On our final full day in Beijing, CJ and I sought out a restaurant we’d liked on our first visit to Beijing back in 2010. We took the subway, and cunningly got off one station early due to a subconscious desire to make the day more epic.
For future reference, this is what the restaurant actually looks like (plus a sign taken after turning 90 degrees left in the street facing the restaurant):
CJ and I call the restaurant either “The DongBei restaurant” (about as specific as saying, “The Chinese restaurant”) or “The pumpkin chips restaurant”, neither of which is especially useful.
Nonetheless, we found it and we ordered (along with pumpkin chips, naturally – easy to recognise by their picture despite the lack of any English in the menu) something that looked like either duck or chicken. It arrived startlingly quickly.
“Well,” said CJ, “it’s chicken.”
“Oh?” I said.
“I can tell by the head. And the foot.”
It was served cold, and with all the bones intact – much as if it had been left on a table for a while, then passed through a paper shredder. It was a boy chicken, and it looked at me funny.
I couldn’t handle it, and decided to order another dish.
“One with a mix of meat and vegetables,” said CJ.
I flipped through the pages frantically, as Louisette’s cries of hunger grew increasingly strident. When I spotted something that looked like it might be pork but was definitely beans, I ordered it.
It wasn’t pork. It was beef (well, probably. It’s hard to tell with Chinese beef, which is horrid even when it’s actually made from a cow). And the beans were not beans. Oh no, dear reader. They were chillis.
The pumpkin chips were a little undercooked.
The rice we ordered never came.
In Winter 2010 we always enjoyed the free tea served on every table. When I asked for tea, the waitress said they “didn’t have any”.
So that was our last proper Chinese meal. Oh, China. You always come through when we need surprises.
The following day we left on an even more epic three-part journey home – pausing only to say goodbye to Bonnie’s family and to pee on Louisette’s grandma (Louisette did the peeing; we said the goodbyes). I could write about the journey, but the only important thing now is that we arrived home in the end.