Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Grand Mansion Restaurant in Beijing
One of the things that I haven't had in a very long time and that I figured that I should get while I was in Beijing was some Peking Duck. My team knew that I'd been to popular places like Quanjude already, so they decided to take me to an outlet of Grand Mansion instead, which was yet another ornately decorated place, as apparently they served food fitting for Chinese royalty, including a bunch of other stuff beyond duck that frankly I wasn't that excited about.
So how about the duck? I was pretty let down. I was expecting that lovely crispy skin but instead they brought this out: small slices of meat with barely any skin attached - and not the crispy kind either. Even after rolling it up into that little burrito with sauce and scallions, it was a total bore. My colleagues said that each restaurant had its own style, and this is how they did theirs. Well, the only thing that I found interesting tonight was something that wasn't even from the restaurant, but rather something that my colleagues brought in as a half-joke: that little bottle of stinky tofu in the upper right hand corner.
See, the other night we somehow got to talking about stinky tofu, and the argument was made that stinky tofu in Beijing was totally different from the fried stuff that one gets in Taiwan. And it was...this one from a local brand called Wangzhihe was grey in color (mind you, this is the same team that seems to take delight in trying to test my limits with things like bees and fishmint). It didn't just smell like garbage. It smelled like feces rubbed under an armpit and then thrown into the garbage. The taste wasn't as bad as it smelled; it was salty enough to be a decent - if musty - condiment to things like rice porridge. But yeah, the sh*t stanked...so much that even the restaurant's wait staff could hardly come into our private room to service us.
Digested at 9:00 PM
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