As a family we love to go on picnics. Spending an afternoon sat on a rug in one of Beijing’s beautiful parks, or boating around on their lakes. Our favorite park is Beihai Park, where you can watch the locals dancing, singing, play musical instruments, and paint Chinese calligraphy onto pavements using water. Our picnic hamper invariably contains cheese and ham sandwiches, egg mayonnaise, garden salad, and some cold drinks. If we’re lucky I might have made some quiche or sausage rolls. My in-laws will be in town in a few weeks, and I’m sure we will partake in several picnics during their stay. However, I’m not sure cheese and ham sandwiches will seem as exciting to them as they are to my kids. So, I stopped by Modo Urban Deli, to see what they had to offer that would make my summer picnic taste better.
The deli offers a whole picnic for two that you can order to go. With sandwiches, dips, salads, and bakes presented in a Modo tote, along with a map of picnic sites. You can even add a bottle or two of wine, prices range from RMB 200-400. As I already have the basis of my picnics sorted, and the kids know what they like, I was looking for add-ons rather than the whole thing. The roasted veggies with white quinoa salad RMB 68 was absolutely delicious. I added grilled chicken for RMB 18 or you can add chickpeas. The chicken was incredibly tender, and there was a lot of it. The roasted veggies included pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, carrots, and zucchini. Pine nuts added crunch, sultanas the sweetness, and fresh cilantro lifted all the flavors.
The spicy Thai noodle salad with steak RMB 68 (add avocado for RMB 15), was packed with crunchy vegetables, mango, cilantro, and roasted peanuts. The salad was dressed with a spicy Thai dressing, which went really well with the juicy grilled steak. The Chef’s quiche of the day RMB 48 was leek, and it came with a small leaf salad and dressing. I prefer a deeper quiche, and the base was a little soft, but the flavor of strong cheese and sweet leeks was spot on. I always pack a tub of vegetable crudités when we picnic, so I ordered the white bean hummus. It was smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of garlic. Other dips include creamy spinach with artichoke and black olive tapenade.
If you don’t want to make your own sandwiches, you can pick up some of Modo’s. The Scandinavian is smoked salmon layered with cucumber, radish, apple, and dill on rye bread, or the Deli which consists of Italian salami or smoked turkey, layered with pickled vegetables and cream cheese on walnut toast. Portion sizes are very generous, so your best bet is to get a couple of things to share. I will definitely be adding Modo Deli items to my hamper this summer.
Modo Urban Deli
Taikoo Li Sanlitun South, 3rd Floor, S10 – 31, 19 Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District (6415 7207, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.modobj.com
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Steve Depolo (Flickr), Sally Wilson