Eating and Drinking, Beijing

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  • Eating and Drinking
    by blueskyjohn
  • Eating and Drinking
    by blueskyjohn
  • Eating and Drinking
    by blueskyjohn
  • AC1's Profile Photo

    Kan Pei!

    by AC1 Written Apr 22, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are new to the drinking culture here, here are some good tips that most people not aware of. They might sound very simple, but it is consider important in the local culture especially for those who wants to get business deal done over the dinner table.

    Kan Pei = Bottoms Up
    Peng Pei = Cheers (a sip or two)

    If you mean Cheers, don't simply say Kan Pei and take a sip or two. This will not be taken easily by locals as it is seen as being not sincere having saying one thing and doing the other.

    This is especially true to the older generation Chinese but NOT with the younger generation in their 30's or 20's who are more open and westernised.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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  • Sally_chen's Profile Photo

    If you are invited to dine out with local friend..

    by Sally_chen Written Feb 25, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chinese are generous people, we like to offer dinner/lunch to friends when we have foreign friends.
    Don't insist too much to take the bill if your friends offered to pay, do the same thing in reture when your freinds visit your country !
    Chinese has the habit to order sometimes much more than what they can finish, apart from the habit(good or bad), this is the way to show the warmth and sincerity .
    This is the culture diversity , I know it could make you feel uncomfortable when you see some of the dish are half finished at the end of the dinner/lunch.
    Try to remind your local friends not order too much, feel comfortable if they order anyway . This is not wasting food purpusely .

    I leaned something from the embarrassment in the past , now I am expert in front of menu.

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  • egosyncratix's Profile Photo

    Birthday - Drinking & Paying

    by egosyncratix Written Dec 9, 2003

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    Happy Birthday, Jerry!

    When you drink with the Chinese, they would toast their glasses lower than yours to indicate respect. Sometimes, a fight to lower toast glasses would end up equal on the ground! Also, for birthday celebrations, its the host that pays...and oh! There's even seating arrangements too...the host (the one paying) sits facing the door...but i heard it varies from province to province

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  • rui_bijie's Profile Photo

    Chicken Feet

    by rui_bijie Updated Oct 28, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chicken feet for dinner

    The Chinese are very economical - they eat every part of an animal.
    We were invited to have some chicken feed one day. In order not to be impolite we tasted them. What shall I say? It's for sure not my favourite food - but maybe it's yours!

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  • rui_bijie's Profile Photo

    Mongolian Hot Pot

    by rui_bijie Written Oct 28, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mongolian Hot Pot

    If you are a group of people, you should try the Mongolian Hot Pot (or Fire Pot). It's offered in numberous restaurants - reserve in advance!

    The traditional Mongolian Hot Pot includes two different soup broths, in which thinly sliced, bite size pieces of lamb or beef, and vegetables are cooked.
    WATCH OUT! The dark side is damned hot!

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  • rui_bijie's Profile Photo

    Absolutely recommended: Chinese Beer!

    by rui_bijie Written Oct 28, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yanjing Beer

    Chinese beer is much more tastier than ever expected! Another pro: You can get a 0.75 liter bottle for only 4 Yuan!

    One of the best brands: Yanjing.

    P.S.: Be aware! Alcohol loosens your tongue. You run the risk of authenticating some prejudices. Especially beer drinking girls are not common at all in China. (Me and another girl were almost kicked out of university after a funny evening at the university campus ...)
    Of course this doesn't mean that we regret anything :-)

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  • rui_bijie's Profile Photo

    Bao Zi - served in a plastic bag

    by rui_bijie Written Oct 28, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bao Zi

    Outside the touristic areas you can find really cheap and tasty food in small cookshops right beside the street - like Bao Zi (small steamed meat dumplings).
    The serving is not quite appealing - but dont't mind! At least free chop sticks are included.

    These ones found right outside Bei Wai University.

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  • LysDor's Profile Photo

    CHINESE MEAL

    by LysDor Updated Dec 3, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A typical meal starts with some cold dished, like boiled peanuts and smashed cucumber with garlic. These are followed by the main courses, hot meat and vegetable dishes. Finally a soup is brought out, which is followed by the rice or noodles or dumplings.

    Many chinese eat rice last, but it is possible to have it also earlier. Don´t be suprised if someone is using their chopsticks to put food in your bowl or plate; this is a sign of politeness.

