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No Reservations: China (Dongbei)

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Good episode - I enjoyed seeing the winter in Harbin (have so far only been as far as Beijing myself). Some of the food looked extremely appealing, and his local host was quite charming with his Belfast accent. Have to say that the part with the eccentric Chinese businessman was just the tiniest bit...condescending...although Bourdain's commentary on the ice was amusing. For those in NYC or planning to visit and interested in this cuisine, there are now a number of very good Dongbei restaurants in Flushing - the NYT ran a big story about it and there is extensive discussion on Outer Boroughs.

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  1. I enjoyed the episode but there were peaks and valleys. The food-centric segments looked amazing but the ice fishing seemed like filler and the Russian angle could have been more interesting and less comical. Overall though I give it a thumbs up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: californiabeerandpizza

      The episode itself wasn't my favorite, but I give Bourdain kudos for going to a place I've never even heard of.

    2. I could have lived without the bit on the successful eccentric and his karaoke machine. After seeing Harbin, I really don't care to go there. Way too cold.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Phaedrus

        Harbin is nice to visit and would be a shame to skip -- just don't go in winter. October was lovely (warm days, cool to chilly nights).

      2. overall a nice episode but the food segments were the main thing as usual.

        Hopefully we get more episodes like the Brittany one.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Johnny L

          I know Bourdain and the Chinese love pig, and why it played such a large role in this episode. But, it kind of surprised me that we didn't really see lamb dishes. I've always thought that lamb was even more popular than pig in northern chinese cuisine.

          1. re: hobbess

            It is more so in northwestern China than in northeastern.