Monday, January 25, 2016

Beijing 147 - Red Theatre Beijing Kung Fu Legend Show (北京红剧场功夫传奇)

Red Theatre Beijing Kung Fu Legend Show (北京红剧场功夫传奇) is the place to get your Chinese Kungfu crash course in less than 2 hours. We booked our tickets (RMB260 for 2nd cheapest tickets seated on 2nd row from the stage) through phone and went to collect the tickets just before the show started at 7.30pm. The entire show was conducted in English as it was mainly catered for the foreigners. Big Teddy found it amazing, typical westerners reaction but for Chinese like myself, i found the show quite cheesy as we grew up watching stuff like those on TV all the time. It was nonetheless fun night out with some nice choreography in between. I won't rush to go back there again but it is a good place to bring your westerners friends to "experience" some basic 101 of Chinese Kungfu... 

Official Website: (Chinese only): 
Address: No.44 Xingfu Street, Dongcheng District (50 Meters East of Tiantan Hotel), Beijing 100061, China

Tel: +86 10 51662527

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Beijing 146 - Najia Xiaoguan Restaurant (那家小馆(酒仙桥店))

Najia Xiaoguan Restaurant (那家小馆) is a good place for typical Beijing Imperial cuisine. We went to the branch located at 798 Art District after we took a morning stroll around the art district. Since they didn't allow us to order just half the Peking Duck, we decided just to order 1 Peking Duck (RMB268) and 2 other vegetable dishes (I quite like the Spinach with Sesame Sauce). The Peking Duck was different from the one we had at Xi He Ya Ju (click post here), we both agreed that we preferred the other one better. This one here wasn't bad, but instead of separating the skin and the meat, they just sliced them altogether. Nonetheless, it's still a good place to try other Beijing Imperial dishes if you have more people to share, as they have quite a few great unique dishes on the menu. However, we couldn't be too greedy and waste too much food just for the 2 of us. Perhaps another time then.... maybe....  

We couldn't get enough of Peking Duck
The full set of Peking Duck
Green Salad (那家拌菜)
 Spinach with Sesame Sauce (麻酱菠菜)
Inside the restaurant
The branch at 798 Art District

Address: No.2 Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China (朝阳区 酒仙桥北路2号(近798艺术区北门)) 
Tel: +86 10 59789333/ +86 10 59789999 
Business Hours: 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm daily 

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Beijing 145 - Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant (眉州东坡酒楼)

Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant (眉州东坡酒楼) was just across our hotel in the New World Shopping Centre so we popped by for a quick lunch after we checked into the hotel. The place was quite full when we were there and had to wait a while for a table, but as soon as we were seated and ordered our food, the service was speedy with dishes coming out quickly. As usual, we over ordered for just the 2 of us as we wanted to try a variety of food. This restaurant serves mainly Sichuan cuisine, which is quite heavy in taste. I loved most of the dishes ordered, particularly the steamed fish fillet and the Dongpo Pork Knuckle. Both the noodles were great too as I'm a sucker for noodles. For RMB322, it was quite an expensive lunch but what the heck, we were holidaying and why not eat like kings and queens once a while?

Sweet Vinegar Pork Ribs (糖醋排骨) for RMB36
Spicy Steamed Fish Fillet  (葱香龙俐鱼柳) for RMB58
Bamboo Shoots (锅烧春笋份) for RMB39
Dan Dan Noodle (担担面) and Sour Spicy Noodle (酸辣粉) for RMB7 each
Dongpo Pork Knuckle (东坡肘子) for RMB80
Kung Pao Shrimps (宫保虾球) for RMB78
Address: 1-2 Floor, Xinshijiebaoding Department Store, No.7 Dongdamo Chang St., Dongcheng 
(东城区 东打磨厂街7号新世界百货时尚店1-2楼(近崇文门地铁2号线西南出口)) 
Tel: +86 10-57393036 
 Business Hours: 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm daily 

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beijing 144 - New World Beijing Hotel (北京新世界酒店)

