目前分類:♪Destin' -> Beijing (6)

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M was very excited about the reunion that he orchestrated for his university mates in Beijing, and decided to hold the gathering at The Tree, in Sanlitun - the LKF of Beijing. One couldn't help but wonder how true could his claim that this is the best place ever for pizza in Asia... these people from the States always seem to indulge in the superlatives in their vocabulary~ come on, fantabulous pizza in Beijing? (ETA: just got an email from him saying the best pizza is at the Hyatt in Mumbai... that totally proves my theory!)



This being my first visit to the capital, I obviously, didn't have any say... we walked past many trendy bars in the Sanlitun area before reaching the hidden alleyway where The Tree was located. One cannot miss the big wood fired pizza oven right at the entrance, where the pizza chef was busy rolling out pizza dough base after pizza dough base...

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More from the Beijing series~ 

K found out R was a vegetarian at our dinner gathering on Sunday, and said we must try Pure Lotus during our stay in Beijing. K's boyfriend is a strict vegetarian and this is his fave restaurant in Beijing... to be honest I was highly sceptical at how great a chinese veggie place could be, I mean, I do like going to Kung Tak Lam every once in a while, but still... especially since by going to Pure Lotus, this had dashed my hopes of visiting Dadong Kaoya for its legendary peking duck...



Pure Lotus is situated in a hidden corner of Chaoyang district, and our taxi driver had a lot of difficulty finding the place. My suggestion would be to call up the restaurant when you get onto a taxi and ask them to give the driver the instructions direct - this almost always worked. After a number of frustrating turns, we finally arrived, dishevelled, at the serene and calm Buddhist veggie Pure Lotus.


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After a morning of sight seeing, M suggested heading to Hou Hai to have a chill out lunch at this fab Vietnamese place he knows. Us four ducklings, without a clue as to where we were, were obedient followers and Hou Hai we went.

After a 20 min cab ride we arrived at this place that looks errily similar to Boat Quay in Singapore, albeit with more Chinese-y buildings. There weren't many tourists this pleasant Monday lunch time, and off we went in search of M's destination. Most of the buildings along the lake have kept their traditional facade but completely revamped on the inside - with the majority being restaurants and tourist galleries.

We began doubting M's sense of direction after he brought us all the way to the end of the footpath and back, especially since he already called up K asking for directions. Bossy me decided to take charge and began flipping our tour book to find the address - at that point I made this startling discovery - we were in Hou Hai (back of the lake) while the restaurant was in Qian Hai (front of the lake) - totally at the opposite end! We agreed to just stay in this nice area and decided to try South Silk Road.

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After our eye-opening stroll at the night market, we made our way to the Grand Hyatt, where we have reservations for dinner at Made In China, its Chinese cuisine which has been getting rave reviews from everyone I know. Expectations were high...



We walked into a modern and sophisticatedly decked out dining room, with some Chinese touches here and there. My first thought was that this place looks very similar to Mezza at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore - not sure if it's the same designer. Anyway, we were starving by now (it's 9pm) so everyone was eagerly waiting for the food to arrive.

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After settling down at our hotel, we immediately headed out for the Wang Fu Jian area for dinner. Since we had an hour to spare before our reservation, we decided to walk round the Dong Hua Men night market. Not a good idea when we were all on empty stomaches.

The night market consisted of a long busy stretch of outdoor food stalls right round the Wang Fu Jian main street, offering a wide variety of food.

Most of the stalls we encountered were selling meat and veggie skewers. The chargrill aroma was pretty intense and the hawkers were very eager to get any type of business. There was a wide selection, from lamb, beef, chicken, to intestine, tripe, and even weird looking bits. R, who is a vegetarian, steered clear of the stalls and looked rather ill at ease.

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My motivation to post dropped again to zilch after my last post, but was revived with the discovery of one lone reader of this blog (thanks CXB). So I now feel obliged to post a quickie here... 

I took a week off in late May to visit Beijing, courtesy of M, who was ever so kind to let me join his "ECRST Summer 06" tour group. This was my first time as a tourist there, so everything was an eye-opener. Must admit that before the trip, I was concerned with the hygiene level with the many horror stories one hear. But must admit was more than pleasantly surprised by how developed and advanced the place has become since my last visit (which was a biz trip and consisted of two destinations - airport & hotel). Of course, much of the credit goes to M, who did a great job in organising and attending to our every single whim and request. (am trying to make amend for all my complaints whilst on the trip... )

Anyway, while waiting for the other three members of our little tour group to arrive at Beijing airport, we nipped off to the basement of arrivals lounge for some lunch - since we had more than two hours to spare. After checking out the proper restaurants, we settled on the foodcourt, which seemed the most popular of them all.

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