The Peking Duck, in Peking

Believe it or not, rice is not at every meal.  When it arrives it’s always at the end of a meal so one does not fill up on rice before the main course.  Is that the Chinese equivalent of the Atkin’s Diet?
Last night’s dinner was fabulous.  I HATE spicy food and through the many thousands of regional cuisine here, most have chilli.  I don’t do chilli!  Last night was Cantonese, the Chinese us in the West are used to.  Sweet and flavoursome.
I awoke to go to the closing ceremony of the Yi Yin Cup.  After breakfast it was time to go for lunch at 10am!  Like everything in China it started late and it seems everyone that is official needs to speak, and I mean everyone.  After every person is introduced everyone stands and raises their glass.  Then the next and so on.  45 minutes later…  We had Peking Duck, yes, I have finally had it in the right city.  I do prefer the one from the Mayflower at Clapham South where I live.
Lunch was mediocre, the prize giving boring.  The garb they dress me in!  Definitely not London wear!
This afternoon we had the day off and ventured into Beijing.  Five of us tried to get 2 cabs that would follow each other, Chinese drivers don’t do that apparently.  So we tried the subway.  Don’t!  I don’t know where we ended up.  It was great, dirty poor city, broken pavements with beggars (down town Beijing).  After passing many shops of various guises, not like in the UK,  we went for dinner. A special one.  An official told us on the bus something about the restaurant that really meant little to us until we got there.  The Chefs were standing outside singing, holding a large banner welcoming us.  Then out jumped the Service Girls, singing and dancing with their coloured plates of plastic food.  I did not judge their performance today!
As we sat down, we were given rolled scrolls with the menu on. As we opened them we realised just how much food there was to be eaten.  The menu read – may I add in the order served:
  • Chestnuts
  • Almonds
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Dessert Combination
  • Shrimp, lotus seed and lotus root in jelly
  • Peanuts in purple colour
  • Tomato with honey sauce
  • Cucumber and beef
  • Marinated Chicken
  • Fennel Knotts
  • Braised Assorted Delicacy (per person)
  • Sautéed leefah with minced chive
  • Baked Wild Yellow croaker in casserole
  • Bamboo shoot and abalone cooked by hot stones
  • Sautéed shrimp and diced chicken
  • Healthy vegetable
  • Pumpkin
  • Baked mushroom
  • Roast lamb chop with cumin
  • signature six flavour veal rit
  • Crispy corn cake
  • Tiramisu
  • Traditional sour and spicy soup
  • Fried noodles
May I say all was fine except:
– Marinated chicken had it’s head on with comb looking at me and tongue hanging out.
– Braised assorted delicacy was a sea cucumber – about 4 inches long and tubular, dark green with spiky bits all over.  It moved.  So did I.
– words like casserole and baked have new meaning here, I don’t know what they are on about.
-Tiramisu was as we know it, but why before soup and hot noodles?
Indeed, eat, swallow and smile for the camera.  The whole thing was filmed.  And every 10 minutes the dancing girls appeared with different plastic food.  How novel!
On the way back we looked at the sky.  The sun was florescent in the pollution.  The sky is always grey.
Please send a chicken sandwich!
Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “The Peking Duck, in Peking

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