Haw Berries & Kumquats

Posts under ‘restaurants’

Beijing Favorites: Dining at the Salt Merchants 锦府盐帮


Most foreigners in Beijing might think of another salt-themed restaurant, but the Salt Merchants restaurant, by the Purple Bamboo Park, is the only one for me. I could happily go to Jinfu Yanbang (锦府盐帮) anytime for its unique and utterly delicious Zigong cuisine, which you might think of as a regional variation within the varied [...]

The Nicest Ice: Beijing’s Best Baobing


There’s little else I’d rather eat on a hot summer’s day than a mountain of shaved ice (刨冰 baobing) – sometimes in lieu of the meal itself. What better way to cool down during a blisteringly hot day in Beijing – or after a spicy chili-laden meal – than a mountain of snowy ice, heaped with all [...]

South Asia by way of Sanyuan Qiao: Tamarind

From 12 o'clock clockwise: dal makhani, whole wheat roti, subz handi, kade masale gosht (spicy lamb), butter chicken, rajma masala, murgh malai

What happens when we watch nothing but Bollywood movies week after week? Strong intermittent cravings for all things India, including, of course, Indian food. That’s when a trip to Tamarind is called for (it’s a little more convenient than Delhi). Tamarind is a bit unusual for me – it’s located in the Beijing Marriott Northeast [...]

Huen Phen Magic


We went to Huen Phen twice during our Chiang Mai trip, and each time, the experience was transformative. Imagine this: it is 38°C in Chiang Mai. The sun is beating down. The wats are shiny. We’ve been wandering around, looking at things, and getting hotter and sweatier, melting a little more with every step (I [...]

Pork- and spice-high in Chiang Mai

Northern-style sausage at Huen Phen

Thailand had never been very high on my list of places to visit: it’s taken me nearly five years of  living in China to make the relatively short trip. And now I see that I have been terribly wrong – as soon as my plane landed in Beijing and the last Kop khun ka of [...]

The Berries Best

Chicken with peppers and konjac root jelly

This year, as last year, I was invited to be an expert on theBeijinger’s 2011 Restaurant Awards. Though sometimes the winners are rather consistent from year to year, the award ceremony is always fun to attend, and it’s interesting to see which new restaurant has managed to win the most hearts. But alas, most of [...]

My favorite hot pot

bronze hot pots

Forget Ding Ding Xiang. Forget Donglaishun. When real Beijingers want a good mutton hot pot in the middle of winter, they head to Jubaoyuan, in Niu Jie. Why Jubaoyuan? The mutton and beef are fresh and delicious, the prices are reasonable, the traditional bronze hot pots are steaming and atmospheric, and the shaobing are the [...]

At least 18 very delicious things I ate in 2010


This is not quite a list, as I seem to have missed the season of lists, but rather a brief look at some of the most delicious things I encountered last year. It’s also far from complete or definitive – perhaps a more accurate description would be “delicious things I ate last year that I [...]

High hopes and high views at Grill 79


The distinction of a metropolis’ highest restaurant is usually a proud one, but in Beijing it can be a dubious honor. One step closer to the smog! A better vantage point for admiring the endless gray expanses in every direction! Such a visit would seem to be a guaranteed depressant. So we planned with caution [...]

In which there is pastry love: Shin Yeh 欣叶


Even after five years in Beijing, my boyfriend can never stop reminiscing about the incredible, unbeatable mochi he ate in Taiwan. None of the specimens we tried in Beijing met his lofty expectations – for they were prepackaged, out of a box, while those from Taiwan were made and sold fresh, from the street. Then one day we ate some mochi at Shin Yeh (欣葉) – not surprisingly, a Taiwanese restaurant, and one of the finest in Beijing, too.

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