About the same time I went AWOL from food blogging and Fb, I worked in Beijing for awhile. The experience opened my eyes and showed me how different life is across the strait. I lived most of my childhood in Taiwan and head over there twice a year (sometimes more) since I moved back to the States. Figured life in China wouldn't be so different from Taiwan since both countries speak Mandarin Chinese and are so geographically close that I swear you could swim from one shore to the other.
Nope. So very very wrong. What a culture shock. The only thing I could reasonably relate to was Mandarin Chinese, but even then Beijing residents speak in the northeastern accent....which to me is the equivalent of Californian vs a heavy fake Cockney accent. You know they're speaking the same language, but sometimes you just don't know wtf they're saying.
Yeah okay this isn't a travel blog. On to the food!
Here's some mediocre Zhajiang mian. My mother makes a better sauce. Those house noodles were terrific though. Good tooth and flavor. FYI, you're supposed to mix all of that together.
Now an example from fine dining:
Quan Ju De (and its equivalents) to the "oh hey this is still good!" at neighborhood restaurants. What we have in SoCal doesn't even compare.
I think it was around this time when I stopped taking food photos in Beijing. It was a lot easier (and more enjoyable) to just sit back in a restaurant, take it all in, and enjoy the new experiences.
Oh! And for some giggles, here is a Starbucks located across from Tienanmen Square:
Makes me sad to think all the good eats I had in Beijing can't be had here.