My 9-year-old has a lot of comfort food favorites. He’s a super taster and likes to give a blow-by-blow commentary on food as he eats it. One easy dish he goes for often (sometimes too often!) is carbonara.
“I like carbonara because it’s creamy and there are many different ways that people cook it. The perfect carbonara for me has bacon that is not crunchy or very fatty. It should have a lot of cream and very long spaghetti in my opinion. I like to have it with garlic bread because you can put the spaghetti on the bread,” says Pepi.
“When we make carbonara at home, we make the sauce by breaking raw eggs on to hot spaghetti, and then we put cream on it and top with bacon and sometimes some grated cheese. The first person to teach me this style of making carbonara sauce was my papa.”
We decided to do a point by point comparison of three carbonara dishes from some of the Shunyi restaurants. Pepi first came up with a scale for his ratings then proceeded to slurp away at the spaghetti with gusto. Don’t worry, we didn’t do this all in one day!
Pepi’s Carbonara Chronicles:
5 – best and nothing’s wrong
4 – great but only some things are wrong
3 – good but it’s not bad
2 – ok but try harder
1 – extremely horrible
Appearance – 2: Why does it have peas?
Aroma – 4: It would be better if the peas weren’t there.
Taste – 3: It would have been a 5 if not for the peas. Peas, please go away!
Review: the bacon is very good; it is just like the one that I cook, which means not super crunchy.The spaghetti is long and coated in cream and well cooked. As for the cream sauce, it is yummy, very heavy and starchy.
Appearance – 5: Because I have had Annie’s loads of times before and it always looks the same which is very good.
Aroma – 4: one small point is taken off because the smell of the sauce is not very strong.
Taste – 5: The most carbonara I have had is from Annie’s. It’s yummy.
Review: the bacon is really good because there is no fat. The spaghetti is good due to the thick coating of the sauce which is sort of sticky so when I put the spaghetti in my mouth, it’s very creamy. The cream sticks to the spaghetti and I can taste the egg, cheese and cream.
Appearance – 5: The garlic bread makes it look good.
Aroma – 5: It has a strong bacon smell.
Taste – 4: Onions make it taste good but real carbonara doesn’t originally have onions.
Review: the bacon is not crunchy that is how I prefer it. The spaghetti is long and the cream sticks well to the spaghetti.
Photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado
Dana is the beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.