Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Wo xiang chi

The title of this posts means "I want to eat". Since I am no longer dragged to various banquests and special dinners out, I am no longer required to eat foods such as live lobster, fried sea worm, or pig's lung, although I did quite like the pig's lung. Instead I now must fend for myself for meals and that is A.O.K. by me. I should note that this post is in answer to a question my Dad asked me. And yes, I know I have not finished blogging about my Three Gorges Trip. There are only a few days of it left to talk about, and I promise I will get to that later.

So, where/what do I eat? Lunch is almost always at work. There are two cafeterias: both offer a Chinese entrée or dumplings and one of them offers Korean food, which is very spicy. Neither is really good though... I swear; more companies should take a lesson from GlaxoSmithKlein. Their food was to die for, not die from like here. Dinner? Now that's another story. I get to go where I want for dinner. Here is a listing. The first two are easily where I eat the most frequently.

Oh, one more thing before I get to the restaurants. Dad, you will be proud. I'm ashamed to admit, but I've been convert...

...I like Marmite now. Louise and Claire had some in their flat that was brought to them by a friend in England. It is really good in a sandwich with some cheese. And yes, because there are soooo many Brits here, I have started picking up British words like flat and fortnight.

Tudali - a chain Korean food restaurant. I have only discovered this place recently and I will go there often. My two favorite dishes there are Korean sushi (which is vegetarian) and a spicy, pepper/onion/pasta dish where the pasta is as thick as your finger. They also do a very nice BBQ chicken kebab there. I have started eating here twice a week or so.

The Korean – I don't actually know the name of this place, but it is a Korean owned restaurant across the street from where I live. You order a meat dish such as beef, pork, lamb, etc and they bring it to your table where you cook it yourself in an electric skillet with onions and spices. They provide a bowl of garlic penut sauce and lettuce leaves. You wrap the meat and onions up in the lettuce and eat it like a fajita. You also get a bowl of the best fried-rice I've had in China. When I eat here with Ngee Siew they bring a bowl of soy sauce, freshly chopped chili peppers, and garlic to use as a sauce. Amazing. I eat here at least three times a week.

The Chinese place next to that Korean minimart – you've probably guessed by now that I don't actually know the names of many of the places I eat. This restaurant sells these round roll things that are stuffed with beef or pork. It is almost like a cross between a hamburger and a Chinese dumpling. Amazingly good although very bad for you. I only eat here about once a fortnight.

KFC – look, there is on near the apartment, and sometimes I'm either short on time or craving some western food. I know its not good but I eat there once a week or so. And by "or so" I really mean "at least".

Jackie's – if I want good non-fast-food-western-food I go to Jackie's. It is a western restaurant owned by a young Chinese guy named Jackie. The staff have an incredible memory for names there and even after I had only been there once, they greet you by name as you walk in the door. By far the most popular place for groups of Westerners to have dinner, although. My favorites here are the chicken club sandwich, cheeseburger, fajitas, or fish'n chips. You can even get Newcastle Brown Ale, although it is 35 RMB per bottle!! I suppose I eat here once a week.

Outdoor BBQ – haven't eaten at any of these in a while, but there is a street that has many of these. You point to which skewers you want, sit down, and wait while it is cooked for you. There is a choice of lamb, chicken, pork, fish, chicken heads, duck tounge, chicken feet, chicken hearts, chicken wings, and chicken livers. I stay away from the weird chicken parts although the chicken wings are quite good. I haven't eaten here in quite a while though. Too cold to sit outside.

Pizzaland – There is a Korean owned place nearby that does a very nice pizza, chicken, or spaghetti. They will also sell you a container of Kraft Paremesan cheese for 20 RMB! Heaven! I only eat here about once a fortnight.

Jazz Island Coffee – again, good western food or chinese food depending on your mood. Quite expensive by Chinese standards, but they have 29 different varieties of coffee. When you can't stand the instant Nescafe swill with powdered creamer any longer, this is the place to go. They even put cinnammon in the espresso… do you have any idea how hard it is to find cinnammon in China? They also have a grand piano there that they will let me play. I can come in on a Saturday afternoon, order some coffee, and sit and play for hours. Too bad I don't have my books with me... I think the staff is getting sick of the same songs over and over. I guess I go here around once a week.

Sweet and Sour Pork Place – again, I have no idea of the name. It is a Chinese restaurant that caters to the bar scene downtown. When everyone is leaving Havana (out bar of choice) people will often head over here. Despite the fact that Sweet and Sour Pork is something on every Chinese food menu in the US, it is not a food that they actually serve here in China. This restaurant made a wonderful marketing decision and started cooking it for all of the tipsy westerners who miss Sweet and Sour Pork. It is sooooooo good. I eat here once a week, usually after leaving the bar, and usually very, very late at night.

Pizzahut – I have only eaten here once, but it is worth mentioning because in China, Pizzahut is a really nice restauarant. Any of the western food chains here are very expensive for Chinese even though it is must cheaper than at home. Pizzahut is fancy. They have all sorts of entrees that you wouldn't find on a Pizzahut menu in the States, and the pizza was very good.

California Noodle Fun – have never actually eaten there, and it is entirely Chinese food, but I wanted to mention it because of the name.

The only other good places to eat worth mentioning are all of my friend's places. Adriano cooks an incredible ziti with a really good sauce. Claire's version was very good also, but she has gone back to England now, so no more of that. A Brit named Paul had a few people over for dinner last night to his place where we had roast beef, carrots, spuds, and Yorkshire pudding... glorious. I have said I will cook for some people although I will need to use someone's kitchen since I have no stove. I think I'll make lamb biriyani (sp?), mushroom jack fajitas, or Pad Thai. I haven't decided yet.