    Things to avoid:

    - don´t stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl, lay them on Your dish. When somebody dies, the shrine to them contains a bowl of sand or roice with two sticks of incense stuck upright in it...

    - make sure the spout of the teapot is not facing anyone, this is regarded unpolite.

    - don´t tap on your bowl with your chopsticks, it´s only beggars who tap on their bowls...If you are invited in someone´s home, it´s like insulting the cook..

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  • RitchiS1's Profile Photo

    Soemtimes it will be a problem...

    by RitchiS1 Written Sep 12, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    BOAT  Little Georges

    Soemtimes it will be a problem to order meels or anything to drink , you have to pay attention if you order by showing your fingers .If you show thumb and the next finger you will get eight of that you want .
    :-)))
    a picture of a typical boot of the neighbourriver from the yangzee

    Related to:
    • Photography

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  • calvin729's Profile Photo

    Many of the foreigners still...

    by calvin729 Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Many of the foreigners still have bias or misunderstandings about China. Remember that you are now travelling....so don't care about the bad sides, just be open-minded and enjoy the charms of the country of beauty! Just like Chinese food, I read many pages and some like it a lot but someone can't get used to. Actually many dishes may sound weird but they are indeed very tasty! Be brave! Try! China is a world much more fun than you can expect because of its uniqueness!

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  • About tea1.Identification...

    by Tal_A Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    About tea
    1.Identification Methods:
    1.Fresh tea and stock tea are relative conceptions. Usually, fresh tea is made of the early batches of tea leaves from tea trees of the same spring. Stock tea is made of those from last or even earlier season. They can be told by the following aspects.
    1) Color: In store, chromatophores of tea can be slowly oxidized by oxygen in air with light and decompounded. Chlorophyl in green tea would change from peak green to kelly and that in brown tea would change to taupe.
    2) Flavor: Because of a series of complex oxidization, the taste of tea would be not as strong or delicious as just processed .
    3) Scent: Because of chemical reactions and volatilization, the scent of tea will turn weak.
    2. Spring tea, summer tea and autumn tea: Spring tea is picked and cured before May, summer tea is done between June and early july, autumn tea is done after July. They are different.
    1) Dry-view: Judge from the outlook, color and scent of the tea. Green tea and brown tea are tight strings. Ball tea are hard pills. Thick leaves with fuzz spread and strong scent would be best from spring. Wide, loose leaves with long stem and less scent are from summer. Irregular shaped leaves with ordinary scent are from autumn. If there are blossoms like mung beans casually found among the leaves, they are spring tea.
    2) Wet-view: Just use your tongue, nose and eyes to tell the quality. The leaves sink soon after dropped in hot water with strong scent and taste, seems massive and soft with close wrinkles and smooth blades, are spring tea. The leaves sink slowly with less scent and taste sort of acerbity, seems thin and hard with sparse wrinkles and heaved blades, are summer tea. Those with irregular size, weak scent and taste, buds attached to the bottom, are autumn tea.
    3. Identification of pseud tea. There're both chemical and physical differences between tea and pseud tea. Usually, you can tell by your sense organs. Sniff the tea for the special scent of tea, if there's any strange odor, it's trash! Fire will make this method easier. Watch the color of tea for its character (bottle green for green tea, jet black for brown tea, sage green for Wulong Tea), if there's mess of irregular color, it's trash! If you are not sure enough by using these methods, just apply boiling water or other chemical methods.
    2.Three Essentials:
    1. Quantity of tea: Different teas apply different quantiyies. For brown tea and green tea, the proportion of tea with water is 1:50 or 60. For Wulong Tea, if kettle is used, the tea will occupy half or more of the kettle's capacity. By the way, it's quite decided on age and personal habit of the conumer.
    2. Temperature of water for tea: Fierce fire makes water boiling. Soon pour the boiling water into cup or kettle with tea and you'll have the delicious tea ready. But different teas apply different temperatures.
    3. Dunking time and times: For ordinary green or brown tea, put about 3g dried leaves in cup and pour boiling water up to well above the tea, put the lid on for about 3 minutes. Then fill about 80 percent of the cup's capacity with hot water and drink. When there's about 1/3 water left, add hot water again. This way make an averrage thickness and can last three times. If you drink instant tea, just dunk it one time.
    3.Storage:
    No matter in small packages or in bulk, for family, you can't consume the tea at once. Tea in bulk must be packed again and put away. For tea is easy-decomposed and subject to dampness, there are certain methods for storage.
    1. Jar: Pack the tea with wearable paper and put the packages around in bottom of a jar with a proportional package of lime in the middle. Tuck cotton or dried hey next to to lid to prevent ventilation. The lime package should be replaced every one or two months. This method will last for half a year. Without lime, silica gel will do also.
    2. Tin: Tins are easy to find in markets. Those with double lids are the best to keep out dampness. It's popularly adopted for families storing extra tea. One or two packages of dried silica gel will keep the inside of the tin dry. Put the tin in cool place and this will slow down decompounding of tea.
    3. Plastic bag: Modest price and convenient usage make plastic bag is the most popular material for packing. So it's the most economical and simple way for household to store tea in plastic bags. Pack the tea with soft, clean paper and put the packages in thick, substantial, clean and hermetic plastic bags. Store the bags in frozer of a refrigerator even for year round, the tea will keep intoxicating.

