The last post was about the traditional side of Beijing. This post will be about the non-traditional sights and foods of Beijing. Actually the food here is Yunnan cuisine, which is absolutely not local to Beijing, but I have pretty pictures so I’m putting ’em up here.
798 is the hip art zone in Beijing. They have a ton of independent galleries and boutiques and installations and sculptures.
Olympic Park consists of the stadiums that were used in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It’s looking a bit old and unkept, but if you go at night the lights are quite pretty.
We went for some Yunnan food because we were starving, it was close by, and the online ratings were good. Handy tip if you’re visiting China: http://www.dianping.com (they have an Android and iOS app as well) is the Chinese version of Yelp. Download it. The interface is very clean and intuitive and I can safely say that every single city dweller between the ages of 12 and 45 uses it.
Some okra in a spicy vinegary garlicky sauce. A rare find 2 or 3 years ago, this gooey vegetable is now the new health craze in China. Essentially mashed potatoes, but steamed in a little bamboo cup. I don’t know if it’s the bamboo vessel or the type of potato or the green onions sprinkled throughout, but this was so simple and delicious. Fish cooked with Yunnan spices. The ones that I can identify are chili and lemongrass. This tasted awesome. If you order fish in China, you will invariably get it with the bones still in it. Separating the bones from meat is easier than most think, and fish is tenderer when cooked on the bone. This beauty here is sticky rice mixed with pineapples, raisins, dates, goji berries, and pumpkin seeds steamed in a pineapple shell. It’s chewy, sweet, and a little savory and very good. Pork meatballs and mushroom soup. Like chicken soup for the soul, except it’s not chicken soup. There’s something very scientific about the design of the pot (the clay, the curvature, the tube in the center) that makes soups especially delicious but I don’t know enough to tell ya.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my time in Beijing!