonti west gate. its probably the best taiwanese in town, and not really my first choice as i wanted to eat more stuff i cant get in LA but i was kind of forced to go here. the food is good and its a totall club scene with lots of "la mei"
dishes: shrimp with chilis, veggies egg and preserved duck egg, taiwanese sausage etc, a huge mountain of shaved ice and other stuff. the food here is always reliably good although i think the other locations food i recall being better but that was three years ago..

lunch was wasted at a fast food hong kong cafe with som foreigners (my one true dining disappointment)

dinner the previous night was a green tea house, which is another loser restaurant. again, at the encouragement of my cousin. its full on design. with artfully if a bit dangerously art directed dishes. i wont go into the food as i found it only okay tasting and essentially the price of fine dining in the states. the place is pretty cool though, i have to give props for that. and i also went to the new green tea house living way out in the middle of nowhere. i think its going to open soon...

another night was wasted eating appetizers at the addidas launch party... but they had 1000 bottles of decent champagne and a hsu chi appearance which made up for it. i wore nikes and knock off y3 which i found pretty amusing.

lunch before the party was xinjiang food inside language university (the one by the tennis courts)(yu yuan da xue formerly known as yu yuan xue yuan) we visited my old haunts at tsinghua, peking uninversity and beijing normal university.. the old xinjiang villages are gone, but this place had okay food. nothing spectacular but average xinjiang food is still pretty tasty... after this we visited the olympic center to see the birds nest and the acquatic center which are fucking awesome, and we went to 798 later to meet a photographer and creative collaborater with zhang yi mo..

a fun lunch was also had at 9 gate small eats (jiu men xiao chi) which is a collection of beijing food vendors collected into a nice house near hou hai. i think its fairly well known so you shouldnt have a problem finding it.

the food was good if a bit oily in regular northern fasion... dishes consisted of:
hu bing (lake pancake) which is a corn pancake with chives eggs, small shrimp and shia pi
chao ge de (which are small dough pieces stir fried with veggies or your choice of meat) like a mini mao er duo
xiar bing - pan fried pork bun that was freshly griddled ans spilling out oily juices
chao hong guor (a sweet and sourish haw fruitish preserve that is typical beijing)
niiu rou tiao (muslim beef fried things)
vegetarian friend pork intestines with garlic
yang nai lao (muslim goat cheese)
da lian huo shao (which are like a potsticker but theyre actully called "shoulder bags" as in what monks wear)
lu zhu huo shao - lu refers to the flavor. huo shao refers to the fat noodles or bread strips in the soup of beef liver and intestines. this was pretty hardcore

before this we went to see "the opera egg" and tiananmen and we checked out the deserted hutongs near qianmen which will become a sort of xintiandi style themed mall sadly enough. the hutongs were amazing looking all dilapidated and empty, and tagged by ak-47.. i also got to see perhaps one of my last bai cai mountains (napa cabbage mountains) that i remember so fondly..

had dinner on ghost street with an old beijing friend...forgot the name but can find it. the place was mobbed. the food was good and in an old courtyard building. we had a fried beef jerky dish, veggies, roast duck, a griddled duck crepe thingy and some soup.

after this we went to the opening party for a new club called china doll across the street from poachers. it was actually a good scene with decent music which was a shocker! open bar (as nearly every night in beijing was for me... awesome!)

day before we went to a couple artist villages out next to the huge film museum which will be opening sometime soon. they converted old train warehouses into artist studios. we had lunch with some artists at an awesome dongbei restaurant which is in an organic greenhouse where they grow their own veggies. i forgot the name but im sure i can find it if anyones interested but its kind of far out... food was great as our artist friend is dongbei ren and he ordered tons of food:

da feng shou - assorted organic greens salad with zha jiang fermented bean paste dip
lu yu - steamed fish
a three poultry and 6 mushroom soup served in mugs
huang mian mi - yellow sticky rice with red beans in teh center served with 4 dipping options
celery and donkey meat dumplings
yu mi dun xiao pai - dou chau green beans with pork spareribs
baked spareribs
nu er ha chi bing (a pancake with red bean)
da cha zi zhou (corn porrige)
we drank bai jiu (one infused with cucumber) and had ren shen hua tea which had mint and "go chi" in it.

night before had peking duck at "made in china" its fancy and good. thought the dumplings were very good and we had a sauteed duck liver dish that was tasty as well. wanted to go to the new da dong in the ming dynasty grainery but never made it.. checked out a friends band at yu gong yi shan (which is the premiere place in beijing for indie/art rock across from gongti north gate)

lunch that day was at the xinjian restaurant by gongti north gate before visiting the beginning construction of rem koolhaas' cctv tower.

i have pics and will post when i get back to LA

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  1. I look forward to seeing these pix. The place has certainly changed in the last quarter century. I lived in BaiDuiZi near what later became the normal university and the ganjiakou center of the uyghur and huimin folks.

    one of the things i really loved there was the cherry brandy made in or near beijing (yingtao bailandi). balanced and tasty.
    and the rotgut from hebei, luilingzui or something like that.

    sounds like a fun trip. But what a pity to have the HK and Taiwan stuff when you can get those elsewhere and know them. The donkey sounds like a bit much, even for me.

    1. yeah, i actually went to my old dorm room at beijing normal university this trip. actually that neighborhood still seemed relatively similar compared to the vast changes of the rest of beijing.

      almost all the hutong are gone, but its hard to point the finger when there are millions of people living in near medievel squalor, four families to a courtyard, communal bathrooms down the road in subzero weather and no insulation. still, its sad to see the part and parcel devastation of a centuries old way of life, and a physical history of a city...

      1. Is donkey meat very popular now in Beijing or before? I never tried that but always stuck with the lamb hotpot.

        1. its kind of disappearing now. it used to be much more prevalent, but you can still find it, but just gotta ask around... or you can find it in tianjin too!

          1 Reply
          1. re: modernist

            In cases of dishes I can't find I usually go to a reputable restaurant and ask them to special cook it for me. But thanks for the info, I'll look out for it next time I'm there.

          2. Where was the donkey restaurant? When I was in Beijing in 2004 and *finally* hunkered down for some gourou (in hebei, actually - sign was a glittery blue gou character with a little puppy dog face in place of the central kou... rather amusing). On the same trip, right in between the Flower Market and not Panjiayuan but that other touristy market along Dongsanhuannanlu was a donkey restaurant - closed to my utter dismay. I never sought it out on my return trip and regret it. Is it the same place?