After the exhausting climb down the Great Wall of China, it was time for lunch! We actually spent a total of 3 hours just walking on the Great Wall itself in the freaking cold weather. Needless to say, our stomachs were growling by the time we descended. We were driven to a place about half an hour away (or more) for lunch, and I shamefully admit that I fell asleep in the car. It was a long time I didn’t hike! *shifty eyes*Anyway, the title of this post is as such because I can’t read the Chinese words of this restaurant’s signboard. Anyone care to translate it to me? It’s so embarrassing. I can only read the word ‘mian‘ in the middle, which means noodles right?
Anyway, it was past 2pm when we reached, and the restaurant was rather empty. We were even given a private room to dine in.
As usual, our hostess Joanne did the ordering, and she never missed out on cold dishes. The first dish that arrived was this cold dish which looked like a plate of noodles, but in fact, they’re a type of vegetables. I kind of enjoyed this dish, surprisingly. The ‘noodles’ were springy and slightly crunchy, very similar to the feeling of eating black fungus.
Cold dish that looked like noodles
Then there’s the black fungus, just boiled without any condiments. It’s also cooled to below room temperature, becoming one of the list of cold dishes available.
Finally, the hot dishes arrived. Yay! This was the hot-plate beef, which tasted amazing. It’s the most delicious dish of all in this restaurant. The beef slices were cooked to perfection, not gamey and very tender. It went perfectly with the bowl of steaming hot rice.
Look at the rice! It’s my favourite rice so far. Fat and short, and a little sticky, not unlike glutinous rice, and very similar to Japanese rice. I don’t normally fancy white rice in Malaysia but in Beijing, I could eat up one whole bowl of rice and wouldn’t feel guilty about it! 😛
Steaming bowl of rice
Almost every meal in Beijing was accompanied by a dish of fish. This was the fish fillet cooked in a broth which was sourish and slightly spicy. It was very appetizing just drinking the broth. The fish was extremely fresh too! The fillets were flaky and smooth. If only it had less bones. It’s the nature of the fish to have plenty of bones because all their fishes came from freshwater.
Sour and spicy fish fillet
Very fresh fish fillet
One of the highly recommended dishes from Joanne was this plate of fried flat noodles. It was apparently homemade from people living in the mountain area (where the restaurant was located), and it’s not widely available in other parts of Beijing. The noodles were made into a flat piece of dough and carefully rolled up into hollow cylinders, which were rather cute. The taste was very similar to pan-mee, just slightly thicker. My gripe would be that it’s a tad oily. But what can I say? This dish was called as ‘chao yau min’ in Cantonese, or fried oily noodles literally.
Fried flat noodles
We also ordered a plate of stir-fried vegetables including green capsicum and eggplants. This dish was just so-so and rather oily. Why would they use so much oil in their food? Maybe oil is cheap over there…
There was also the common dish of omelette, which was not very different from the ones we could get in Malaysia.
The lunch was very filling, due to the vast amount of carbohydrate I took (rice and noodles). Thankfully it was during the winter, so I consoled myself that the fat would be quickly burned off. Who am I kidding?
Anyway, after the heavy meal, Joanne brought us to a local shopping mall to shop for souvenirs. It’s called the Hong Qiao Pearl Market, which was a huge building housing all sorts of items from electronic gadgets, clothes to branded handbags. All fake brands, of course. My mother managed to buy 1 Rolex and 1 Omega watch here for a total of RM125. *LOL* But not without haggling of course!
Hong Qiao Pearl Market
It was funny how the people in Beijing negotiate with the customers. First, they would be very polite and smile sweetly at us. Then, when we showed the SLIGHTEST interest in the products, they would start to talk to us and say that their products were of very good quality, etc etc. So as a customer, we’d ask for the price. They’d quote a price, which would be way too expensive, and we cut the price by at least 70%. They would then show us a very shocked face and say that it was impossible to sell at such a cheap price. They would suffer a loss! Then, they’d give us a price which was probably 5o% of the initial quote and we’d still be stubborn and say no. They continued by saying it’s not possible to give us that price and almost begged for us to take it.
In the last resort, we would just leave the stall, saying it’s OK. Guess what, the salesgirl would change from their sweet faces to a frustrated/angry one, saying “FINE, I’ll give you!”. And I mean they’re really not happy! It’s either they really suffered a loss from the sale (which I highly doubt so) or they’re just very good actors. *LOL* Bottom line is that, never settle for more than what you would pay for. You would almost 99% of the time get the price that you want. 🙂 But the haggling process was really fun! We managed to haggle for a piece of 100% cashmere scarf to only RM10! That’s freaking cheap!!! Remember, in this market, customers are always right. *LOL*
For the rest of my Beijing, China adventure, check out my Beijing Itinerary.