Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chairman Wang Woks my Broc!

About a week ago, all one could think about--at least if you are just a stone's throw or kungfu-arm's length away from Japan--was the devastating earthquake there, the Tsunami, and of course the then-growing emergency at the Fukushima reactor.

So I meant to write about earthquakes--China has it's own share of earthquakes, we happen to live on a (minor, we hope) fault line ourselves, and Paul of course stays in business because of the never-ending series of disasters around the world.

But, I couldn't do it. Somewhere on this computer is floating a draft blog post about earthquakes -- and one day I'll find it again and finish it off. But not today.

So today's blog post is about another kind of earth-shattering experience: A couple friends and I had a delicious dinner at a cooking school and restaurant downtown Beijing. The place is called Black Sesame Kitchen. When you come to Beijing, I'll take you there.

Here are some mouth-watering pictures:

This was the menu for the evening, I kid you not. Pan fried dumplings, fried shitake and coriander (yum, yum, yum!), flash fried lamb and leeks, red braised eggplant, wok-fried string beans, red braised pork belly, garlic broccoli, cashew kungpao chicken, pine nut and beef stirfry, and candied sweet potatoes with ice cream.

These are the chefs, Chairman Wang and Chef Zhang. They are cooking in the kitchen, just steps away from your table.

Pan-fried pumpkin dumplings. The sauce is just a bit of vinegar with chilies. Delicious!

Did you ever have a Chairman steam your broccoli?

Wok-fried string beans.

More steaming broccoli.

Restaurant owner and author Jen Lin-Liu. Originally from California, Jen joined a Beijing cooking school in 2005. After dinner, I immediately bought her book, Serve the People, A Stir-Fried Journey Through China. If only for the sub-title.

Chairman Wang.

The three musketeers.

Oh, the entrance. I just wanted to show you this place is a bit off-the beaten track. Well, not really, as Jen is locally quite famous. But really - maybe they should have turned on at least one light at the gate - it was a bit hard to find.

My method of finding things in Beijing: I took a picture of the pub on the corner, so I can remember where to search for the restaurant's entrance...

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