New World Beijing Hotel (北京新世界酒店) was our 2nd hotel in Beijing during the last trip as I want to experience different part of the city. We paid RMB2,394 for 3 nights (RMB798 per night), which was quite reasonable for a 5-star hotel in Beijing. This hotel has 309 rooms, an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, fitness center, 3 restaurants and a rooftop bar. Although this hotel appears to be locally run, the service standard and room quality is one of the best that I'd stayed in a long while. The room was spacious and fitted with great quality furniture and up to date electrical items. The heated swimming was a nice touch during our winter stay. We also tried 1 of the restaurants and the rooftop bar, which were good although they were quiet with handful of patrons. The hotel's location is very close to Tiantan Park which Big Teddy had great fun running in the winter weather. There are a few huge shopping malls nearby and close to Chongwenmen subway station, hence plenty of eateries, massage places and convenient shops nearby. Can't really fault the location as it's a good base to move around.  
Overall, it was a total change from the small charming Hutong hotel to a brand new modern city hotel. Both were nice and we were lucky to have experience both in this trip. 

Our superior king room
Open bathroom with free standing bathtub 

Love the mini bar
Hotel Lobby Bar
Changing room for gym and swimming pool
Lockers for gym and swimming pool
Indoor heated swimming pool
Pool loungers 

Address: No. 8 Qinian Street, Chongwenmen, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100062, PRC 
Tel: +86 10 5960 8888

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Beijing 143 - Yu Jia Ao Restaurant (渔家傲) @ Mutianyu

After our morning day out at the Mutianyu Great Wall, we stopped by Yu Jia Ao Restaurant (渔家傲) located at the village just outside the Great Wall entrance for lunch. Mutianyu Great Wall is located at Huai Rou district which is famous for trouts farming, and this restaurant allows you to catch your own rainbow trout then cooked it on the spot for you. 
First, we picked a trout from the pond and send it the kitchen for cooking, then we went back to the restaurant to order the rest of the food. I felt kinda bad for the fish that Big Teddy picked as the restaurant staff picked it up and knocked the life out of it in front of us. 
Since there were only 2 of us, we only ordered few dishes. started with the cold seaweed and tofu salad (RMB16), then Braised Pork with Chestnuts (板栗红烧肉) (RMB42) and mixed vegetables (RMB22). Of course the star of the show was the Grilled Rainbow Trout (烤虹鳟) (RMB28 per 500gm + RMB12 cooking fee), which was grilled with chili and pepper to perfection. We really enjoyed the lunch at this small village restaurant in the suburb of Beijing, away from all the crowds of the city dwellers. Definitely will stop by again for some grilled fish next time I come by Mutianyu Great Wall, although I wonder when will that be???

Catching live fishes
Braised Pork with Chestnuts 
Seaweed and Tofu Strips Salad
Mixed Vegetables
 Grilled Rainbow Trout 

Address: HuaiRouQu BoHai Zhen Wei Dian Cun, Beijing
怀柔区 渤海镇苇店村(近慕田峪长城)
Tel: +86 10-61621468

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Beijing 142 - Great Wall at Mutianyu (慕田峪长城)

As Chairman Mao once said, "If you don’t get to the Great Wall you’re not a good man." (不到长城非好汉). So if you ever come to Beijing without visiting the Great Wall, you can't call yourself a good man... literally.
Great Wall at Mutianyu (慕田峪长城) is 1½ hour away from Beijing City by car and less crowded compared to the Badaling Great Wall which is nearer and easier to get to. We hired a car for a day to take us to the Mutianyu Great Wall which opens daily from 7:30am–5:30pm. I'm quite familiar with this place as I'd came here twice before when I was living in China 7 years ago. However this place had transformed so much since I last came here in 2009 where they had a huge exhibition center, a huge commercial village with shops and restaurants. The entrance ticket was RMB45 per pax, but we had to add return shuttle bus ticket for RMB15 per pax (we used to be able to walk up to the chairlift station straight away), and return chairlift/toboggan ride for RMB100 per pax. Hence, all in cost per person was RMB160 which was much more expensive that my last trip which cost RMB96. Can't complain about China's inflation can we?
Anyway, it was a warm winter when we were there and the sky was slightly smoggy with on brown bald trees in sight. We had some snow on the Great Wall and that was the only bit of snow that I last saw during that trip. The view was bare as compared to the beautiful summer/autumn views, or even the great winter view that covered with deep white snow. Guess I wasn't that lucky with snow that time around. Anyway, for summer pictures of Mutianyu Great Wall, please check out my old post (click here). 
As usual, the highlight of the trip was the toboggan ride down which one could get some fast and furious actions by speeding the toboggan. Big Teddy definitely had his fair share of fun sliding down the toboggan slides in full speed. He even complained that I was too slow and took a video of me slowly gliding in... Well boys will be boys aren't they?

