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Chinese Food for Foreigners
This week we continue our feature of Chinese restaurants suited for foreigners with one more Shunyi find.
This one is known among foreigners as the "Wooden Floor" restaurant. Likely because of a wood and tile floor mosaic that now only features in the front part of the restaurant, the monicker has stuck and as information about the restaurant is passed on from one satisfied lao wai to another, it is still referred to by its nickname. The real name of the place, though, is Sichuan Yao Dianzi, and they have much more than Sichuan food on the menu.
It may take a bit of familiarity with the Houshayu area to find this restaurant, tucked away as it is in a residential area. Locating it is not too difficult though. Keep driving down Tian Bei Lu until you hit the Luoma Hu roundabout. Take the first exit, and keep going down Houshayu road for four stop lights, past Wu Mart on your right and past the road leading to the Houshayu wet market on your left.
Turn left into Vanke Garden, a rather old subdivision that is marked by a giant clock on its main gate. Keep driving down this main avenue until you see a commercial center to your right. Grab any of the parking slots you see out on the main road. The restaurant is at the farthest end of the commercial strip on the right side.
If you have a Chinese native or someone who reads characters with you, ask them to keep an eye out for the restaurant that advertises roast duck (烤鸭) on the roof sign. While we haven’t tried their roast duck, we like their crispy rice crackers dishes. Think of a Cantonese birds’ nest noodle dish that comes with an option of shrimp, mixed mushroom, or mixed vegetable topping. Now instead of crispy egg noodles as to be expected in the original recipe, substitute this with rice crackers. The sauce is served in a separate bowl, piping hot. And when it arrives at your table, the server pours the soupy topping onto the rice crackers, causing the crackers to sizzle. The topping "cooks" the rice crackers and every mouthful has a combination of crunchy dry and soaked crackers. The only trick in eating this is to do it before all the crackers get too soggy. It’s a fun and delicious (and sometimes messy) dish that even kids will love. At RMB 28, it’s a very filling dish that can be a little difficult to polish off completely.
Other recommended dishes are their sweet and sour chicken and a pork and mushroom combination sautéed in soy sauce and a hint of vinegar.
The menu has pictures (very handy) and English translations for the dish names. Some English spoken.
Offers breakfast, which we have not managed to try. As to be expected with local restaurants, breakfast fare is a combination of baozi, mantou, porridge and pickled vegetables.
四川幺店子饭店 万科城市花园乡村俱乐部101. 80490801
Breakfast from 5.30-10am
Nonstop dining from 10am-10pm
International Montessori School Beijing Open House
The International Montessori School of Beijing (MSB) will be holding two open house sessions on Tuesday, March 11, and Wednesday, April 16. Morning schedule is from 9-11.30am, and afternoon schedule is from 1-3.30pm.
The programme will include a short presentation on MSB’s English-Only and Dual-Language curricula, a tour of the facilities, classroom observation, and an open forum with teachers and staff.
Reservations are required in order to assure yourselves a place during the classroom observation. Email email@example.com with your child’s age and which language programme you are interested in.
Children’s International Bilingual Academy (CIBA) is holding a Spring Flea Market and Bazaar on Saturday, March 15 in Gahood Villa, building 3052.
Come by from 10am-2pm for a bake sale, bazaar of new and gently used toys, books and clothes for children, as well as handmade jewelry.
Entertainment for children will be available in the playground area, with bouncy castles, play equipment and face painting and craft activities.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to advertise your business, or if you are interested in having a table at the bazaar to sell some items. The cost for the seller is a baked cake, or RMB100. All profits and donations will go towards classroom resources.
Euro Cashmere Flash Sale
At Clicia’s Designs and Shane’s Treasures from March 11-14, Euro Cashmere will be on special sale. Come along to see European quality and design scarves, ponchos and sweaters. STARAfood will provide the hors d’oeuvres on the first day of the sale, Tuesday, March 11. Lake View Place Dragon Bay Villa (8042-2203).
Air Pollution Masks
The demand is high for air pollution masks, following last month’s weeklong bad air period.
Vogmask N99 masks remove an average of 99.978% of fine particulate matter such as PM2.5. Vogmask brand is one of very few masks for sale in China that meets United States National Institute of Safety and Health standards.
The model available contains a carbon layer to help filter gaseous particles, exhaust, smells, and chemical components of air pollution.
Inventory list and order sheet are available at www.aquasana-china.com, or call 400 000 8320 or 136 5128 5157.
Totobobo jogging masks, athletic version are also available for sale for RMB198, including free delivery in Shunyi, Chaoyang and CBD areas.
These cover the mouth only and have an adjustable three-point strap. Fits all adults, keeps cool in hot weather and does not fog up. Can be hung around the neck when not in use.
Send a text message to 186 1152 8650 to place an order. See product details at www.totobobo.com.
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.
Photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado