Saturday, 22 October 2016

More Food Experiences

We were taken out for two other particularly memorable meals while we were in Beijing...

Below are Cookie and Lily, the delightful young women who went every day into each of the schools with us, to set up the bookstall and sell all the books. They discovered that we had not managed to eat Chinese hotpot yet.

Cookie and Lily said we had to try Hotpot before going home, so they took us out for a feast on our last afternoon. Turns out this has very little in common with the Lancashire Hotpot! We each had a little burner, over which was placed a decorative doughnut-shaped basin filled with boiling water. Then the table was laden with fresh food: various finely sliced meats, exotic mushrooms, beautiful green vegetables, more dumplings, this time in pretty colours...

Our job was to pop anything we fancied into our water bowl for a couple of minutes, then fish it out with chopsticks and dunk it into a bowl of delicious satay sauce before gobbling it down. It was a good thing it was our last meal, as we had both got remarkably proficient with the old chopsticks by this stage. Even Julia, who had gone with the fork option during the first week, was scooping and dipping like a pro!

We ate slowly but continuously for 2 hours, until we were completely stuffed (and the restaurant chucked us out). When we went to pay our way, Cookie and Lily insisted on treating us. When we protested, Cookie said 'Don't be Chinese!' Apparently the Chinese way is to fight to pay the bill, to show off how rich and influential you are.

Flora too insisted that we were guests in her country and were not allowed to pay. She took us out for Peking Duck to the very swish DaDong restaurant. It was another feast, where dishes kept arriving. The highlight was the Peking Duck though, which was carved at our table. I did a frantic sketch. Luckily it took him a good 5 minutes:

Thanks again to Flora and to everyone who was so kind and looked after us so well.


harvey anderson said...

This is all bringing back happy memories- lovely food, foot massages, lovely people.... We tried the hot wok too and I relised how tricky English can be when we dropped, lamb, ham and yam into it once.

Linda said...

Looks like a great time! Lovely photos, good food and beautiful smiles. I love the sketch, too!