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nomadnorrie From Sydney to the formula 1 grand prix in Shanghai, Beijing, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine and Europe. Final destination by train is London. Hopping on a flight to Finland, then on to Japan and finally back to Sydney.

Vegetarian buffet

CHINA | Sunday, 4 November 2007 | Views [2137]

Xu Xiang Zhai, Vegetarian restaurant 5 minutes from my hotel.

Xu Xiang Zhai, Vegetarian restaurant 5 minutes from my hotel.

I've started to get a little more adventurous when ordering meals in restaurants, I've been eating a bit too much Beef noodle soup. Ordering Beef is easy because it is very common, almost every restaurant serves it. Some restaurants are run by Muslims from north-west China (I think) and they don't serve Pork; yes, I offended one waiter by asking for Pork, although it was swiftly followed by an apology. Incidentally these restaurants also serve the 'everything smothered in chilli' dishes. I always have a beer with my food there, formaldehyde or not.

Alex was going on at me for eating so much beef noodle soup so I decided to put some effort into eating non-meat dishes for a while. Since my lessons on how to talk about inside/outside/top/bottom/this side/that side/front/back I decided to have a go at ordering a noodle dish with lots of vegetables in(side). It sort of worked, the waiter nodded in agreement and went away. When my meal arrived there were just a few vegetables in it, so perhaps it didn't work at all. I am going to check with one of my teachers tomorrow to see if I am asking in the right way or not. It could have been just a case of lost in translation; I am learning Putonghua whereas at that place the waiters speak to each other in another dialect.

So last week I had an attempt at not eating meat. On Sunday I was wandering around the Hutong near my hotel and found a restaurant that claims to be Beijing's first vegetarian buffet.

The Vegetarian Buffet - Xu Xiang Zhai
All the food at this place was delicious. I got there when the buffet started last Sunday evening and I shall be going back next weekend for a big feed. Some dishes are made to look like meat but they have tofu in, I'd found the first fake in China that I really did want. I tried most dishes and liked everything. Oddly, the desserts were among my least favoured dishes. I would have kept going back for more except I had to leave to get to the Chang An Opera theatre on time.

I am already looking forward to next weekends cakes, tea, coffee, fruit juice, fruit and soft drinks. How much did the buffet cost?

58 RMB or
$9 AUD or

As a bonus there is no smoking inside and it looks quite fancy.

The only thing I don't recall seeing was a selection of cheese. I wonder if my Mandarin phrase book has "please can I have a selection of French and Dutch cheese". Or perhaps "Where are the crackers?"

Tags: Food & eating



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