Since 1997 in Beijing, it’s been possible to answer “Where can I get a really nasty Old Fashioned and a 900-gram burger at 5am?” “Who’s showing the goat-wrestling qualifiers?” and “What happened to your phone?” with the same words: The Den. Last weekend, that all changed. According to the Beijinger magazine, quoting someone’s WeChat, the city’s only 24-hour all-in-one sports bar, restaurant, short-time hotel, crisis-counseling centre, divorced men’s networking club, Pattaya tribute venue and dipsomaniacal dog whistle is closing.
Following up on Sindicator’s last episode about Food Security in China, let's look at how food security and food safety go hand in hand. Simply put: security is about quantity, while safety is about quality. But let's be real, when we talk about China, we're always talking about quantity. And quality of that much quantity is difficult to oversee, especially in the context of MEAT.
"Just like China, meats and fish are popular in Britain," begins this video called "A Taste of Britain," by CRI's Stuart Wiggin and Wu Tong. "But in order to make that meat and fish taste extra special, it has to be complemented by other ingredients. Britain only has one such ingredient." Can you guess what it is?
Most people know better than to eat street malatang, which -- if you don't know -- basically consists of pieces of veggie and tofu and fish balls and squid and other indecipherable foodstuff stabbed on sticks and boiled/drowned in oil and spices. It's disgusting and no one likes it. But sometimes, because you're drunk or too prideful to say no to a dare, you do eat, and your stomach dies a little.
First published in November 2008 on the old Danwei under the headline "RMB 3 million foreign douche bag in Shanghai" -- aged mp3 link newly restored! -- this tape is a genuine recording from Sherpa’s from a freewheeling customer who really likes comped hamburgers and isn’t afraid to show it. At one point the brutal laowai -- use of the term here meant as pejoratively as possible -- tells the Sherpa's operator, who gives her name as Sunny, that she doesn't have a "sunny disposition" and chastises her on lacking a "sunny attitude."
On Saturday, Chinese president Xi Jinping surprised diners of a neighborhood eatery in Beijing when he walked in and ordered a set meal that included steamed buns, some veggies, and a chitterlings. It was a modest lunch that cost 21 yuan, reports Global Times.
But what do we know about this place, Qing-Feng, located in Xicheng District?
Look at Xi Jinping eating lunch. When the story broke yesterday that the president of China was spotted in Beijing ordering steamed buns at a local restaurant called Qing-Feng, I noted that we'd be seeing more pictures, since if you can't take pictures of the president of China on your camera phone, you might as well never take another camera phone picture again. Well, here's a video, which surfaced on Youku about nine hours ago. It is wonderful in the following ways:
This certainly looks like Xi Jinping in a crowded Beijing restaurant. Weibo user @四海微传播 wrote at 1:20 pm today: "People, I'm not seeing this wrong, am I? Uncle Xi came to Qingfeng to eat steamed buns (baozi)!" The same user messaged again at 1:34 pm: "Uncle Xi queued to buy steamed buns, even paid his own bill, carried his tray, chose his own buns." The message was forwarded by none other than the official Xinhua Sina Weibo account at 1:38 pm.
As you've surely heard, president Barack Obama has nominated Democratic Senator Max Baucus from Montana as the next US ambassador to China. Baucus appears to have support from both sides of the aisle and is expected to be confirmed soon.
This video, produced by Radio Free Asia, was posted in May, but it just got a big spotlight thanks to Washington Post and Foodspin, so, thanks, guys, for showing us all how low the lowest low in food production can get.
This story was never good to begin with -- authorities crack down on street barbecue vendors, who by the way may be passing off rat meat as lamb skewers, because they think street barbecueing contributes significantly to air pollution -- but the folks in charge have found a way to make it worse: more chengguan are expected to deal with this issue, because now fines are serious, as in quadruple what they used to be.
If you only had one plate and could make only one trip to the salad bar, what would you choose?
Take some inspiration from the pictures here -- posted to LabaQ and reblogged by the good folk of Kotaku -- which feature selected works from China's culinary Rodins.
Baijia Single Noble Black Bone Chicken Flavor Instant Sweet Potato Noodles, produced and sold in China, has been selected the world’s worst instant noodle brand in the world, according to American Hans Lienesch, a.k.a. The Ramen Rater, who apparently rates Ramen noodles professionally, having written more than 1,100 noodle reviews.
Xinhua News Agency reports that 904 people were arrested on Thursday as part of a nationwide crackdown on spoiled and fake food. How fake are we talking about? Deep breath time. “In Wuxi, in east China’s Jiangsu Province, suspects made fake mutton from fox, mink and rat by adding chemicals,” the news agency reported.
We know our friend Andray Abrahamian to be both a beer and coffee snob, so who better than he to discover an unnamed cafe in Pyongyang, next to the Pyongyang Hotel View Restaurant, that might well be North Korea’s first “third-wave coffeeshop.” (As Dray describes it: “For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘third wave’... Read more »
Like the most quintessential of Americana, chili is not complex — a stew of beans and tomatos, ingredients that fill the stomach, kick the tongue — yet it’s only with such a square, hearty base that we can sign our culinary art into the slight variances that elevate mere provision into the estimable domain of... Read more »