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  • Chris_Dahlia's Profile Photo

    Eating No-no'sTraditionally...

    by Chris_Dahlia Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Eating No-no's

    Traditionally speaking, there are many taboos at Chinese tables, but these days not many people pay attention to them. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are a guest at a private home.

    1. Don't stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl. Instead, lay them on your dish. The reason for this is that when somebody dies, the shrine to them contains a bowl of sand or rice with two sticks of incense stuck upright in it. So if you stick your chopsticks in the rice bowl, it looks like this shrine and is equivalent to wishing death upon person at the table!

    2. Make sure the spout of the teapot is not facing anyone. It is impolite to set the teapot down where the spout is facing towards somebody. The spout should always be directed to where nobody is sitting, usually just outward from the table.

    3. Don't tap on your bowl with your chopsticks. Beggars tap on their bowls, so this is not polite. Also, in a restaurant, if the food is coming too slow people will tap their bowls. If you are in someone's home, it is like insulting the cook.

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  • Chris_Dahlia's Profile Photo

    The main difference between...

    by Chris_Dahlia Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The main difference between Chinese and Western eating habits is that unlike the West, where everyone has their own plate of food, in China the dishes are placed on the table and everybody shares. If you are being treated by a Chinese host, be prepared for a ton of food. Chinese are very proud of their culture of food and will do their best to give you a taste of many different types of cuisine. Among friends, they will just order enough for the people there. If they are taking somebody out for dinner and the relationship is polite to semi-polite, then they will usually order one more dish than the number of guests (e.g. four people, five dishes). If it is a business dinner or a very formal occasion, there is likely to be a huge amount of food that will be impossible to finish.

    One thing to be aware of is that when eating with a Chinese host, you may find that the person is using their chopsticks to put food in your bowl or plate. This is a sign of politeness. The appropriate thing to do would be to eat the whatever-it-is and say how yummy it is. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can just say a polite thank you and leave the food there, and maybe cover it up with a little rice when they are not looking. There is a certain amount of leniency involved when dealing with Westerners, so you won't be chastised.
    One thing to be aware of is that when eating with a Chinese host, you may find that the person is using their chopsticks to put food in your bowl or plate. This is a sign of politeness. The appropriate thing to do would be to eat the whatever-it-is and say how yummy it is. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can just say a polite thank you and leave the food there, and maybe cover it up with a little rice when they are not looking. There is a certain amount of leniency involved when dealing with Westerners, so you won't be chastised.

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  • Krystynn's Profile Photo

    Last but not least, wherever ...

    by Krystynn Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Last but not least, wherever you dine in China (be it in a fancy restaurant or in a cheap joint), don't be astonished if you're given chopsticks (instead of the fork & spoon) to eat your meal with.

    Take this as your next challenge. Master the unique art of holding your chopsticks. So, be not afraid.

    Just use your thumb and the fourth finger to grip one stick and your forefinger and middle finger to grip and control the other stick. (See the pic below). Bon appetit! ;-)

    So, go ahead and conquer Beijing!

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  • Tipping at restaurants is a...

    by tidyboy Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Tipping at restaurants is a way of appreciation, but the best way of showing your appreciation is calling the owner (or, manager) and saying him/her SHI SHI (thank you) while clapping your hands in front of your chest and half nodding your head. Be polite, never try to fool or cheat people. Avoid to make nervous gestures.
    I will never forget their sicere hospitality..

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