My Beijing Trip and Eats (Part 1)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

[Beijing Holiday Pics] Throwback from around 3 months ago on our Beijing trip!
It was a planned family trip for my Father-in-law's art exhibition at the Beijing's National Art Museum (More on that later) but it was also a EATING trip coz our friends came along to Beijing for a holiday too! Super fun and fond memories of the trip coz all I can remember is stuffing my face. All day, everyday!
Beijing Day 1 
Leaving for Beijing!
The flight was short and sweet (around 5 hours) and after a couple of movies, its time to land in Beijing! And I know Im in China when the bicycles have their own road lanes!
Cute car boot 'shop'.
It was still Summer then, so the weather was rather warm. Some sort like our local weather.
Dunno I photobomb him or cyclist photobomb me lol
Met up with our friends for a bit of shopping at Sanlitun 三里屯 - a well-known shopping district in the area of Chaoyang.
Happy jump! 
(except Gero)
They even have Hollister there! Wah lau damn regret never buy this top!
"Likers Gonna Like"
The main reason why we are in Sanlitun .. nope not to shop (the imported brands are really expensive) or eat at the restaurants there .. but to head to Hai Di Lao 海底捞火锅  in Beijing!
Haidilao, a Sichuan chain, goes the extra mile in the capital by offering astonishingly generous service on top of its fragrant bubbling broth. Hot towels and free drink refills are par for the course, but there can’t be many restaurants in the world where you can get a complimentary manicure and fruit plate as you wait in line.
Although we booked a table .. the crowd was CRAZY! And no tables for us~! Had to wait for around 45 mins before we got a table at last.
But the wait was definitely worth it. I love the mala soup there and its at least half the price in Beijing as compared to Singapore, with twice the amount of food! I guess the only downside is that its a smoking restaurant .. so I smell like cigarettes and hot pot after dinner.
Beijing Day 2
Back at Sanlitun again!
We had lunch with friends at Hatsune in Salitun Village and I really like the food there! 
Pearlescent sashimi and inventive California rolls are served in a hip but pretension-free atmosphere in this long-time Beijing institution.
Although the service was questionable (asked for water all round at least 5x to no avail, I had to grab a water jug from the service table and help ourselves even with staff just taking to each other- sob) , the food was great! Sashimi was fresh, and the California rolls was creative and delicious. The atmosphere reminds me of being in New York, with the hip trendy decor and blasting music. But most importantly, the fusion-inspired food was really quite yummy at a decent price. 
They have an extensive drink list and also alot of sake cocktails!
Reservations highly recommended.
Unicorn in the window!
We had a dinner with some local family friends at one of the most famous Peking Duck restaurants in Beijing - the Dadong chain of Peking Duck is synonymous for their ducks as well as a public roasting area where customers can observe the duck roasting process.
The nightly queues outside this 4,500-square-meter restaurant are all about the duck, but there’s more to the menu than Beijing’s signature. About 200 more dishes, in fact, comprise chef and general manager Dong Zhenxiang’s “artistic conception of Chinese cuisine.”
The chefs hard at work!
Back in our private dining room 
Looking at these pictures .. Im super craving for Peking Duck!
I kpo only.
Disturb the chef only.
The service at Dadong is impeccable and the food is all fancy with candles, or served on stone plates which is impressive looking and all but quite unnecessary as they are already quite delicious without all the fuss.
Nitrogen chocolate mousse balls! 
They freeze it with nitrogen, then drop them in dry ice and all you need is to pop one in your mouth. Weird but well..
Beijing Day 3
Woke up bright and early for brunch at Capital M!
Capital M is Australian restaurateur Michelle Garnaut's Beijing flagship. Dishes are big and bold, like M’s juicy suckling pig, the house-smoked Norwegian salmon and her signature slab of pavlova. Embossed tableware, imported Nepalese rugs, VIP service and snazzy open fireplaces bring it all together in glamorous harmony. And the view. Gazing out to the halls, towers and statues of Tiananmen Square can make anybody feel like a somebody. Amazing at sunset.
Brunch companions!
Bubbly in the morning sounds like a perfect idea.
The food! 
Portions are not big, but adequate. The service is top notch and the coffee is heaven. (Especially coz Im in China and I need my cappuccino.) But the best thing about the restaurant frankly, is the VIEW of Tiannanmen Square which is right opposite. (See first picture) 
I enjoyed my leisure 3 course brunch which came with champagne and dessert. 
After brunch, we took a short stroll to Qian Men Street
There are shops like Zara, H&M, Starbucks and a few other international brands.
And a short 'old street' which sells Chinese traditional cakes and sweets.
Street shot
While our friends headed to the Forbidden City, the hubs and I went back to look for my in-laws at the National Art Museum.
Its so pretty for a museum!
The National Art Museum of China 中国美术馆  is one of the largest art museums in China, and is funded by the Ministry of Culture. Its permanent collection includes both ancient and contemporary Chinese artworks as well as notable Western artworks. Although the museum contains collection of imperial Chinese art, its main mission is to serve as a national level art museum dedicated to displaying, collecting and researching the modern and contemporary artistic works of China.
A peek into the exhibition.
Some of my FIL's art pieces on display.
Then for dinner again .........
Ooops hahahah yes la 
This is my FAVORITE braised sea cucumber dish at Da Dong. The sea cucumber is super succulent! Chewy, bouncy and has the melt-in-your-mouth kind of texture even though Im not usually a fan of the dish. This sauce is thick and great with plain rice, and the aroma of dried chili and spring onions is so simple, but to-die-for. In fact we went back to Da Dong for the sea cucumber more than the duck. Shhh. 
See my sea cucumber ~ noms noms noms 
Chef craving duck at our table
After our fulfilling dinner, we took a slow walk around the Worker's Stadium and saw aunties dancing! Something like Line Dancing but China style lolol
The stadium was the main venue for the 1990 Asian Games, where the opening and closing ceremonies were held. Some high attendance matches of the Beijing Guo'an football club are held at the stadium.The areas north (Sanlitun), east and west of the stadium are popular nightlife destinations.
Had a quick nightcap before calling it a night!
Yes I am la.
Thanks for looking and will be back with Beijing Part 2 soon!
Gonna prepare for dinner soon and another post before continuing with Beijing, keke.
Have fun everyone, weekend is beckoning! 
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  1. Thanks Elaine for sharing the experience of your beijing tour and food also. That’s a awesome article you posted. I found the post very useful as well as interesting. I will come back to read some more.

  2. Awesome post. Now I want to visit Beijing also. Thanks one more time. :)


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