Friday, 30 March 2012

[beijing] sunao vegetarian, dongcheng district

I was lost and running late for a work dinner located somewhere in the Nanxincang complex when I saw a giant, well-lit sign declaring 'vegan tea.' I was intrigued and would have preferred to go there rather than the duck restaurant that was my destination, and so I followed this discovery with a visit the following weekend.

This was, coincidentally, the day it snowed, about which I was PRETTY EXCITED, so had spent two hours wandering around Ditan, taking photos and playing in the snow.

snow on the tiles

So I wandered over to Dongsishitiao and in to Sunao, covered in melting snow and wearing a hoodie under my coat, only to discover that Sunao was not a casual tea house, as I had expected, but a very fancy restaurant. The menu was all in Chinese characters with minimal pictures, and the staff were beautifully dressed (no English speaking) and the settings were awesome, and I sat down, intimidated.

The front of house asked me twice if I could read (I don't think he believed me). The waitress was super excited to see me reading, but when I ordered a salad and then a tofu dish, she redirected me to another dish. I wasn't clear on all the characters, but I thought I'd give it a go, see what I ended up with.

mushroom pepper steak

I ended up with a mushroom pepper steak, which, it's been a while. And it was unexpected. But it was excellent! Not too chewy, slightly hot mushroomy flavour, presented beautifully and served with roasted potatoes and carrots. Totally unexpected but an interesting experience.

I would definitely not go by myself again, but I would consider a group (booked, and well-dressed) visit.

Ground Floor, East Side
Nanxingcang Business Building

Get there on line 2, exit C. Little step up to enter, well-lit but I was only there in the daytime.

Friday, 2 March 2012

thursday chinese animal miscellany

Dear readers of my blog, presumably mostly in Australia (I really should install some sort of tracker); I am pretty sure you don't know some of the animal things going on in China at the moment, so I have decided to share with you some of the stories I have been following in the last week! Maybe I will even attempt to do this regularly. Let me know if reading this interests you!

Protests in Shenzhen against the extraction of bile from live bears:Activists Protest Guizhengtang’s Live Extraction of Bear Bile. (not gonna lie, I'm looking for a new face mask and the ones the activists are wearing bear one might be it!)

In Panjin, it is super common for seals to be brought in to hang out for the rest of their lives in a little pool inside a restaurant. The pool is so tiny I would not want to sit in it! (I have certain Body of Water preferences, and I suspect so do seals). Netizens rally to aid of captive seals

In Chongching, hundreds of dogs were rescued but now they have nowhere to go! Dogged by misfortune (I see what you did there).

Another pun: To bee or not to bee. China's native bees are disappearing, due to a) encroachment by exotic bees, and b) environmental degradation. Story of everything, Y/N?

Beijing has a feral cat problem. I know it because I walk past at least two colonies on my way to work, one right beside my house and one inside the grounds of my work (which is a park with a temple! and a feral cat colony). Beijing's Feral Cat Problem Comes Back