Food worth flying around the world for?

While on assignment in Beijing for one of my clients, I was treated to an endless array of fine Asian cuisine.  Worth flying half way around the world for Chinese food?  Yes.  Especially when I’m not paying for any of it 🙂


One of the restaurant locations for a dinner meeting.

I love East and Southeast Asian food, predominately Thai, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese. So being able to sample authentic Asian food vs the Americanized versions here at home was a treat. And I wasn’t disappointed. I made it a point to try as many different dishes as I could. There were a few dishes I didn’t care for, but otherwise I enjoyed everything I ordered.


Sampling a wide variety of dishes at a client dinner meeting

A typical dinner, everybody ordered something that appealed to them, we threw in a few more dishes, and then shared. Great way to sample so many dishes, and having locals there to help identify the dishes and flavors was very helpful. Lunches and breakfasts were typically buffets also offering many choices.


Chicken shop with my guide shown in the reflection on the left.

I hired a guide for personal traveling around the countryside after my assignment was over. Having someone that spoke the language and knew the country was a huge benefit. She managed to save me money on various occasions, steered me away from  the less than honorable street peddlers, and help me track down interesting out of the way places I never would have found. And she new some great local restaurants.


A quick stop for lunch in SuzHou-Tongli

We stopped at one restaurant along a canal for lunch. I ordered some form of catfish, and received that in the image below. Hmm, different, but that’s why I’m here. Once you get past its appearance, it was prepared well and the flavor was excellent. Very strong but nice flavor.


Not a very handsome guy, but very tasty.

Most restaurants offered a wide range of dishes from different regions. I did my best to try to learn what favors and ingredients come from the different regions, but there was just too much to remember in a two week visit. I did find myself drawn to Sichuan and Xiang for their hot spicy and bold flavors (no surprise here for those that know me).


Even the hotel food was great.

Also great choices from room service on the few nights I ate in while wrangling data from the days shoot. It was also a good time to relax before heading out for some personal night street photography. Love the short bananas, but forgot what they are called. Every morning they left a dozen or so in a bowl in my room.


Lighter and more healthy than traditional American breakfast fare.

I really enjoyed the breakfast choices. Usually a buffet where I can choose from a variety of foods. While western breakfast items were present, the above is more typical of what I ate. I should make the same at home since it’s much more healthy, but eggs, toast, and coffee are ingrained into my mind as ‘breakfast’.


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