January 26, 2018

Beijing

FEAST

I went back to Country Kitchen because I just had to try some more items on their menu.  And not surprisingly, I was totally glad I did!  I was so happy with this meal, I put in for another small pot of overpriced tea to finish up.

Country Kitchen at Rosewood Beijing

My first dish was kung bao chicken, and it was delish!  The chicken, the peanuts, the chili peppers all tasted so fresh and vibrant.  If anything, the caramelization was a little much, but like I've said before, I find so many Chinese dishes are too heavy-handed with the sauce.

Kung bao chicken:

Whole Sauteed Prawns

I asked the server for her recommendation of a noodle dish, and she suggested the braised beef with soup.  As it turned out, this dish seemed quite similar to beef noodle soup that you often find in Taipei.  Unfortunately, the beef, though flavorful, was quite chewy.  And the broth was a tad salty.  I probably should've tried a different protein.

Noodles w/braised beef:

Whole Sauteed Prawns

What I requested as an appetizer was served last...haha, why break the streak now?  These steamed pork dumplings with chives were insanely good!  The wrapping was light, and just a little bit of chili oil totally brought the dish to life.  Unlike their Korean and Japanese counterparts, these dumplings didn't really have any filler, it looked like pork and chives and nothing else.

Yeah, this place totally deserves a GI tract, and I'll definitely eat here the next time I'm in Beijing.

Steamed pork dumplings:

Whole Sauteed Prawns
Whole Sauteed Prawns

Fresh chili peppers in a pestle

Next was an order of wok-fried spare ribs.  They were served in what looked like toasted garlic and bread crumbs.  At first, I thought there was too much of the bread crumbs, until I realized they probably acted as some sort of a desiccant, drawing out excess oil from the ribs.  And yes, the ribs barely had any grease on them.  A terrific dish, really.

Wok spare ribs:

Whole Sauteed Prawns

After relaxing in the hotel for a bit, I decided to have dinner at this seafood joint near the hotel.  I came across it a couple days ago and thought I'd give it a try since they had these cool aquariums filled with geoduck, lobster and snow crab.  I almost wish I hadn't.

The place was on the fancy side but not much lived up to that.  For instance, my tablecloth was upside down; I probably wouldn't have noticed if the cloths didn't have this nice embroidered patterns on them.  But, that's a cute little mistake.  What's not so cute was the so-so service and them not knowing how to use their portable credit card machine.

Rongdexian

The meal started out with watermelon, honeydew and dragon fruit.  They were all fine, but I just wished these were served as a dessert.  A nice, light lager always makes a meal more enjoyable, methinks.

Fresh fruit appetizer:

Whole Sauteed Prawns

The first savory course to come out was the roasted grouper.  The dish totally looked like it was prepared in a wok, as opposed to roasted, but maybe I don't know the true meaning of "roasted."  Anyhow, the grouper itself was very good, and the scallion, ginger and bell peppers were a nice complement to the fish.

 

I hope I'm wrong, but the only problem I had with the dish is that the fish seemed a tad slimy which leads me to believe it wasn't very fresh.  Again, I hope I'm wrong.

Roasted grouper:

Whole Sauteed Prawns

My second dish was fried shrimp served in chili peppers.  They served a generous portion of medium-sized shrimp, but like the grouper, I wonder how fresh the protein was.  The edible shells were sticking to the shrimp meat.  That could be a function of overcooking rather than not being fresh, but even then, I found the dish too salty.

Factoring the cost of the meal and the barely-average service, this place was a pretty big letdown, unfortunately.  And that's certainly not the way I wanted my last dinner in Beijing to go.  It was cool seeing all the fresh seafood in the tanks just outside the restaurant.  I wonder if they actually ever use them....

Spicy shrimp:

Whole Sauteed Prawns