Saturday, 14 July 2012

sunao ii [beijing]

Six of us made a visit to Sunao, which I had previously visited on my own at a lunch time, navigating my way through a characters-only menu. We were delighted to find that the dinner menu has English subtitles as well as pictures, so Wendy and I didn’t have to tax ourselves translating for everyone. 

in the restaurant

There were worries, and Wendy and I decided on more and more dishes, that maybe we were ordering too many: fortunately, it appears we ordered just enough.

We started with a plate of fruit (tomato here being considered a fruit), provided with no charge and served with dry ice. The waitress explained that eating fruit after a meal inhibits digestion, which is why they serve it to start the meal – when pressed, she suggested that other restaurants that serve fruit at the end of the meal are very wrong.


And then the meal itself, oh wow, it was one of the best meals I’ve had here in Beijing, I think.

My favourite was probably the mock fish, with a ‘skin’ and also battered, it was eerily reminiscent of the fish at the EBC. As you can see, it was massive, but we finished it off, and a lot of the sauce, too. Competing for favourite was the peanut tofu, thin slices of tofu served with mushrooms and a sauce that tasted positively gado gado-like.

mock fish peanut tofu

The lemon eggplant was a random choice, ordered because of the batter. If I didn’t know this was eggplant, I wouldn’t have known. The lemon was sweet and tart, and the batter was crisp whilst the eggplant remained soft and flavoursome. This was a good dish, but I felt something was lacking. In a completely surprising occurrence, there was tempeh on this menu! It’s the first time I’ve seen tempeh on a menu in Beijing, so of course I ordered it! Sadly, I wasn’t a fan of this one, served here with a wasabi sauce, though others at the table thought it was tasty.

lemon eggplant the only tempeh i've eaten in beijing

I order kungpao chicken when I can, because V (my previous housemate) loves a (non-vegan) kungpao chicken. The ‘chicken’ in this one was lovely, it soaked up the sauces and complimented the flavours very well. I rarely have had a curry I liked in Beijing, so I also ordered the mock beef curry with a thai sauce. The vegetables in this especially were tasty, but the ‘beef’ was pretty good too, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I enjoyed this curry.

kungpao vegan chicken mock beef curry with thai sauce

Two dishes I didn’t enjoy so much: something with pumpkin, and the ‘meat cake’ – meat cake looked a bit jian bing like, but there was something about the flavour that I didn’t enjoy. I also wasn’t a fan of these pumpkin cups, I don’t know what I was expecting but I didn’t enjoy the flavour nor the texture, and in the end it was the only dish remaining that we didn’t finish.

meatcake pumpkin

This meal was amazing. I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back to Sunao before I leave Beijing, and I am looking forward to it.

Previous visit: one

Ground Floor, East Side
Nanxingcang Business Building

English + Chinese menu with pictures in the evening, get there on Line 2 (Exit C). Well-lit, little step to enter.

Monday, 9 July 2012

baihe iii [百合素食] [beijing]

Visited Baihe today for lunch! Haven't been for several months, since Charlie's going away in April, but we were at a loose end today and I thought the little walk down would be most excellent. And it was! It was pretty quiet, so service was fast and attentive.


We went with two of my favourites, the peking duck (with pancakes) (half size) and the dry roasted potatoes, as well as the gailan for some greens (listed on the menu as Cantonese vegetables/ 广东菜).


Danni really wanted to try the pipa chicken drumsticks, despite my insistance that they were not very nice. Guess which penguin was right?! They're always weirdly sweet. Seen here served with strawberry jam.


As always, the duck was super delicious, I could totally eat more of that. We also ordered a pot of dragon well tea (龙井茶) which was lovely. 

baihe-duck baihe-tea

Previous visits: for CNY and the first visit (which has Englishness, accessibility details and directions)

Baihe Vegetarian / Lily's Vegetarian / 百合素食
23 Caoyuan Hutong
off dongzhimen nei bei xiaojie
Dongcheng District