One of our most expensive dinners while we were in China was at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai. What makes the place expensive? They specialize in the coveted hairy crabs (大閘蟹) ever since the Qing Dynasty (around 1640s) and they are primarily shrimp. Hairy crabs are a seasonal delicacy only found in Asia. The small window of time when the female crabs produce the coveted roe (during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year, meaning during the autumn season). We ordered a feast just all about this delicious crab, from whole steamed hairy crab (our raw..
Okra is one of those few restaurants in Beijing where you have to find your way to your meal. Not too far fetched like going to Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) but instead of walking down the somewhat sketchy, old school hutong, you would be walking around a maze of slick glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers that look like corporate businesses. When you do find a security guard right outside sitting on a corner of an entrance to a walled entrance to what may be another cluster of buildings, that is where you should be — The 1949 Hidden City Complex...
Our other Peking duck-centered dinner (and it was our last meal in China) was at Made in China at the Grand Hyatt Beijing (where we stayed while in Beijing but more on that in a near future post). We arrived to dinner at 7 PM with a reservation for a table and the Peking duck. (You must reserve a duck ahead of time or you’ll never have one that evening.) The dark wood and steel eatery; floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Chinese knickknacks and a stylishly exposed kitchen behind glass set the atmosphere inside this 126-seat glitzy space. Dumplings and stir-fry..
Lobby of China World Shangri-La; Pastry display cases at Sweet Spot; Whole green tea mousse cake On one of our late afternoons in Beijing, we stopped by The Sweet Spot of Shangri-La’s China World Hotel. When entered the lobby of China World, it felt like we’ve just walked into a miniature Forbidden City. Filled with Ming and Qing era style artwork, the red and gold lobby gave us the impression of old school Chinese glamour. We were informed that the Sweet Spot is actually found at the hotel’s luxurious shopping and corporate offices that’s just beneath and connected to the..
The Opposite House; Jing Yaa Tang sign; Dining Room; Peering into the duck roasting area Jin Yaa Tang is a pan-regional Chinese cuisine restaurant anchored around Beijing’s most international recognized contribution to global cuisine – Peking duck. This restaurant is located in the Opposite House and the hotel is a pretty popular boutique hotel in Beijing, catering to a clientele generally much an even mix of well-off short-term-stay business travelers and well-off short-term-stay leisure travelers. So, instead of referring their guests elsewhere, Opposite House can now refer them downstairs to their very own venue right on the site. The Beijing..
Interiors of Ocean Grounds; Jim Lee the owner of Ocean Grounds Coffee When you travel to China, it’s generally hard to find a very good cup of coffee. I’m talking about the Third Wave kind of places we have in the U.S. like Stumptown or Blue Bottle, not that international chain that has a bright grass green logo with a white mermaid printed over it or similar ones that are born from Asian countries. I’ve “discovered” Ocean Grounds Coffee owned and run by Jim Lee. Lee is an American-born Chinese expat trying to educate the local Chinese what is a..
Lobby Four Seasons Beijing is one of the luxurious hotels in the bustling capital of China that opened late 2012. It’s a little bit off the main tourist hubs but it’s close to the city’s business and embassies as well as the capital’s popular shopping and entertainment hub Sanlitun. Having tea and many different dishes at the Opus Lounge We start our afternoon having tea at the sleek Opus Lounge filled with impressive artwork inspired by striking Chinese landscapes. This lounge is a grand two-story space that offers Asian and Western specialties during their daily afternoon tea. We peered into..
Lobby of Le Méridien; Interior of 789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge 66th Floor; The view from our room on the lounge’s 66th Floor Le Royal Méridien’s 789 Bar is another great spot to enjoy cocktails and a wide selection of Champagne. What makes this hotel bar stand out from others is the 360-degree uninterrupted views of Shanghai since the hotel is the tallest in Puxi and bar takes up the 65th and 66th floors. On the lower level, plush crimson armchairs gathered in intimate clusters encourage quiet conversation. Live music, original modern artwork and soft lighting underscore the relaxed..
Dining room at Nougatine & Menus Another great upscale dinner we had at Shanghai was at Jean Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, Nougatine at Three on the Bund. I ate at Jean Georges Restaurant and Nougatine in New York City but I was curious how it fared out on the other side of the globe. Three on the Bund is Shanghai’s newest epicurean lifestyle destination blending gastronomy, art, culture, and music in an elegant, sophisticated gathering place for dynamic people and stimulating ideas. It created and manages six award-winning restaurants and bars, The Cupola, and Shanghai Gallery of Art. It is also..