Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gong's places

Just touched down from an adventure in Beijing, where I was interviewing Gong Li for The Telegraph travel section on her Beijing. Slightly awkwardly, Gong Li didn't actually appear to like Beijing very much (although she didn't actually say that). Her ideal day off was to stay in bed with her labrador and watch DVDs! Still, she does have good taste in restaurants, as you may find out if you read the article. Luckily Chinese food is not overly fattening, because I have just done a gastronomic odyssey of Beijing. Ordering food in China is an art form - I saw grown men sweat when I asked them to order for me. You eat cold food, then hot food, and it's all about having a delicate balance of flavours, textures and temperatures. And Jasmine tea.

My most memorable meal in China was eaten in a humble eatery that seemed to resemble a garden centre: A large glasshouse complete with rockery and waterfall just near the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall called Xin Shuang Quan Restaurant. An organic restaurant no less! (The Chinese do love their waterfalls). Cherry, my guide, ordered a perfect feast. First we had Jian cold garlic beef, then tomato and egg soup, followed by chicken and chestnuts, pork with celery and pak choi with mushrooms. There was also a steamed corn bun stuffed with slightly ropey vegetables. It wasn't gourmet food, but it was a beautifully layered experience of tastes and the company was good. The food was wonderful at Jing, the Peninsula Hotel East meets West restaurant, but somehow I can never feel entirely inspired by a meal eaten alone, no matter how delicious.

above and below: the Great Wall is said to be like a dragon
flashing quicksilver across the mountains.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Gong Li gorgeous? I saw her in person at the MV premiere. Amazing
I wondered is she used a translator for this interview.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:11:00 pm  
Blogger Fiona A L Campbell said...

Hello, mysterious anonymous commenter who attends premieres! yes, she is. She's a very nice person, too, I think. I'll post a picture of her later.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 6:52:00 am  

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