Some quick facts about Mutianyu Great Wall:
  1. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is a masterpiece of restoration, with 23 original-style watchtowers fully restored in 1986. 
  2. Mutianyu is the longest fully-restored Great Wall section open to tourists. 
  3. It is 2½ km (1½ miles) long. 
  4. The Mutianyu Great Wall was first built by the Northern Qi Dynasty in (550–577) over 1,400 years ago. Today’s wall is a replica of the fortifications of 1568 in the Ming Dynasty. 
Ticket Centre that was newly built (Wasn't there when I last came in 2009)
Chairlift to go up and Toboggan to come down
Little bit of snow

The watchtowers 

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Beijing 141 - Xinjiang Red Rose Restaurant (北京新疆红玫瑰餐厅)

Xinjiang Red Rose Restaurant (北京新疆红玫瑰餐厅) is one of oldest Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing close the expats' hotspot, Sanlitun (三里屯). I took Big Teddy there just for a different culture experience as he has not seen Xinjiang people before nor tried any of their food. So I explained to him that Xinjiang people are mostly Muslims hence it will be a pork free restaurant. We went during a week night and the restaurant was very empty. I ordered a few Xinjiang dishes to try based on some online recommendations but the food was just okay, except for 2 standouts, the Deep Fried Milk Custard (炸鲜奶) which was extremely addictive, and the Lamb Skewers (羊肉串) which was expected of a Chinese Muslim restaurant. The performance by a male belly dancer was a little bizarre and cheesy but I guessed show must go on even the audience were few. For a RMB255 dinner for two, it wasn't the best meal we had in Beijing, but we were mildly entertained by different ethic culture and ambiance that this big city has to offer. The other Xinjiang restaurant that I'd tried before was Xi Yu Fan Zhuang (西域饭庄) (review here) which was more authentic as it is located inside the Xinjiang Provincial Government Office in Beijing and has a standard to live up to with the government servants next door. 

Lamb Stew and Naan (囊包肉) RMB78
Xinjiang Cold Noodle(新疆凉粉) RMB21
Pulled noodle (拉条子) for RMB18
Deep Fried Milk Custard (炸鲜奶) RMB36
Lamb Skewers (羊肉串) RMB10 each
Male belly dancer as performance
Address: No. 7, Xingfu Yicun, Chaoyang District 
朝阳区 工体北路幸福一村七巷(永利国际和世贸大厦)
Business Hours: 11.00am - midnight daily
Tel: +86 10 6415 5741 

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Beijing 140 - Crazy Chicken Wings Restaurant (疯狂烤翅后海店)

Crazy Chicken Wings Restaurant (疯狂烤翅后海店) located at Hou Hai along the man made lake has my favourite chicken wings in the world, the Extraordinary Spicy Chicken Wings (变态辣鸡翅). For RMB10, you will get a pair of chicken wings of your choice (they do have honey flavour) but my favourite is the one and only Extraordinary Spicy Chicken Wings which will send normal people to hospital after eating it but I'm no normal people when it comes to spicy food so I LOVE LOVE LOVE the super spicy chicken wings. We also ordered the other skewers like prawns, lamb, vegetables and buns (ranging from RMB3-8 each) but the star of the show was definitely the chicken wings. Big Teddy tried a piece of the Extraordinary Spicy Chicken Wings which almost killed him but he was smart enough to stay with the normal spicy chicken wings afterwards. Well I couldn't resist my craving for super spicy food so I dragged Big Teddy here twice during our stay in Beijing. Just give me Extraordinary Spicy Chicken Wings and I'll be a happy girl~!

Look at the spicy red extraordinary spicy chicken wings!
Another shot using my iPhone and Instagram filter...

Address: 50 Yandai Byway, Xicheng, Beijing, China (北京西城区后海烟袋斜街)
Tel: +86 130 5106 1234
Business Hours: 12:00pm - Midnight daily

For my other posts on Beijing, please click here.
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