Everyone loves it. We all have ordered take out of it. Well, this trip introduced us to real Chinese food. For us, it's served family style, as we sit around a round table, with a huge glass lazy susan in the centre. First it's a big bowl of sticky rice, then some meat dishes, all different and yet, all the same. Some have chicken fried with peanuts and some is spicy beef and noodles. The vegetables are nearly always bok choy. Sometimes we get dumplings, and sometimes they are stuffed. Onions are offered in many dishes.
We are allowed one small glass of a beverage, a choice between beer, Sprite or Coke. Tea is offered halfway through, usually jasmine, a mild-flavoured tea. It's a huge amount of food, and at the end, they give us watermelon. That and the beer were the most popular items. Tom, our guide, tells us each restaurant is different, each dish is different, but our unsophisticated palates can't tell. Later on, we had shiny black fungi and strips of chewy mushrooms and vegetables we couldn't name. Spoons are the small ceramic ones and we have to ask for forks, as chopsticks are the expected utensil.
No trip to Beijing would be complete without tasting Peking Duck. Thin slices of tender duck breast, shreds of onion and celery and a spicy dark sauce, all wrapped up in a thin tiny tortilla. I'm sure there's a Chinese name for the tortillas, but I hear myself say, "It's a duck taco!" Nevertheless, it's a nice treat. I found out I like duck meat.
Breakfast can also be an interesting experience. Western style is offered, but so is everything else. Salads and sushi and this odd little fellow who actually tasted pretty good. If you can get past his antennae.
Forgive the blurriness. I couldn't seem to manage a decent photo.
As fun as the food is, it can get old fast. We did have Subway subs and KFC when traveling, which was a nice break, but for the most part, the meals were exotic and rich and I wasn't the only one to opt for soup and rice at some meals.
Come back tomorrow, as I show you something else of interest.